Fresh off the back of an ARIA award win, The Teskey Brothers returned to Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion, playing a sold-out show as part of their The Winding Way tour. Seemingly everyone’s favourite band at the moment, The Teskey Brothers have had a prolific past few years, all culminating in this year’s The Winding Way album release, and a live show that filled the air with warmth and a satisfaction for live music that will be hard to beat any time soon.
Opening the set with “Man of the Universe” from their Run Home Slow release, you immediately got the vibe the set was going to be well paced, balanced and filled with plenty of hits from their back catalogue that would appease any and all of their fans irrespective of when they first became enamoured with the band. Moving quickly into “Carry You”, frontman Josh Teskey took the opportunity to thank the crowd for coming out while explaining the song they were about to play was about those friends who are always in your corner; the ones you don’t want to lose.
With eight people on stage, the sounds of the night were clear and precise, with the vocals of Teskey as strong as ever, while the drums, bass, guitar, organs, trumpet and saxophone all knew their roles and seemingly crushed it on each and every track. “Oceans of Emotions” was the first song of The Winding Way to get a play, while “Crying Shame” was the first song of the set that really got a significant response from the sold out crowd.
One thing about playing the Hordern is the risk of losing the atmosphere from a band who’s become known for their wholesome vibes and stage presence. And while the set did sound brilliant from start to finish, there were moments where the connection between the band and 5,000 strong crowd didn’t come across as strong as it could have. The band sounded great; the sound just got lost a bit in such a large space.
It’s been more than 4 years since I last saw the band live, and in that time, Josh Teskey has well and truly warmed into his frontman duties. From his vocal strength (“I Get Up” allowed him the chance to have real fun with his voice), to his stage presence and storytelling (he dedicated “Take My Heart” to all the mums in the room) and general musicianship (“Paint My Heart” and “Carry Me Home” were stand outs throughout the 100 minute set), you really get the sense Teskey has well and truly blossomed in his duties as the leader of the band.
A wholesome night all round, the highlights of the set came in three stages: the first being a marriage proposal in the front row of the crowd, the second being the absolute brilliance of “What Will Be” featuring Teskey going double time on the harmonica, and lastly the encore featuring the acapella, call-and-response, crowd involved “Hold Me”. It was magical the first time I saw the band do it in 2019, and it’s just as great now; if not even better.
I’m glad I had the chance to see The Teskey Brothers again at the height of their powers. They’re the type of band who will continue to go on to do great things on stage, in the studio and for their fans. Seeing them sell out the Hordern (and just about every other show in this tour) is just as rewarding for their fans as it is of the band.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
The Teskey Brothers were reviewed at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney on 1st December 2023.
To buy tickets to any shows on the rest of their The Winding Way tour, head here.
Header image credit: John Goodridge (2022)