Review by Benjamin Lamb
It was bucketing down with rain in Melbourne on Friday night, but that didn’t stop thousands of people entering the Sidney Myer Music Bowl gates for a night of Indie music. King Stingray were set to hit the iconic stage as part of the popular Live at The Bowl series, the event that has seen some of the world’s biggest music names come to our shores.
The proceedings opened with a set from George Alice, a former Triple J Unearthed Winner, who was backed up by a bass player and drummer, together creating the perfect aperitif for the night of music ahead. One notable highlight of the set was her cover of Tove Lo’s ‘Habits’, a track that got the entire crowd moving. The set was closed with ‘Circles’, the track that shot her into fame, once again, much of the crowd was singing along.
Following her was a set from Gretta Ray, whose music has changed since her early acoustic work, now moving more into the pop realm, her new music and dance moves being loved by a great deal of the crowd. She performed music from her latest album, alongside a track that is still yet to be released. A latter moment in her set featured fireworks, not a part of the Live At The Bowl series, but grabbed the attention of the audience and made a great addition to the music that we experience d that night.
But now the reason everyone was there, King Stingray hit the stage for one of the most enjoyable sets to grace Melbourne stages in a long time. It’s hard to believe the 5 piece have only been around for a few years, they perform with an energy unlike many other groups out there, it’s easy to see why they are a staple of so many music festivals out there. The 5 piece opened their set with an instrumental didgeridoo track, showcasing their honour to Aboriginal heritage. With 2 members being Aboriginal, it’s great to see that a group fronted by First Nations people headline, it’s something we unfortunately don’t see that often.
I first saw King Stingray hit the stage a few years earlier as part of the Beyond The City festival, and tonight’s show felt like a new band, they’ve grown so much over the last few years, this group is going to be selling out arenas very soon. They played music from early releases to new songs, and the energy did not subside at all throughout their almost hour long set.
Some highlights included ‘Raypirri’, ‘Get Me Out’, and ‘Milkumana’, the crowd singing along with every word, the joy emanating from the stage also being matched by thousands in the audience. If you haven’t heard of them before, check out the music of King Stingray right now, and catch them live on their upcoming tour, everyone left the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in a good mood, feeling a little bit better about things.