Live Review: LANKS brought the magic with him for his sold out Melbourne shows

Beginning the evening strongly, Essie Holt had a large role to play in building the atmosphere for the rest of the night, with the Melbourne producer perfectly setting the scene and helping to harness the rooms burgeoning energy with her dance-pop anthems. Her earlier singles “Magnetise” and “Underwater” held their own through her set, and were a key part of showing where Essie’s music had come from, whilst still full of her own spirit and the pop vibes her fan base have come to love. Each track that she played led well into the other, all culminating in a wholesome set that left the room wanting more. 

“Better For You”, Holt’s new single released only a few weeks earlier, closed her set out. It was a strong ending, highlighting the thriving talent and expression Essie has already built on her earlier songs. The upbeat, bass filled track coupled with flowing synths and Essie’s electrifying vocals made a positive statement about her future as a growing Melbourne musician. It also made sure the atmosphere was set heading into Tyne James-Organ.

James-Organ’s music fit the mood of the evening perfectly, fusing his heartwarming vocals with his hearty guitar strumming. His set, much like all of the music throughout the evening, was emphasised by the memories, thoughts and meaning placed behind each lyric; all furthering the special atmosphere evident throughout the whole night. Tyne kicked his set off with “Say No More”; a flowing number that captured the mood immediately. He then moved through ‘I’ll Get By’ and ‘Hold Me Back’, a retrospective number about men’s treatment of women; before arriving at his newest single, released only a day before the performance, “Graceful”.

“Watch You Go” was the heartbreaking highlight of Tyne’s set. The song, written about his father who passed away, was a pure look into the artists soul. His raw, warm vocals combined with his thrilling guitar work creating the perfect platform to express the swirling vortex of emotions that made up the track. It was a hard song to move past as a highlight, the moving tribute pausing the room and leaving many with a tear in their eye.

Needing to build back into a brighter atmosphere, Tyne chose the perfect cover: “The Way You Make Me Feel”, by the king of pop himself, Michael Jackson. Tyne’s cover was an ideal choice, with him paying homage to some of the greatest pop hooks in history, whilst also building in a little of his folky guitar zest. “Loose Change” closed Tyne’s set. The boppy number, a fusion of his cracking guitar skills and upbeat, energetic vocals, kept a lulled energy bubbling under the surface of the crowd as they waited for LANKS to come onto stage.

LANKS set was a monument to everything he’s built over his music career, and a masterclass of emotion coupled with electronic anthems. Armed with his signature striped shirt, LANKS’ set was built from a mixture of tracks from his new album TwentySeven, and some of the old signature favourites thrown in for good measure. After touring all over Australia, it was good to see him back on his home turf, and whilst the artist recently moved to Sydney, there was no love lost in the room for the Melbourne born artist.

The sold out set began with one of his early Viet Rose tracks – “Bitter Leaf” – setting an immediate tone to his time up on the Northcote Social Club stage. The upbeat, dancey number immediately allowed the crowd to let loose and have a groove in what would soon turn into a dance pit. He then included tracks such as “Horoscopes”, “Reticent” and the headline track of the tour, “TwentySeven”, before bringing back a song not seen in his touring circuit for a long while: “Heavy As A Heartbreak”.

LANKS’ set also involved two incredible covers; Hayden James’ “NUMB”, the song chosen by LANKS for Triple J’s Like A Version earlier this year, as well as a stirring cover of Tia Gostelow’s “Strangers”, a song that LANKS directly collaborated on. Much like that earlier Like A Version performance itself, the night’s version of “NUMB” was a mesmerizing addition to LANKS’ musical arsenal, with the synth laden number featuring not only his sweet, high vocals, but also the whimsical trombone work of his sister/bandmate, Lou. All of this combined to create a memorable track, vividly reminiscent of Hayden James’ heartrending track, just with a little of LANKS’ magic thrown in.  

Without Gostelow’s presence, “Strangers” may have seemed like an odd prospect, with the duet nature of the song potentially lacking without those dual vocal sounds. But, LANKS did the song justice using his mesmerising vocals to sing both parts, musing that he would be “singing a love song to himself”. “Holla”, the synth heavy dance number, and long-time fan favourite, helped round out the last few songs of the night, building the crowd up to a fever pitch before the close. The number reverberated through the band room in Northcote with the dancing getting so intense the floor could be felt moving beneath your feet as if the Social Club itself was having a little boogie as well.

Sadly, the set had to come to an end. But LANKS sent the show off in emphatic style with “Icarus”, the closing track from his album. This track, once used to propose to his now wife Tacey, perfectly summed up the evening, with the artist using his angelic high vocals and emphatic synth stylings, coupled with his band to bring the night to a perfect close. The track’s usual choral lines, sung by the crowd alongside LANKS turned into a wonderful call and response creating a fitting finish to a high quality set.

FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

LANKS will next be appearing at the Lost Lands Festival in Werribee, VIC on the weekend of 3rd & 4th November. For more information about the festival click HERE. Be sure to keep up to date with LANKS through his Official Site and Facebook.

The reviewer attended the show at the Northcote Social Club on 25th August 2018.

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