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Live Review: City Calm Down, Woodes, IV League

18 June 2018 | 4:11 pm | Tobias Handke

"The crowd can't get enough of Bourke and his bandmates as they dance along to these fantastic tunes."

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Melbourne pop quartet IV League have a presence that's well reflected in their hazy, alternative rock output. Part '90s rockers, part indie shoegaze, IV League have some tremendous tunes, the powerful Change My Mind and recent melodic single Superstar are clear highlights of their entertaining opening slot. 

Fellow Melbourne artist Woodes appears dressed in robes and a gold cloak, looking something like an Egyptian goddess crossed with Daenerys Targaryen from Game Of Thrones. The moniker of 24-year-old Elle Graham, Woodes floats between the melancholy feeling of Bat For Lashes and the electronic pop goodness of Grimes. 

The flighty Still So Young is inspired by her mother, who's in the audience, while her cover of Vance Joy's Lay It On Me transforms the pop ditty into a spectral synth ballad. Woodes is definitely one to watch.

Dressed in matching black outfits, homegrown talent City Calm Down waste no time with pleasantries, opening with the frantic guitar cracker Distraction/Losing Sleep. The moody Blood follows before the lads take things back to 2012 with the Joy Division-esque Pleasure & Consequence

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Throughout the evening the quartet is joined by various touring musicians playing a variety of instruments from the trumpet to the saxophone, adding another dimension to the band's already invigorating live performance. Vocalist Jack Bourke's baritone commands the crowd's attention during songs such as the pulsating If There's A Light On, the fast-paced Falling and Blame. The crowd can't get enough of Bourke and his bandmates as they dance along to these fantastic tunes, with one particularly tall fella at the front of stage continually throwing his arms in the air and singing his heart out. 

The band gets nostalgic before the synth-heavy Decision Fatigue, explaining how they formed 10 years earlier after seeing The Presets in this very same venue, with the electronic act coincidentally playing here the following evening. Joan, I'm Disappearing, one of City Calm Down's best songs from sophomore album Echoes In Blue, has the eager crowd bopping along before the thrilling Rabbit Run and 80s synth rocker Your Fix end their hour-long set. 

The bustling crowd clap and cheer as they're bathed in darkness before the band return for their inevitable encore. The epic title track Echoes In Blue is followed by the anthemic In This Modern Land, with City Calm Down asserting their status as one of the best live Australian acts going 'round.