Sweeping across the country as part of the annual Groovin’ The Moo national tour, Norweigan act AURORA hit up Sydney’s Enmore Theatre and proceeded to showcase why she is truly magical on stage, despite singing some tracks with some not-so-magical themes.
Opening up the night was 2019’s first break out act, Byron Bay’s Tones and I. Having honed her skills busking on the NSW far north coast, the artist formerly known as Toni Watson had the young and eager crowd in a rapture from the earliest of tracks. Following in the trend of playing with a variety of loops rather than a band, Tones and I displayed a mix of catchy pop and blues driven tracks, all the while managing to be emotive and relatable with her pre-track amble.
Dropping in a cover of the Chet Faker & Flume collab “Drop The Game”, the stand out moment from her short set came via new track “Not Today”. Despite probably no one in the room knowing the song, it received a massive response and set in motion what I’m sure will be a thorough increase in Tones and I supporters. Closing on her only single, “Johnny Run Away”, it became pretty clear why the track has racked up more than three millions streams since its release earlier in the year.
Entering the stage last behind her band of four, Aurora began her set with the daunting “Churchyard”. A live staple since the release of her second album Infections of a Different Kind in 2018, “Churchyard” set the scene for a set that was equal parts uplifting and downbeat. Following it up immediately with the fantastic “Warrior”, she thanked the crowd for coming down early to see the support, as well as, you know, her. There was a strange level of affection in the crowd, as Aurora spoke about how proud she was of everyone for attending. In a world where people consistently have troubles in their life, the fact that they were choosing to spend their night with her filled her with so much love, grace and joy.
The first thing you notice about Aurora is her energy on stage. From her emphatic vocal performance, to her erratic and enthusiastic dancing, everything Aurora does, shes does with 100% enthusiasm. It sounds cliched, but it’s genuinely great to see an artist really thrive for excellence on stage.
The second thing you noticed about the show was those in attendance. As an all-ages show, you’re almost guaranteed to have a 50/50 split for those under age, and those over age. Throw in a couple of parents, and you’ve got a great mix of perspectives. This vast difference in age of people attending allowed Aurora to speak to a variety of groups in the crowd. Proudly sporting the rainbow flag in the closing masterpiece that was “Queendom”, it should be noted that Aurora does what she does not for herself, but for those in the crowd.
While the show didn’t sell out (I’m sure Billie Eilish playing on the same night, in the same city, to a fan base that I’d imagine would have considerable crossover had absolutely nothing to do with the low attendance), those that were there definitely got out of the show what they wanted and needed. The melancholic and haunting “Murder Song (5,4,3,2,1)” was a mid set highlight, while the best on ground for the set definitely belonged to “Runaway”.
Throwing in the outstanding “Animal” and “Running With The Wolves” and you’ve got a setlist that hit just about every aspect you could have asked for as a fan of Aurora (in saying this, she didn’t play “Conqueror”, which I found to be odd). Throughout the night, you grew to genuinely love Aurora as a person instead as a musician. Her Scandinavian and awkward humour enamoured her to the crowd, while her honesty and storytelling between tracks helped provide that special something that is sometimes missed in other artists’ sets. With an on-point light show and live band, you’d be foolish for not checking Aurora out whilst she’s in the country.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
You can catch Aurora on the following headline dates:
Fri May 3rd | The Forum, Melbourne
Mon May 6th | The Triffid, Brisbane
Wed May 8th | Metropolis, Perth
She’ll also appearing at the remaining legs of Groovin’ The Moo:
Sat May 4th | Bendigo
Sun May 5th | Townsville
Sat May 11th | Bunbury