Review: Alex Lahey at the Aviary, 13 November 2016
Alex Lahey couldn’t have picked a better day to play a rooftop gig in Perth.
A 30-degree day, beer flowing, sun setting atop skyscrapers – what’s not to love?
Set high above the Murray Street Mall in Perth’s CBD, the Aviary is a haven for after-work drinkers and weekend hipsters.
Thanks to the Rooftop Sessions series, it also moonlights as a music-lover’s playground.
Tonight was no different as Lahey delivered an hour-long set filled with the catchy guitar pop she’s quickly become known for.
The 24-year-old Melburnian has had a massive year with a heavy touring schedule gathering momentum by the day – and this was her last WA visit for the year.
Lahey’s set included tracks from her EP B-Grade University along with a smattering of new tracks that are likely to end up on her forthcoming album (yes, there’s an album coming).
Following VS and DJ NDORSE, openers Iceage Sugar provided an energetic intro with their sweet, sweet guitars layered over danceable rhythms, playing a few originals including their recent single Blush.
A hectic cover of Arctic Monkeys’ I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor and a chill, indie version of Drake’s Hold On, We’re Going Home were enough to get a few punters indulging in some dance floor action early on.
Lahey kicked off with the first song she ever uploaded to Triple J Unearthed (which seems a lifetime ago, but was only last year) – Airmail.
The bulk of the set featured tracks from her B-Grade University EP, including Let’s Go Out, Wes Anderson, Ivy League and Let’s Go Out.
You’d never know Lahey’s first love was actually the saxophone as she unleashed some seriously mean guitar skills during Ivy League.
She and her three-piece band have been touring nonstop of late, and it certainly showed in their seamless performance – not to mention Lahey’s mastery of stage banter.
Although they only paid a few bucks to get in, the crowd weren’t short on energy or voice, and appeared acutely aware of the fact that the Melbourne artist is on the edge of something big.
A surprising number of new tracks made an appearance, including a flat-out foot-stomper called Everyday’s the Weekend and another rocker aptly named Perth Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The latter is inspired by Lahey’s first trip to Perth, during which she was dumped, but she assures us she still loves Perth to bits.
I Want You showed a softer side, giving the crowd a short breather before the show finished with the hook-laden hit You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me.
Lahey is at a point where people are singing her songs back to her at the top of their lungs but she hasn’t yet released an album; a sort of what-will-she-do-next juncture.
After tonight’s sneak peek of said album, we’re happy to report the signs are good. Really good.
Having been announced as the support for Tegan and Sara’s UK tour and named Best Female Artist at the Age Music Victoria Awards – and those are just this week’s achievements – you get the feeling seeing Lahey for the cost of a pint will soon be a thing of the past.