Spacey Jane bring Sunlight to The Enmore Theatre

The sun is finally rising after the live music blackout we experienced in 2020 due to COVID-19 and Spacey Jane have been at the forefront of the live music scene’s revival.

Off the back of releasing their debut album ‘Sunlight’ (which was released during the pandemic and still managed to score #2 on the ARIA charts), Spacey Jane embarked on a national tour of Australia, with 2021 dates in high demand across every state.

The Perth band managed to sell out a six-show run at The Enmore Theatre in Newtown – Sydney, Australia – with more fans being welcomed through the doors of the iconic venue as COVID restrictions continue to ease.

Fortunately, I scored tickets to the final night of their historic Enmore run, and it was a euphoric experience from beginning to end!

Spacey Jane are one of the most captivating bands I’ve seen perform live. The liveliness of Caleb Harper, Ashton Le Cornu, Peppa Lane and Kieran Lama is downright infectious. After opening the show with ‘Skin’ the band soared through their setlist and didn’t leave any corner of the stage untouched – jumping and high kicking their way through the 80-minute set.

Good Grief’ and ‘Weightless’ were standouts, garnering huge reactions from the audience before the energy levels increased tenfold as the Perth band teased an unreleased song, due to be released next month, before playing ‘Straightfaced’, ‘Head Cold’, and ‘Booster Seat’ back-to-back towards the conclusion of the set.

After chants of “ONE MORE SONG!” erupted amongst the fans, Spacey Jane returned to the stage to deliver, matching the electricity in the crowd with their own excitement to be on stage – or not on stage, since Caleb Harper and Ashton Le Cornu eagerly jumped into the front row to perform parts of the set!

Their encore consisted of ‘Thrills’ and ‘Good For You’, which concluded the show on a high and utilised every ounce of production value the stage had been equipped for.

The impressive production and lighting was complemented by the recent renovations the venue has received. During the COVID lockdowns of 2020 (and consequently, the live music blackout) the Enmore restored side-wing balconies as extra seating options for the audience. The refurbishment also included a makeover of the theatre’s roof – now featuring art deco designs and LED lighting that reportedly, can be synced with the stage production.

Photography: Natalie Hannan

Whilst this didn’t act as part of the band’s production on Wednesday evening, the atmosphere in the Enmore was electric

If you’ve missed the energy of the crowd, a Spacey Jane gig is the place you need to be. The fans that filled the Enmore were lively, albeit a little rowdy – with vape smoke filling the air and a loudly, proudly sung chorus of ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’ by Abba acting as the perfect pre-gig warm up. Their eagerness to sing every word as Spacey Jane performed their debut album was enough to induce goose bumps.

Spacey Jane are leaving an array of warmth and light in their path as they finally experience the full level of appreciation that their fans have for them. It had been a long time coming, seeing Space Jane perform live at The Enmore Theatre. A long time coming for myself, and fans, but also for the band themselves. COVID-19 outbreaks and associated restrictions saw concert dates being postponed regularly, before more bad luck struck the group as lead vocalist Caleb Harper lost his voice, forcing more tour dates to be rescheduled upon doctor’s orders.

It had been a long time coming…and it was well worth the wait.

Photography: Natalie Hannan

After COVID made the absence of live music the norm, walking into The Enmore Theatre felt like coming home. The iconic venue has seen the likes of The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan… and even Harry Styles (with Stevie Nicks in attendance!) take to the stage in front of a full house. The six-show run Spacey Jane booked at The Enmore is impressive, reminiscent of Gang of Youths’ roaring success with their own six-show run at the venue in 2018.

Caleb referred to this, revealing that when the band first arrived in Sydney from Perth, they roamed the streets of Newtown and saw the tour posters promoting Gang of Youths’ upcoming gigs at The Enmore. He said it was in that moment the band discovered the beauty of the venue and their desire to perform there in the future. And that they did!

There’s no doubt in my mind that Spacey Jane will return to The Enmore, or easily sell out even larger venues in Sydney during their next lap around the sun. After all, Spacey Jane encompass everything their debut album projects – sunlight. After a year without live music, without dancing…Spacey Jane brought the sun and chased away any dark clouds lingering post-COVID. They reminded everyone in that room, including myself, of all the dreams we are yet to achieve, all the fun still to be had.

I can’t wait to see them live again soon!

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Dua Lipa – Newtown Social Club – Sydney, Australia – 2016

Live music is magical and often I struggle to find the words to describe the magnitude of the moments I experience in concert venues. My experience seeing Dua Lipa live for the first-time fits into this category, and still feels surreal to this day.

On July 13th, 2016, I witnessed a star being born. There’s no other way to describe the night.
Dua Lipa was a powerhouse from the second she stepped foot on stage, dancing and singing her heart out, until her voice was raspy as she fare welled us goodbye. The room Dua performed in was tiny, holding a capacity of approximately 100. The venue was Newtown Social Club, and unfortunately, closed a couple of years ago. I miss it and feel an immense amount of reverence towards it. It’s because of Newtown Social Club that I was able to see Dua Lipa, a now 3x Grammy award winning artist, break into the Australian music landscape. And guess how much my ticket cost. Only $40. Insanity. I still have the ticket and consider framing it every time I lay eyes on it.

With only approx. 100 people in the room, the whole gig felt intimate. There was an incredible awareness that we were the lucky few. We were seeing Dua perform live for the first time in Sydney, Australia. Little did we know, although we hoped, that it would not be the last.

At the time, “Be The One” and “Hotter Than Hell” were being added to radio rotations, slowly climbing their way up the Australian music charts. During the concert, Dua played these hits to a crowd so enthusiastic, the motion of our dancing and jumping made the floor beneath us shake. The energy was electric and our appreciation for Dua’s artistry evident, as she treated us to performances of unreleased tracks. Songs like “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” and “Thinking ‘Bout You” that in the years to follow would take the world by storm and be featured on her self-titled album. Rarely am I fortunate enough to see an international artist perform before they’ve even released their debut album, but let me tell you, it’s one of the most incredible experiences. It intensifies the attachment you have to the artist and their music. It feels like an honour.

It may sound silly, but the experience made me proud. Proud to seemingly have great judgement and a finger on the pulse of the music industry. Proud to identify a superstar before the world knew her name. Proud to see Dua Lipa in such an intimate setting, in the humblest beginnings, before growing into a global sensation and touring arenas around the world. Proud of Dua’s talent, success, and passion.

In 2018, I was fortunate enough to meet Dua and see her live another two times – one in a setting even more intimate than the first, in a room of about 20 – and secondly, at Luna Park’s Big Top, to one of the biggest crowds she’s played to date in Australia.

But hey, they’re stories for another time…and I can’t wait to share them here on Lovers of Live.

UPDATE: I just attended my first post-COVID arena show (a huge deal for this immunosuppressed gal) AND OF COURSE IT WAS DUA LIPA!! Check out the Reel below to see the evolution of Be The One over all Dua’s years touring in Sydney. Can’t wait to write about my Future Nostalgia tour in Sydney over the next couple of days!

James Bay

There’s one word to describe James Bay when he performs live. That word is: electric. Is that a reference to his sophomore album ‘Electric Light’? Of course, but it’s also the energy he radiates on stage, and what I feel each time I’ve been in the crowd at one of his shows.

And how I felt when he personally replied to me on Twitter!

I’ve been fortunate enough to see James Bay live three times. While each show was a joy, there are two that will remain close to my heart, that are experiences I will cherish forever.

The first, is the evening in 2015 when I saw James Bay perform to an intimate crowd of about 100, in the Paddington Uniting Church, Sydney. Yes, you read that correctly. I saw James Bay perform in a church, and let me tell you, it was a profound experience. It felt reverent, grounding and the acoustics were goose bump worthy as he performed ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Scars’. It was the first time I had seen James live and it impacted me immensely. It’s rare that you witness such talent in such an intimate setting, but it was the perfect way to hear his beautiful music and witness his aura on stage.

I also had the pleasure of meeting James after this show and he was so kind and lovely to speak with. It only made my respect for him and his art grow. Naturally, I was then sure to catch James live each time he made his way back to Sydney over the following years. His 2016 Hordern Pavilion show was lively and of a much larger scale, as I went from experiencing his music with hundreds, to thousands of fans. I felt weirdly proud, seeing this artist I love grow in such a short amount of time, and gain such a vibrant, engaged audience in Australia.

However, it was his 2018 Sydney show, held at The State Theatre, that made me feel the intensity of what I experienced the first time I saw James live. Much like the Paddington Uniting Church, The State Theatre feels reverent, grand, and quite frankly, magical. From the moment you walk in the foyer, you’re aware of the history that has filled those walls and it feels like an honour to experience live music in the venue.

James performed to a crowd that was eager to be up on their feet, dancing and as close to the stage as possible. It was an incredible atmosphere, as fans filled the aisles and sang every lyric back to James. It felt just as intimate as it did electric and I often re-watch videos from the night to feel as if I’m back living in that moment.

James Bay is charismatic and charming. At his shows, I find myself in awe of his guitar skills, just as much as his voice, never wanting the performance to end. One of my favourite songs from ‘Electric Light’ is ‘Wasted on Each Other’ and it was the opener of his set at The State Theatre. The bass, the acoustics…it was everything I imagined that song would be live, and I’ve been desperate to hear it live again ever since.

James Bay has blessed the world with a new single in 2020, ‘Chew On My Heart’ and if it’s anything to go by, I have no doubt the next album will be a colourful expression of life and love – and I’ll be first in line to buy tickets to his next Australian shows, whenever they may be.

Here’s hoping it’s sooner rather than later.

Katy Perry

Katy Perry is one of my favourite artists and fortunately, I have seen her perform live countless times over the years. I often attend 2 – 3 concerts each tour, sitting or standing in a different section of the arena each time. From her Prismatic World Tour to Witness The Tour, Katy puts on a show like no other. Her production is innovative, bold, and electrifying. Her costumes are playful and detailed, and each moment on stage is a colourful explosion of joy and charisma.

What I love most about Katy Perry are the kinds of fans she attracts, which translates to the kind of crowds you experience at a Katy Perry show. Mostly, it’s the girls and the gays, ready to dance the night away and strutting (OK no, running) their way to the front of the mosh pit in costumes inspired by Katy’s previous music videos and performances.

Photography: Natalie Hannan

However, it’s also a place for young girls admiring the singer, joining their parents for a night that can only be described as a spectacle. For many, it’s their first concert, and you can witness the awe in their eyes as they see a female popstar being elevated into the sky as the perform inspirational, joyful songs, such as ‘Firework’.

That song has existed for 10 years and it still makes me cry, every single time.

Photography: Natalie Hannan

With each release of a brand-new album, Katy’s setlists evolve, providing audiences with the perfect balance between emotion and escapism. This creates a sense of intimacy, as you experience the rise and fall of the setlist – quieter, acoustic moments that slowly lead back into energetic anthems.

The sense of intimacy is also reflected in the stage layout Katy creates. On top of the general mosh pit, Katy always creates an additional, smaller mosh pit, usually with a maximum capacity of 100 – 200 fans, that allows fans to be even closer to her. On The Prismatic World Tour, this mosh pit existed within the triangular stage and on Witness: The Tour, this was a section on the left of the arena, surrounded a more intimate stage. For each tour I have attended, I have managed to score tickets for these intimate mosh pits and without a doubt, they’re the best mosh pit experiences I’ve had.

Photography: Natalie Hannan

Some of the happiest moments of my life have unfolded at Katy Perry concerts and for that I am grateful. It is also the reason why I am desperate to see her live again, in a world that is hopefully post-pandemic by then. Until then, you can most definitely catch me re-watching all of my Katy Perry concert videos and playing her new album, ‘Smile’, on repeat.