Live Review: Amy Shark + Cult Romance at The Events Centre, Caloundra (11.08.22)

Credit: Dylan Oxley

Gold Coast indie-pop superstar Amy Shark proved that she is one of the best entertainers of our time at The Events Centre in Caloundra last night. The sold-out show was the first of the Queensland leg of her massive 60-date regional See U Somewhere Australia tour, supported by Cult Romance.

Credit: Dylan Oxley

Patrons steadily filed into the cinema-cross-gymnasium-style venue on the Sunshine Coast and took their seats itching with excitement. First up was Gold Coast alt-pop singer and producer Cult Romance, rocking liberty spikes and a white leather jacket. His guitar-driven trap beats and catchy hooks with warm vocal melodies captivated from start to finish. With nothing but an inconspicuous DJ and a microphone, the crowd had to warm up to the artist but his enthusiasm and charm won them over by the end of the set.

During the intermission, teenage girls with that same trademark messy bun got photos in front of the stage to immortalise the night spent just feet from their idol. This reviewer was just as keen but remained seated to save embarrassment. The band took to the stage and readied at their instruments behind a neon sign reading Amy Shark in big letters. Before long, the lights went down and the crowd roared as a plume of fog rose around the mic stand.

Credit: Dylan Oxley

Amy emerged graciously in a white ADIDAS outfit (of course) and the room erupted in applause and cheers. After nonchalantly greeting the audience with a big grin, she launched into “Everybody Rise” backed by the band. A few songs in, she stopped to address a young girl in the front row about the swearing in her set – saying if she’s going to hear the words in life anyway, she may as well learn them from ‘Aunty Amy’. Each gap between songs brought calls of ‘We love you, Amy!’ from the crowd, and you could definitely feel it.

Deep cut “Miss You” came early with an impressive drum solo before Amy picked up a guitar for the first time to play “The Idiot”. An updated setlist included recent R3HAB collab “Sway My Way” and vehement covers of Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best” and timeless banger “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers. The artist has a knack for great storytelling between songs and an empowering speech about the difficulties of life served as a great segue to tearjerker “All the Lies About Me”.

Credit: Dylan Oxley

Old favourite “Weekends” marked the halfway point of the set, followed by a shout out to Cult Romance and encouragement for fans to get on board before he blows up. Back-to-back Blink-182 collabs “Psycho” and “C’MON” had huge finales even without the pop punk icons on stage and left everyone screaming for more. A few tracks later, the time came for a ‘fake encore’ – where Amy announces her last song then leaves stage before returning for the biggest hits of her career.

After the crowd chanted her name as (ironically) requested, Amy and the band assumed their positions and catapulted into “Mess Her Up”. Fun singalong “Baby Steps” led into the iconic “Adore” then another anecdote set the mood for the Ed Sheeran and Keith Urban collab “Love Songs Ain’t for Us”. Finally, they sent it for epic closer “I Said Hi” and left everyone in the venue cheering with full hearts and big smiles.

For someone as huge as Amy Shark, playing small shows in regional cities is as important as the majors of the East Coast. The humble singer brought as much energy and passion to the performance as she would any other show and it was certainly reciprocated. With another 11 stops of the giant tour to go, you can rest assured that you’re in for a hell of a night.