Having not seen Stella perform for a little while, I was more than eager to see her up on stage again. She consistently brings her lovely personality and angelic voice to every set she plays, so I knew this night was worth the wait. After grabbing some beers, and some dinner from the food truck, we made our way through Freo Social to prepare ourselves for the opening acts.
First up was Adrian Dzvuke, an act that I was previously a stranger to. While we began the night sitting upon the stairs, onlooking the stage, there was no way we could resist getting up to boogie to the funky sounds of his opening track, Confidence. This Perth-based groover had the audience hooked at the opening chords, drawing in a larger crowd than you’d expect from the first opener. Following tracks, All or Nothing, and Saturday, had the audience up and dancing, with Dzvukes instruction of “if you wanna vibe just feel free to do your thing,” being followed by the crowd. Drawing in the crowd with some audience participation, his latest release, Ocean Drive was an obvious favourite. Displaying the type of energetic performance you’d expect from the main act, the crowd whispering comments of “wow, they were incredible?” didn’t come as a shock.
Up next was Jade Imagine, yet another act that I wasn’t overly familiar with. Again, I was made to regret my decision of not listening to this act sooner. A vast difference from Azvuke, Jade Imagine played some mellow tunes that had the audience swaying along to in no time. After a few too many technical difficulties, the acts super chill sound could be heard without the interruption of faulty sound equipment. There could have been worse outcomes for the difficulties the band were faced with, instead, it added some pretty cool distortion and reverb to track The News. Closing with tracks I’ll Take You There and Big Old House, this chill act reminded the audience of how they landed a gig with such an impressive line-up.
After another beer and some rest by the bar, we were more than ready to hear the act we’d trekked to Fremantle for. Stella Donnelly started us off with a solo performance of Mechanical Bull, an all-time favourite track of mine. This moving track captivated the audience from the get-go, demanding silence and attention.
If you’ve seen Stella perform before, you’ll know what a down to earth, unique performer she is. Flashing the audience her ‘fragile’ labelled, gaffa tape covered nipples was the epitome of the energy she brings to a gig. Bringing on musician George for her performance of Grey, Stella dazzled the audience with her harmonica playing skills. Next up was track You Owe Me, a song reminiscing about her time working in a Freo bar, which was followed by Stella exclaiming at the audience “I’m still getting over the fact there are people here, fucking hell.”
Prior to her performance of Mosquito, Stella recalls a chat to her mother (who was in attendance), quoting “Hiya love, I’m really proud of you, but I’ve worn a disguise to work,” regarding the song which boasts honest lyrics about her use of a vibrator. With the band up on stage, Stella cracks on with a few popular tracks, before going into an explanation behind one of her latest releases, Die. The track originally being produced as a running track for Stella’s personal use, was accompanied by a dance routine with bandmate, Jack. Next up was a performance of Lunch, and Boys Will Be Boys, a significant and relevant song in which demands the audience’s attention.
Whether you’re a seasoned gig-goer, or just getting started, the concept of an encore isn’t lost on many. However, as opposed to the usual exiting of the stage followed by the inevitable chants of encore, Stella cut to the chase and remained on stage for her final song. Before the piece, she brought up all band members, family and friends, and shared a touching rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s, Time After Time.