On Friday 6th Nov, I had the privilege of attending Montaigne's one & only Melbourne concert for her 'Clip My Wings' tour. I'll describe the experience, should you consider checking out this prodigy next time she's 'round. Let's begin - earlier that evening:
Cutting my travel time too fine, getting lost, packed parking, I arrived late! "Bloody...ugh". Anyway, only by a small margin (2 songs). Yet, enough to cause the irrits given what I was missing. So after huffing, huffing again, I entered at 11:10pm - on the dot. I probed the darkness, past the tired receptionist, to a jam-packed crowd. Whoa! Never seen so many standing in one room - besides the mens, half-time at the football. I stood there, scanning the audience: carefree girls dancing on the side, potbellied blokes drooling by the stage, bartender having trouble concentrating, cameras/iphones raised in the air - EVERYONE was having a ball! (Well, mostly everyone) And so packed, didn't even bother to search for the few I knew.
Arriving late, was stuck at the back. First 20 minutes, couldn't even see Jess! Instead, spying on raised cameras to catch glimpses. Obviously, the night didn't start well. Uh-uh. Stepping aside for guzzlers, watching backs of heads, fronts of heads - absolutely kicking myself. But whilst I couldn't see Jess (Montaigne is her moniker), her power still hit me. Vocals - SMASHED it out of the ballpark! Guitar and piano playing - AWESOME; not just cos she knew lots of notes/chords, but way she BELTED THEM OUT! And when those around me fanned out, I could finally see her! And boy, was the initial mucking around worth it. Audacious performance. Magnetic presence. So absorbing coulda been singing Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.
In addition to onstage, Jess also had the courtesy to speak to fans afterwards. And I don't mean from behind a table. No! Jess was there! With us! Out in the open, for ANYONE to approach her! And approach her, I did. And what's the first thing I say? ME: "Hi, I'm Chris. I interviewed you". JESS: "Oh". ME: "You don't remember my voice?" Ugh, gor blimey! Wouldn't have blamed her running. But no, Jess braved the swarm, and me. Felt sorry for this 5ft-nothing 20yo - cornered by overexcited revelers and overcurious creeps (guilty). Nevertheless, she availed herself to anyone and everyone.
Jess is extremely personable, not to mention funny. She genuinely reaches out. And only twenty! I daresay, tough gig for such a young person. But this powerhouse is doing just fine. And I, like many, eagerly awaiting news of her next concert - pledging I'll leave on time.