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Live Review: City Calm Down, Woodes, IV League

26 June 2018 | 10:17 am | Melissa Borg

"City Calm Down brought 'Echoes In Blue' to life in all its cinematic and brooding glory this evening."

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Melburnians IV League were in charge of kicking off tonight's proceedings.

The four-piece combine alternative rock and progressive pop to create a unique style and sound that draws us in, and confident vocal delivery from Bella Venutti really sells it. Dazzling guitar hooks and danceable beats were aplenty, with notable differences between old and newer tracks like Superstar. If tonight's set is any indication, they are likely to continue to follow an upward trajectory.

Woodes entered the stage in style, donning one of her striking costumes to grab our attention. Having released a new EP Golden Hour just a few months ago, Elle Graham's short but sweet set centred on its cuts, including Origami and Higher. Showing her teeth as a seasoned performer, Graham stood front and centre to powerfully deliver her set. The rich and layered production complemented her commanding vocals, appearing practically angelic when looking down from the back of the theatre.

City Calm Down brought Echoes In Blue to life in all its cinematic and brooding glory this evening. Gracing the stage shrouded in light, Distraction/Losing Sleep was chosen to open the show. This was backed up with Blood which already had us dancing and singing along early on.

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The four-piece had enlisted some help in the form of an additional guitarist and two-man brass section to flesh out their dynamic tracks on the live stage. However, the band primarily melded into the background, choosing to let Jack Bourke be the confident and charismatic frontman — a role he fits into magnificently well. However, he wasn't one for crowd banter, not letting a spoken word pass his lips, but if anything this just added to his stoic persona.

But don't let his melancholic persona fool you, Bourke was energetic, traversing the stage as he belted out a premium selection of tracks from their catalogue. His baritone was equally dynamic, delivering on both upbeat and brooding numbers without a hitch. Border On Control was fierce, while Joan, I'm Disappearing was melancholic and brooding.

They closed the set with older, danceable numbers Rabbit Run and Your Fix, much to the crowds pleasure, but it was the encore that really elevated the set to something worthy of awards. They chose to dedicate the slot to  Echoes In Blue, really showcasing its cinematic glory by playing the title track and backing it up with anthemic In This Modern Land. Punters were left in a state of awe as they exited.