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Leather Lungs: Yas Queen! - Adelaide Fringe Review

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by Tema (subscribe)
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Snap your fingers for our beloved Leather Lungs
Sourced from the Adelaide Fringe website

It has been exactly a year since I was honoured to have experienced Leather Lungs' powerful and hearty cabaret piece Son of a Preacher at the Adelaide Fringe, where I remarked that he was 'the voice of our generation'. Now, not to toot my own horn, but last night, he proved those words to be so right yet again. I knew that this was going to be a banger of a show, but when you think that someone has already delivered on a level of perfection, you don't expect them to surpass it.

Cue: Leather Lungs - Yas Queen!

With an incredibly flamboyant and sassy attitude beaming through the spotlight, we are welcomed by the ever-so-energetic Jason Chasland aka Leather Lungs, who stays true to his stage name and delivers to his audience to a colourful medley of what he coins to be "the soundtrack of my life". From the likes of Aretha Franklin (RESPECT), Celine Dion (It's All Coming Back To Me), Queen (Somebody to Love), Elvis Presley (Can't Help Falling In Love With You), and PRINCE (Purple Rain), in addition to one of my personal favourite that I believe may have been an original - The Dentist, what Leather Lungs (and his incredible vocal cords) demonstrates is that his voice has a versatile and powerful range that can hit octaves and notes that don't seem to have any limits to its potential whatsoever. Coupled with his rambunctious and naughty but playful choreography and facial expressions, you can expect the performance to prove to be an absolute treat, as you are serenaded with some of the greatest hits that are made infinitely better by the funky twist that Leather Lungs put on it. Even though he peppers some of the lyrics with his own words that work equally as well with the overall tune, Leather Lungs shows us how natural and skilful he can be with injecting his own infectious and impeccable personality and still have a singalong with his audiences in a judgment-free and safe space. His sharp wit and crafty humour and playfully sneering at some of the more rowdy members in the audience further accentuate the vibe of the show, which is nothing short of electric.

The setup of the performance follows a story that serves a meaningful prefix to the upcoming songs, which symbolises his raw, vulnerable and painfully real-life experiences. As we get to the halfway point of the show, Leather Lungs drops an earth-shattering bomb and drops his guard down, which instantly shifts the energy of the show from upbeat and lighthearted to one that is heart-wrenching, raw, and poignant. This, however, is far from being a negative remark, as Leather Lungs balances it all out with a heartfelt rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody that leaves no dry eyes in the audience. It moves you in a way that will be unexpected but also showcase the genuine and raw nature of why Leather Lungs is the way that he is.

Leather Lungs is bold and ambitious - not only with the songs that he goes above and beyond to do justice to its iconic importance in our society, but also with his raw narrative about some of the life experiences that has made them stronger, louder, and prouder than one could ever imagine. There are some deeply sensitive moments and trigger warnings about seriously frightening stuff that Chasland has experienced, but by breaking the stigma and taboo nature of silencing the discussion of the topics, he instead goes the extra mile in the opposite direction by being open and honest about it all and encouraging a pathway for people to applaud and accept people who are battling their own demons and dealing with it by being their fabulous and flawless selves. Embracing the concepts of self-love, self-worth, and self-identity, Leather Lungs inspires his audiences to shove anything that might hold them back from recognizing their true potential to the far left and instead instil within themselves the ability to flaunt what they're amazing at and/or who they truly are.

Prepare to stomp your feet and clap your hands as hard as you can for 55 minutes straight, because you're in for a wild rollercoaster of a performance by Leather Lungs, who embodies the personality and sass of a powerful queen. Delivering on poise, persona, and pride, Yas Queen! is certainly a hilarious cabaret romp, but it will also pique your other emotions and make you feel weightless from the intense feeling of euphoria after experiencing the charm, enigma, and storytelling skills that eloquently engage the audience for the entirety of the show. If anything is to go by the emotional standing ovations towards the end of the show, where we were treated to not one but two encores - each widely welcomed by the audiences - I can guarantee you that you will be blown away by what unfolds before you onstage. Like a flower blossoming before our very eyes, Leather Lungs: Yas Queen! is a show that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, as you celebrate one of the best performance artists that I've now had the immense pleasure of watching live twice.

Date attended: 06/03/2020
Overall rating: ★★★★★

Leather Lungs will be performing the show Yas Queen! at Gluttony as part of Adelaide Fringe till March 15, 2020. Book your tix here.

Official website

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A link to an interview article with Leather Lungs' Jason Chasland can be found here.

*Tema was invited as a guest.
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Why? You will laugh, you will cry, you will sing, you will love.
When: Adelaide Fringe season
Where: Gluttony // Adelaide Fringe
Cost: $20 - $27
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by Tema on 17/02/2021
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