Live Review: SAFIA, Boo Seeka, Eilish Gilligan

2 September 2019 | 1:36 pm | Stoney Webb

"[C]aptivating visuals and lights that moved and changed with the rhythm kept everyone fixated on the stage."


Eilish Gilligan pushed away the chill of the storm outside with her warm-spirited stage presence. Her heavy voice grabbed the crowd’s attention, complemented perfectly by light, airy synths. She shared songs about emotional memories, pushed along by experimental, pulsating beats and familiar '80s sounds. Finishing with her newest release, Someone Else, Gilligan definitely left everyone wanting more.

Boo Seeka know how to party. Ben Gumbleton came out on stage, arms raised, with a bottle of wine in each hand, and asked the crowd if they were in the mood to party too. Plunging straight into Oh My, a song which probably could be mistaken for an alt-J bop, the duo radiated new levels of energy that were reflected unquestionably in the surging crowd.

Boo Seeka's soulful synth-pop was exhilarating to listen to, while the stage, lit up with beautiful sunset-coloured lights, was hard to look away from. A standout moment by far was for Turn Up Your Light when Gumbleton ordered the lights illuminating the stage to be switched off and asked the audience to light it up with their phone torches. The plan worked an absolute treat, making the moment between Boo Seeka and the crowd extremely intimate.

It’s typical for Canberra band SAFIA to pull out all the stops when it comes to performing live and Fremantle was there for it. The show began with an intense countdown sequence which saw tension among the crowd reach boiling point. Finally, the whole venue erupted as each member made their way on stage, surrounded by fog, colourful lasers and all the other bells and whistles that make SAFIA’s shows so memorable.

While the purpose of the tour was for the group to play from their new album Story’s Start Or End, it was obvious that the crowd was more interested in the older, more known tracks. However, captivating visuals and lights that moved and changed with the rhythm kept everyone fixated on the stage, swaying along to songs like Starlight and Resolution.

The sneaky insert of Oops!... I Did It Again at the beginning of Counting Sheep grabbed the crowd's attention and encouraged a mass singalong.

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Overall, SAFIA demonstrated an ability to visualise their unique, energetic electronic sound through their live show.