Even though I'm familiar with their music, the first time I saw The Veronicas was at the taping of 'Dancing with the Stars' on the 31st of October 2014. Yes, I was one of the lucky ones that managed to be part of the audience at this 'live' taping. They sang 'You Ruin Me' which is my current all time favourite of theirs. I knew then that I would watch them 'live' when the opportunity came around and it did. Having Dean Ray who was one of the finalists on X Factor 2014 start the night off was just icing on the cake. With my 'Sanctified Tour' tickets in my hot little hand, I headed out to Hamer Hall on the 18th of February 2015.
I was seated with my daughter in the 11th row from the stage but to the side. Even that was too far and it became apparent when The Veronicas hit the stage, but first, Dean. He brought all his charisma and crazy to the stage and captivated the audience with his music. The sound of the beautiful deep tones of his guitar and his amazing skills and relationship with it was amazing to watch.
I was very surprised at what a good verbal entertainer he was, as well as I somehow expected him to be a bit shy and withdrawn perhaps. He has after all once said on X Factor that he was not much of a man with words. On this night, he was on fire and did a great job engaging with the audience while he entertained us with his obvious talent. He shared with us the song he wrote a few years ago that spawned from his clinical depression, a condition he also shared with the audience which only served to make him more endearing for his matter of fact honesty. His set flew by really quickly much to the disappointment of many I have no doubt, including me.
Born Dean Pritchard, he's originally from Narromine, New South Wales and came from a family of musicians who had their own country band called Itchy Feet. He's been playing guitar since he was 13 and has even performed at his parent's gig. If you can call breaking one's back a blessing in disguise, that's exactly what happened to Dean when he was carrying an amp and went backwards. He concentrated on what he was capable of doing and started singing everywhere, even busking in Melbourne.
The rest is history as they say when he became runner up in the 6th series of X Factor Australia and subsequently received a recording contract with Sony Music Australia. He released his debut single 'Coming Back' which debuted at No.5 on the ARIA 'singles' chart and his debut self titled album released in November 2014 also reached No. 5 on the ARIA 'albums' chart. He's currently managed by Ralph Carr Management and has a Facebook presence, so watch out for his next gig. I'd certainly attend his concert in a heartbeat.
In anticipation of Lisa Marie (the youngest sister by a minute) and Jessica Louse Origliasso aka The Veronicas hitting the stage, the crowd started to get revved up and were cheering as the stage was being given a last minute touch up which could be seen behind a dark see-through screen. When they finally arrived, there was no stopping the fans. After a song or two, the majority of the fans in the stalls left their seats and raced forward to be up close and personal in front of the stage. This gave those left behind at the back in their seats no choice but to stand up if they wanted to see anything.
Hamer Hall - Wednesday 18 Feb 2015 the 'Sanctified' tour.
There were a couple of audience members who had obvious mobility issues and could not stand up to watch. Unfortunately for them they would not have got their money's worth. Security made a weak attempt to disperse the crowd, but it was hardly noticed and some members of the audience within earshot were told that they would have to take it to management in the form of feedback. There was nothing staff members could do as apparently the buck stops with The Veronicas and they call the shots in making choices as to what is acceptable. It possibly didn't even occur to them that there were some with mobility issues in the crowd.
From the side angle where the smoke machines would have been, there was a little too much smoke in the first two pieces of music where you could barely see the Veronicas, never mind their faces. The 'gain' on the vocals was also not up high enough to raise their voices above the level of the instruments. This is generally normal till the sound guy does some fine tweaking and makes final adjustments to the levels. The rest of the concert was amazing and the twin sisters were flawless in the execution of their music and their vocal cords.
They were very gracious, pleasing and thrilling the fans with their thanks for the support they receive and for waiting for them 6 years to come back and perform on the Australian stage. Unveiling their new music live on stage to the Australian fans first was a great way to show their appreciation I thought. Yes, The Veronicas more than have the X Factor with their mesmerising vocals, their beauty, their youth and their gorgeous clothes. All in all they're very watchable outside their obvious musical talent.
The crowd danced to songs like 'Line of Fire' and 'Let Me Out' among many others and I was surprised that their melancholy heartbreak track 'You Ruin Me' wasn't the finale but slotted in two thirds of the way of their setlist. It was nonetheless delicious to hear them singing 'live' and flawlessly once more. I didn't wait for the encore as I didn't want to be sandwiched in between the filled to capacity crowd that was there but I did read on setlist.fm that they sang 'You and Me' and 'If you love someone'. Satisfied with my night out, I boarded the train for Prahran to my car and drove home. They'll be performing their gig in Sydney tonight and Brisbane tomorrow (at time of writing), bringing their Australian tour to an end after a one night performance each in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Their UK tour begins on the 4th of March till the 11th.