Live Review: Harrison Storm @ The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide

11 March 2024 | 8:17 pm | Austin Frape

Harrison Storm’s 'Wonder, Won’t You?' tour brought terrific vibes and atmosphere with his soulful and powerful songs.

Harrison Storm

Harrison Storm (Supplied)

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We all know how important it is to have the right music on a late-night drive home. We’d often have our designated playlists, but sometimes we’ll chance it with random or unknown artists. That’s how Harrison Storm’s music was introduced to my repeat playlist. On one 10pm drive in late 2020, Be Slow happened to be playing on triple j. I had no idea who the Mornington Peninsula singer was, but I instantly found a soulful energy to his music. Since then, I’ve dabbled into his newer songs and got to see him perform at the Grace Emily Hotel in Adelaide back in 2022.

Harrison returned to Adelaide for his first stop on the Wonder, Won’t You? tour. As the indie folk singer explained to his audience in the intimately cosy Wheatsheaf Hotel, starting in Adelaide wasn’t even a part of his original plan! Not long ago, Harrison caught the spicy cough, and he had to reschedule and delay three of his shows. Which made Radelaide the beginning point of the tour by default. Silver linings from a not very fun experience? However, none of the last-minute changes prevented what would become a very atmospheric and wonderful evening!

Before Harrison greeted us with his chill presence, Adelaide singer Naomi Keyte warmed up the audience as a supporting act. Which, funnily enough, was also a very last-minute edition! As Naomi shared, another artist, Mane, was meant to kick off the night in Wheaty, but old mate ‘rona was lingering once again. As the old saying goes, the show must go on, and Naomi certainly didn’t disappoint. Up on a stage covered in fairy lights, the musician had nothing but a microphone, an acoustic guitar, and some stories to tell the audience. In a very similar tone to Harrison, Naomi graced us with her soulful tunes, like Greenhill and Gillian.

Whether she wanted to share a favourite song or wanted to incorporate a feminist artist for International Women’s Day, Naomi also performed a cover of Phoebe BridgersScott Street. I can’t say I was expecting Bridgers to appear on the setlist when I entered the Wheaty on a warm Friday night, but she’s certainly a welcome edition! Naomi did candidly mention that she forgot some of the lyric’s mid-performance, hoping that the audience wouldn’t mind too much. But in a humorous moment, it turned out that not a lot of people knew the song anyway! Bridgers might be a demographic taste, and I’m not sure if a soft folk performance is on the same wavelength. Regardless, there’s no doubt that Naomi Keyte is a talented and passionate singer, just continuing to prove how much musical talent is around in South Australia. Not to sound biassed or anything!

After a bit of an intermission, Storm immediately grabbed the audience’s attention with Run. That attention was firmly, but calmly, held for the rest of his performance, as it was clear that his biggest Radelaide fans were loving every guitar strum and harmonising. Despite Mad March and the horrid, humid weather lingering, the audience was there for a great and quiet time. The aim of the tour was to celebrate Harrison’s first album, also titled Wonder, Won’t You?, while also integrating some of his bigger hits like Breathe Again and Daylight Sun. During his performance of With You, Harrison not only incorporated some guitar slapping, but he also encouraged everyone to sing along to the main chorus. Despite clearly loving the quiet atmosphere, I’m sure even he wanted to bring some energy to the crowd!

In a full-circle moment, Harrison ended his initial set with a livelier version of Be Slow. Even now, the song still brings that feeling of excitement from discovering a new artist and realising the importance of mood pieces. But as he took his bow and was getting ready to meet the audience, they wanted more! As an unplanned encore, Harrison popped on Change It All, which even he admitted that he hadn’t performed in a while! There’s nothing like seeing the correspondence and relationship between an audience and a musician with no ego or malice. The gift of sharing the music was very strong at the Wheaty, and it was wonderful to see everyone on the same page. Even if it wasn’t the most enthusiastic-sounding crowd, there’s no denying that everyone loved seeing Harrison.

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All in all, Harrison Storm’s Wonder, Won’t You? tour brought terrific vibes and atmosphere with his soulful and powerful songs. His likeable presence and a very engaging supporting act by Naomi Keyte made for a memorable experience at the Wheaty. Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney friends will have the chance to see Storm in their respected states across July. If you’re after a chill acoustic night out, it's easy to say that you won’t need to “wonder” about seeing Wonder, Won’t You?