Live Review: Pandora Warehouse Party

10 October 2016 | 3:42 pm | Matt O'Neill

"If Sentry had hit the stage sooner, he could honestly have saved the whole night."

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Things didn't really go according to plan for tonight's proceedings, as a litany of small-to-medium missteps nevertheless eventually added up to a concert experience that fell significantly short of the considerable potential of its premise.

Some problems were circumstantial. The choice of the polished Carriageworks for what was billed as a secret warehouse party meant the entire night felt strangely corporate and formal. The decision to employ a tuxedo-ed, offensively unprofessional MC to introduce each band only added to the faint feeling of being at a Battle Of The Bands competition.

Opener Ecca Vandal found herself hamstrung by incidental hiccups. Playing far too early to a cavernous, near-empty venue, the Melbourne musician and her band put in a bold, muscular performance, but the acoustics of an empty space too often reduced the ensemble's vocals and electronic idiosyncrasies to mush, which resulted in a flawed set.

Despite playing in front of a much larger crowd, The Griswolds faced similar problems. Not the most subtle of bands to begin with, their set's louder-than-everything-else sound mix robbed their innocuously pleasant material of all nuance and dynamics - lithe, energetic pop-rock arriving with the overdriven sounds of an '80s hair metal act.

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Nicole Millar, despite claiming to be operating on little more than three hours of sleep, managed to deliver one of the few successful performances of the evening. Her stage presence was understandably a little flighty and delirious. However, together with her supporting musicians, she delivered a powerful set of heaving bass and twisting, airy melodies.

Ladyhawke's performance, unfortunately, was simply a shambles. Despite boasting some of the best songs of the night, Pip Brown and band's energy was almost non-existent for the duration of the set and multiple technical errors regarding backing tracks just left the whole affair feeling painfully unprofessional. Particularly so, once Seth Sentry hit the stage.

Playing to mere remnants of a cynical crowd, Sentry dropped a set that was genuinely flawless - so blindingly good as to stake a claim for the MC as one of Australia's premiere contemporary live acts. The musicianship was tight as a drum. The energy was indefatigable. The MC engaged the crowd with both professionalism and sincerity. And, his material was solid as a rock.

If Sentry had hit the stage sooner, he could honestly have saved the whole night. He was that good.