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Live Review: The Rubens, Mansionair, Slum Sociable, Ali Barter

27 June 2016 | 2:12 pm | Dearna Mulvaney

"Sam Margin's arrogance is palpable as he stalks across the stage, stands at the photography barrier and even lights up a cigarette."

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Melbourne's own grunge pop star Ali Barter opens the night, getting the crowd pumped with clever lyrics and her Tori Amos-styled vocals. She's supported by a full band and dances facing them when she's not singing. Barter wraps up her set with Hypercolour, which combines the dreamy grunge-pop and retro synth elements that are this songstress's signature sound.

Second hometown act Slum Sociable are up next. This quartet gets the audience up and dancing with their alternative, self-described "washed out jazz hop". The band stand in a line - bass, vocals, guitar and drums. Frontman Miller Upchurch doesn't stop grooving or playing the tambourine for a second despite being confined to his mic stand. There's a shaky patch when they play a few new tracks, but they finish strong with bluesy, jazz number All Night

The lights dim and Sydney trio Mansionair hit the stage in a sea of fog as we cheer. This is their last night on the tour. Mansionair provide a genre-defying mix of electronic, soul and indie-rock just to name a few. Frontman Jack Froggatt's voice is mesmerising as it floats on top of the heavy dance beats, atmospheric synth and guitar. Froggatt throws his whole self into the performance with those Peter Garrett dance moves. Fan favourites include their Like A Version cover of Future Islands' Seasons (Waiting On You) and hugely popular first single Hold Me Down.

The Rubens storm on stage to the sound of a remixed national anthem. They stand, basking in the roar of the crowd before launching into The Day You Went Away. Their elaborate light show, the band's polished performance and added horn section befit a stadium show. Frontman Sam Margin's arrogance is palpable as he stalks across the stage, stands at the photography barrier and even lights up a cigarette during Hold Me Back. Seth Sentry is introduced to the stage for My Gun and he brings an awesome blend of aggressive rap over blues rock. This is followed up by a guest appearance from Barter, who joins Margin on vocal duties for Paddy.

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"I'd like to make a toast," Margin says, beer in hand. "To everyone in the audience who voted for this next one in the Hottest 100, because it fucking won!" The arena erupts with frenzied excitement as Hoops starts. This excitement carries over to the final song Cut Me Loose. Margin winds up crowd-surfing in a blue inflatable boat. After he's ferried back to the stage, Margin pops a bottle of champagne and sprays it over the crowd.