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REVIEW: Plini @ 170 Russell, 'Impulse Voices - Australian Tour'

18 May 2022 | 3:25 pm | Ollie Midson
Originally Appeared In

A chilly Tuesday evening in Melbourne heralded the much anticipated, 4 times rescheduled performance of Sydney guitar virtuoso Plini, in support of his new album Impulse Voices. 900 punters packed into the sold-out 170 Russell to bear witness to Plini’s largest headline show of his career, and this was a night for all to remember.

(Ashlea Caygill)

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Kicking off proceedings to warm up the freezing crowd was Stephen Taranto, better known for his work in The Helix Nebula, performing alongside supporting musicians Mitch Clews on guitar, and Jack Robert on drums. These three musicians shot straight out the gates with face-melting riffs and pummelling, mind-bending drum passages that left the audience awestruck. Special kudos to Jack Robert for the final piece of their set, Quantum Leap. The man was firing on all cylinders, barely stopping for a rest as he shredded and crashed and flexed his chops on the skins that quite literally left me breathless. Taranto and Klews had beautiful synchronicity together as they spent the set trading licks and taking turns melting the faces of the audience.

Walking out to a memed version of Lenny Kravitz’s Fly Away, Plini had the audience prepped with huge smiles on their faces and hands in the air as the familiar gentle strums of Pan, off his latest album Impulse Voices, rang over everyone’s heads before backing band Simon Grove, Chris Allison and Jake Lowe kicked in and the heaviness was tangible. One of the biggest elements of Plini’s music that I so deeply enjoy is his use of contrast, starting songs with heavy passages that unexpectedly transition into gentle moments of sonic reflection. The vibrancy one can visualise during a listen to his music was beautifully recreated in the stunning light show that was at times combined with the iconic backdrop of Plini’s signature crescent moon against a star-studded sky. Adding to the uplifting vibe were the brief nuggets of banter Plini had with the crowd. He’s got a fabulous sense of humour and wasted no time establishing some rapport with his adoring fans. Moving through songs like I’ll Tell You Someday, Papelillo, The Glass Bead Game, and Impulse Voices, the evening was remarkably capped off with Stephen Taranto and Mitch Klues joining the band onstage for a jam during penultimate song Away, before the band returned to the stage to cap off an already wondrous night with Electric Sunrise, leaving a warm glow within the hearts and minds of the audience that enjoyed what the evening had brought.

Congratulations on your biggest headliner, Plini. Melbourne was very lucky to share this moment with you.

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