Live Review: Boy & Bear, Art Of Sleeping, Montaigne

31 January 2016 | 9:28 am | Charmaine de Souza

"Fans left the auditorium exhilarated and wet, having traded their dry clothes for a wild night."

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Thousands of West Aussies braved the unseasonably wet weather to see Sydney indie sensations Boy & Bear live and in the flesh.

Opening act Montaigne was brimming with whimsicality, her charm and theatricality quick to brighten up the dampened auditorium. The singer-songwriter put 100% of her energy into the set, and the crowd was feeding off of every minute. 

Eerie white spotlights accompanied an ominous riff as Art Of Sleeping began their set. Track I Could Make You Happy was a curious blend of dirty and mellow, easily getting punters into a groove before elevating the crowd with Bleeding Out, its steady drumbeat piercing through the amphitheatre. The crowd steadily grew throughout the entire set, with die-hard fans and new admirers alike jonesing to get just that little bit closer to the band.

The lights dimmed, prompting a mad rush to the stage. Fans hooted and hollered as Boy & Bear took their places on stage, kicking things off with the seriously smooth track, Limit Of Love. The chilled-out tunes continued, with a breezy rendition of Where'd You Go getting fans to bop, jump and grab on to their nearest friend (or stranger) out of sheer delight.

Shoulder-riding had begun early on, with Rabbit Song's country vibe making punters feel like they were part of some kind of weirdly wonderful Western, while the dark, broody Showdown had fans triumphantly fist-pumping along to the beat.

Soon after they tackled Amy Winehouse's hit Back To Black, trading its traditional bluesy feel for a grittier, yet strangely more upbeat vibe.

Southern Sun got people up from their seats, with punters joining the sea of bodies keeping the beat before the band. Each track that followed saw more fans running down with more enthusiasm than a contestant on The Price Is Right, and by the end of the night, every inch of the GA had been filled; the patch of dirt now a fully-fledged dance party.

Fans left the auditorium exhilarated and wet, having traded their dry clothes for a wild night. The boys had gelled so well together that no one band member outshone the others; each holding their own to bust out an impressive set of tight tunes and crisp harmonies. Keep serving up performances like that and we'll welcome you back with open arms any time - rain or shine.

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