The Hordern Pavilion
The ending scene was carnal. Hayley Mary tearing through closing song Hurt Me whilst leaning over a swarm of hands that clutched and grabbed at her. Drums and guitar raced towards a fierce crescendo, a huge sonic avalanche that gathered up the space and everyone in it. Four quick beats of the drums and suddenly it was gone, the Hordern Pavilion plunged into darkness as The Jezabels left the stage.
The Sydney show was their last before they head overseas to continue their relentless touring schedule. It was a brief but blinding tour that saw them play the biggest Australian venues of their career to date. And deservedly so, coming off a summer in which they won the Rolling Stone Award for Album of the Year with their debut, Prisoner (which also reached gold status), packed out festival tents across the country, and scored no. 9 in Triple J’s Hottest 100. One gets the feeling they won’t be heading back to any smaller venues.
Melbourne band Snakadaktal cruised through their set of indie numbers, before Canadian support Lights shattered the frequency with some heavy dubstep rock.
A droning inched out from the stage, the bass thumbed a beat that shifted the smoke that cloaked the audience. Light bulbs blew as the band exploded into Endless Summer, singer Hayley Mary punching and twirling whilst the sound grew into a furious jam of clangy guitars, synths and drums. The sound was physical, it flowed off the stage and hit you.
Melting into the scattered drums of Easy To Love, they then burned through Rosebud and City Girl in front of a screen of flashing LED lights. Peppering the set with old favourites and working through their new album, they managed to recreate the depth of their studio sound with little trouble. The crowd lapped up the epics Mace Spray and Trycolour, whilst shimmery Deep Wide Ocean was played against a striking backdrop of coloured jellyfish.
“We just can’t believe we’re playing the fucking Hordern!” Mary yelled before they crashed into Dark Storm. Leaving the stage for barely a minute, they slowed right down for the encore with melancholic Peace Of Mind before closing with Hurt Me.
The house lights were up, house music was playing, but small clusters of people remained to get set lists and guitar picks from the stage crew, finally getting tossed out by security. Ears ringing, we picked our way through the crushed red cups and spilled beer and joined the thousands that poured out into the freezing night.
A phenomenal performance.