I love The Jezebels. The Jezebels are an indie quartet who started out with humble beginnings at Sydney University's infamous Mannings Bar in 2007, headlined at the 5500 capacity Hordern Pavilion last year and now they are playing at the Opera House.
I first came across The Jezebels in 2010 playing support act at Town Hall for Decoder Ring, another great band who we went to see in the first instance. I was mesmerised by Jezebels' lead singer, Hayley Mary and her soaring vocals, the blend of bass, drumbeats and keyboard. The acoustics at Town Hall didn't do any justice to the band's sound of heavy bass, drums and the strong influence of keyboard.
So I was looking forward to seeing them play at Opera House. What an achievement for them to play in an iconic space, an exclusive performance that just focussed on them and their journey thus far. It was also being streamed live, so you can see for yourself what a great live band they are.
The concert began with classically trained keyboardist Heather Shannon performing her own composition on the concert hall's majestic organ. A gutsy attempt to wrangle an extraordinary difficult instrument, she seemed to have a good flow at times and at other times it seemed as though nerves kicked in with intermittent stops and starts. But what a great career highlight for Heather to play at the Opera House.
Playing on the organ at the Opera House
As the curtain rose, you were greeted with eye piercing lights, trance and pluming smoke opening the stage as The Jezebels members sauntered over to their places. The song 'Brink' opened the show, perhaps a little too muffled for my liking with Hayley's lead and Heather's backing vocals barely audible but the energy they created was enough to make up for it. The second song had everyone standing and grooving along to the track. It was great to see audience's interaction as Hayley stepped into the crowd, attune to the vibe of the crowd.
Hayley passed compliment to Heather for her fabulous introduction on the organ and Heather jibbed that it was Hayley Mary's birthday that night. With a few crowd prompters there was enough momentum for the crowd to jump into an impromptu sing-a-long of Happy Birthday. A fitting birthday gift to be playing to a 2500 strong crowd.
As the set continued, Hayley's charismatic presence on stage is riveting as she contorts her body to the music of thrashing bass and rolling drums and poignant guitar lines. Her confidence oozes as her vocals align with the electronic sounds, she has the audience in the palm of her hand. Hubby was enthralled by Nik Kaloper's energy smashing out the beats on the drums. Their set was filled with passion, listening to the catchy lyrics, I was reminded how good it is to see great music live.
As they played their last song, it was a sad adieu to a remarkable hour and half set and as we made our exit, the surrounding buzz was unanimous, they are an awesome band. Listening in the conversations whilst on our way out, one person said that someone had sent him a link to listen to this band and his reply ends my review, "And it was the best decision I ever made".
They are currently touring in Australia, so I recommend you buy tickets and support a great Australian act.
A couple of great tips that I learnt on a night out at the Opera House:
- Parking levels 1 and 6 are for wheelchair and pram access
- Don't park anywhere, park near the lifts for a quick getaway
- Pay for parking on your way in so you don't have to queue with hordes of people at the end of the night
May 02, 2014 Palais Theatre, Melbourne
May 06, 2014 The Tivoli, Brisbane
May 09, 2014 Astor Theatre, Perth