Words: Kelsey Trevan
Photos: Andrew Basso
It’s a typical winter day in Melbourne – cold, windy and wet, but that wasn’t going to stop the fans of American rock trio PVRIS from turning up to Melbourne’s 170 Russell to enjoy a night of great music. The live music scene in Melbourne is huge, and it’s really easy to see why. It was clear from the get go that the night was going to be a great one as soon as you stepped inside as the vibe and energy was on from the get go.
First up was the Perth four piece The Faim. Drummer Sean Tighe was the first to hit the stage, followed by keyboardist and bassist Steven Beerkens, then guitarist Michael Bono and then vocalist Josh Raven. They were extremely well received by the crowd and their particular brand of pop infused rock just makes you want to dance. Having just completed Download and Slam Dunk Festivals in the U.K, the boys were full of energy. There’s an air of Mick Jagger about Raven while he performs and he wasn’t going to let microphone issues stop him, even getting in a ‘sick mic grab’ (direct quote) from Bono at one point! The crowd were very receptive at the start of the bands set, but by the end everyone was dancing along with the band.
Next, it was time for headliners PVRIS to take to the stage, opening with Heaven and vocalist Lynn Gunn on piano. There was instant love from the crowd for the headliners with everyone clapping and singing along from start to finish. There was a great mix of songs from both albums throughout the set, including fan favourites like St Patrick, Mirrors and Same Soul. Lynn, guitarist Alex Babinski and bassist Brian Macdonald have such an amazing energy on stage and they were giving that back to the ground, as much as the crowd were giving it to them.
Constantly encouraging the crowd to ‘jump’, the band also joined in with the human pogoing during the performance. There was rarely a moment during the bands entire set that people weren’t jumping, dancing, and singing along. Ever the consummate performer, Lynn showed off her skills on piano, guitar and occasionally drums throughout the set, all the while showing off her incredible vocal range. It’s obvious that there is no auto-tune used during recording with this band because Lynn’s vocals are just as good, if not better, live. The crowd was mesmerised by Lynn’s haunting ‘ooh ooh oohs’ in Anyone Else, and her incredible range throughout pretty much every song.
The whole show was an experience that didn’t just involve the band on a blank stage as they had video screens projected behind the stage that showed off videos and light shows that complimented the music perfectly. Closing their set with My House before briefly leaving the stage, the crowd were very vocal and adamant about getting ‘one more song’ and our wish was granted when the band returned to the stage. Before starting their final track, Lynn told everyone ‘Put your phones down, let’s be present for a minute’, and surprisingly pretty much everyone did. There was a few people that we still taking pictures, but for the majority there wasn’t a lot of screens. There’s something beautiful about a crowd without mobile phones, just watching the stage and enjoying the performance.
It’s always nice and refreshing to see a female fronted band draw such a large, interactive and energetic crowd that wasn’t just filled with female, but with a fair amount of males as well. The night was over all too soon and I personally hope that it isn’t another three years before PVRIS come back to our shores and put on another round of amazing shows!
You and I
Same Soul (Stripped)