Jack River made dreams come true when she took over Howler

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Jack River made dreams come true when she took over Howler


Jack River could’ve sold out a much bigger room. The indie-pop wonder held down the Brunswick venue with her soaring voice, tight band and delicious selection of tracks, making for a truly lovely evening. She also boasted a genuine stage presence that made it hard not to have a smile on your face every time she spoke. River thanked the crowd a thousand times for helping her fulfil her dream of playing the venue, although by the looks on everyone’s faces, it was everyone else’s dream to be there watching her. 

Kicking things off first came solo electronic act, Lakyn. While the room began quite empty, he quickly drew the masses in from across the bar and had heads bopping with tracks like ‘West’ and ‘View Looks So Good’. The Melbourne-native also whipped out a new silky-smooth track ‘Rooftop’ to raving reception, before he played his stirring track ‘Soldier’ that offered an intense emotional charge. 

After Lakyn’s sizeable set, Jack River and her three-piece band graced the stage in roaring fashion with their opener ‘Palo Alto’. Delivered with gusto and urgency, it was clear how amped the band was to be performing and they brought a surge in energy.

Next up, River pulled tracks from her Highway Songs Vol. 2 EP including ‘Talk Like That’, ‘Fault Line’ and ‘Dream Girl’, continuing the singer-songwriter’s run of performing exactly like her recordings. Each track soared throughout the building, with everyone’s attention locked on River’s captivating delivery.

Throughout the set River proudly and passionately gave audiences insight into the upcoming release of her debut full-length album. Detailing how the creation of Sugar Mountain has been five years in the making, she oozed an air of humility and warmth that was hard not to love.

Her latest track ‘Ballroom’ proved to be a highlight. Whether this remains a single or appears on the forthcoming record (put Friday June 22 in your calendars for its release), this new offering leaves you feeling like what River has in store is going to be nothing short of magic.

Next up came an injection of throwback frivolity with Tal Bachman’s classic banger ‘She’s So High’. It garnered a wave of smiles and chanting from punters, who adored the song choice and the stardom River brought to her performance. Covers can miss the mark but with the excellent song choice and execution, this rendition was an absolute treat.

The night rounded out with ‘Fool’s Gold’, the crowd meeting River with just as much rapture as she had to be performing it. It perfectly topped off what had been a beautiful show from the outset, proving beyond any doubt that Jack River is one of those special artists that can make a room seep with warmth.

Highlight: ‘Fool’s Gold’.

Lowlight: Vocals were sometimes a little washed out by the band.

Crowd Favourite: ‘She’s So High’.