Live Review: Dean Lewis, Robinson

3 December 2018 | 5:31 pm | Bree Chapman

"If anyone in the room didn’t know what kind of rollercoaster they were in for, they do now."

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Crowds are buzzing and drinks are flowing at The Croxton this Friday night. What more could one ask for to kick off the weekend than a parade of the Antipodes' most brooding and soulful artists? By the time we wiggle our way through the crowd of punters, Robinson is baring her soul for eager fans. She has an infectious and intense presence that draws us into her world. Before she takes off she leaves punters warmed up and ready to go with her hit, Nothing To Regret. The poppy and unique track is a favourite among the crowd.

The running theme for tonight’s gig is profound lyrics and melodies that you feel as much as hear. And if anything can be said about Dean Lewis, it’s that he doesn’t hold back on the emotions. As Lewis saunters on stage, the scream that sweeps through the room is likely louder than The Croxton has heard in a long time. The aural sum of a few hundred swooning girls makes for an ear-piercing holler we’ve certainly never heard. Lewis kicks off with Lose My Mind, and if anyone in the room didn’t know what kind of rollercoaster they were in for, they do now. Need You Now takes on new meaning as Lewis and the punters join for a choir-like singalong. No one in the crowd sounds like they can carry a tune, but it’s a pretty special moment. 

With his brand of thoughtful, raw and provocative indie-folk, Lewis pulls tightly on our heartstrings. It’s not an exaggeration to say his smooth, crooning tone and accent has knees weak from the front row to the back - although the real treat of the night is Lewis sampling track after track from his upcoming album. “Now this song sounds happy but it’s actually really sad, because I wouldn’t do that to you guys,” Lewis confesses before launching into another on-brand melancholic-yet-heart-wrenchingly-beautiful ballad.

It doesn’t take long and punters are showing their age; it seems no one in the room can resist capturing the moment. The warm glow of each and every phone torch creates a pretty epic sea of lights, but take a short stroll to the back of the bandroom and a pretty involved and intense dance party has kicked off. As the night draws to a close, Lewis’ haunting rendition of Dancing In The Dark only has us in a deeper puddle of tears, and still loving every minute of it. He ends the night with a crowd favourite, Waves, and as punters dance their way further out into their Friday night, Lewis’ epic echoes ring out across Melbourne.