Review and photos: Alpine in Sydney
Melbourne-based six-piece Alpine played to a sold-out Metro Theatre on Saturday evening. Here’s the lowdown:
From the moment they bounded on stage, Lou James and Phoebe Baker began swaying and slithering seductively taking no time in wooing the audience with their opening track Crunches. The crowd’s attention split by who to focus on as the duo went pound for pound exchanging vocal leadership roles.
Ryan Lamb on bass wasn’t to be outdone by his compatriots, wielding his bass like a man possessed. Matched by the feverish drumming of Phil Tucker unlike the rest of the band with Tim Royall (keys) and Christian O’Brien on guitar who were much more subdued in their contributions. A masterful dynamic between the band members saw not one glance at each other for musical timing or direction but seamlessly working as individuals to achieve a whole sound greater than its parts.
Alternating between old and new, Alpine paced through Hands, Shot Fox, Seeing Red and Standing Not Sleeping. Dedicating the new single Foolish to Sydney, the new poppy, club-style track was accompanied by live strings and kept it true to form for those who had been hearing the new song on high rotation since its release last month.
Arriving like a freight train, Damn Baby announced itself in a sonic boom of sound and lights with a ten-foot tall arrangement of light bulbs spelling Alpine in giant capital letters. Blinding and deafening the crowd simultaneously, not that anyone minded. The addition of live trumpets gave it the one-two knock out that reinforced why it is one of the singles on the new album.
Gasoline and Need Not Be rounded off the official set with no abatement of energy as if making up for the touring they haven’t been able to do in Australia for three years.
After a briefly exiting the stage, Alpine returned with Villages which was a fine choice for the opening encore as the entire crowd clapped in unison and everyone was reminded why they fell in love with the debut A Is For Alpine.
The opening track on their first album, Lovers became the closing track for the night. The song felt as if it had been extensively played on the road and refined after countless gigs, it kept building and peaking with Phoebe on artistic fire, dowsing herself in water. She began to push and pull on stage with such ferocity that by the songs end she lay on her belly, breathless, nothing more to give with only the sound of the ecstatic crowd and rapturous applause to mark the end of the epic set and encore.
Words and pictures by Courtney Dabb.