Live Review: The Jezabels, Lights

8 June 2012 | 11:27 am | Troy Mutton

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While perhaps a lesser known artist around these parts, Canadian songstress Lights proved a good opening choice for Aussie world-beaters The Jezabels in a Metro City that steadily filled through the demure electro-rock chick's set. Backed by a drummer and two keys/guitar players (the stage itself having no less than seven synths), Lights went about recreating a selection of tracks from her most recent LP Siberia. Slow, electro jams were the order of the night – her powerful voice doing well to hold its own in a large space. Many of the tracks featured some half-time breakdowns and many of the synths getting a good work out. Closing with Toes, the set didn't blow anyone away, but as a good support act should, definitely won her a few new fans and set the stage nicely for what was to come.

After a pleasantly short break, the stage darkened and ominous, atmospheric bass droned out of the speakers as Heather Shannon (keys), Nik Kaloper (drums) and Sam Lockwood (guitars) took position at their weapon of choice, launching straight into last year's hit Endless Summer as The Jezabels' frontlady Hayley Ross charged out onto stage. The slightly-too-quiet volume straight up did dull the impact of what should be an explosive starting point, but all was quickly forgotten as they launched into four more bona fide hits in Easy To Love, Rosebud, City Girl and a rousing rendition of Mace Spray, setting the tone for the rest of the set. The lighting proved a highlight through the set, proof you don't need fancy visuals when you've got a good lighting rig and some smoke to create atmosphere.

Skulking around the stage dressed in black (like the whole band – it's easy to see why they're big in Germany), Ross has embraced her rock chick role with fervour, coming across as a slightly less crazy Karen O and belting out songs spanning their entire catalogue with ease. At the same time it's still clear that it's also Ross playing a role; her onstage banter kept to a very minimal few thankyous, but not a soul in the house held it against her. As the set came to a close it was pleasing to see that although the ensuing encore was always coming, the crowd did everything to earn it. Ross walked strolled back out, stating 'We're gonna start with a soft song', which didn't last all that long before bleeding into a rousing rendition of Hurt Me – the tiny frontwoman finally giving the crowd a release, coming down to the floor and belting out the final few lines hand in hand with fans at the front.

The Jezabels are at the top of the Aus' rock heap at the moment, and tonight they showed a packed Metro City exactly why.

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