The Indian Ocean Hotel was filled with punters eager to catch Mosquito Coast play tracks off their debut album (coming in 2019) in a live setting on Friday night. Possessing the warmth of a gathering containing supportive family friends more so than that of a conventional gig, the night was a testament to the journey and maturation of how Mosquito Coast has evolved from a fledgling act winning Triple J’s Unearthed High, to a confident rock band owning the stage, and ultimately the night.
Leopard Lake opened the night with lead vocalist Storm Wyness’s vocals piercing through to every nook and cranny in the venue. Making up a pleasurably composited balance of the usage of synth and a live drum set, the audible marriage between the two allowed for the deftly poised support act to set the bar for the night. The band brought about a stylistically crisp and sharp blend of indie-pop to their performance, which was a great find for new listeners who’d decided to come and head down early.
Dulcie rocked out with a funked-up warmth, bringing together soulful vocals and a jazzy backbeat. Covering Vera Blue’s Hold, where the ominous qualities of the original worked, Dulcie switched those out into a cover that was more up-tempo and soulful—and it soared. Their youthful camaraderie made for a pleasant set, with the band members expressing how stoked they were to be supporting Mosquito Coast; that enthusiasm flowed onto the keen listeners who were starting to break into a boogie, despite the tightly-spaced venue.
There was a lot of fanfare to be felt from the crowd when Mosquito Coast swung by to inhabit the stage. The audience was a combination of friends and family—a few festive guys in the crowd chanting praise to Connor Barton like he was some sport star; the acknowledgment of parents hanging about in the back of the crowd; and the inclusion of a few familiar faces from the Perth music scene—that gave an intimate quality to the gig. Being another face in the crowd felt just that little less impersonal.
Their mellow track Let’s Be Friends played earlier on in their set, sandwiched between a host of new tracks. The youthful, carefree quality that Mosquito Coast’s music has gave nothing but good vibes as they sauntered through their set: they’re truly a wholesome-ly chill, rock band. Nothing felt necessarily out of place, and the band even had the chance to give out their first “intro”, introducing each band member to a pretty pumped up crowd.
Closing out their set with their hit Call My Name, it was clear it was going to be a song everyone could sing along to. With members of the crowd holding each other arm-in-arm, singing the ear-worm line, “Baby you can call my name”, it was easy to get lost amongst the chilled-out rhythms and riffs.
Slowly jostling side-to-side in an almost hypnotic fervour, Mosquito Coast had a small pocket of Scarborough in their palm for one night, leaving their fans scorched and crying out for more.
Mosquito Coast are returning to Perth at the Chevron Festival Gardens on February 28.