Review: Coalesce’s MMW showcase
14.12.2021

Review: Coalesce’s MMW showcase

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Words by Leah Hulst

We’re back baby!

This was my first gig back after lockdown, and what an introduction it was back into the live music scene. As I walked down the stairs into Max Watts, I was welcomed by the familiar haze of the smoke machine, music vibrating the walls and a sticky floor – it’s bloody good to be back!

I was there to see the artists signed to the Coalesce label, a collective that supports artists who use sharp, unique textures and voice manipulation. On the bill; Harvest, Miniskirt, Lonelyspeck, Fresh Hex, Cookii, Banoffee, FOURA, Hearteyes, Ninajirachi and Petro.

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As I grabbed a drink and settled in for the first act, I noticed the variety of people around me. There were
friends welcoming each other with warm embraces, parents live streaming and facetiming the set, and an overall feeling of elation in the air.

There seemed to be this sense of camaraderie and unification between everyone, knowing that we’d all gone through a shit couple of years and now was the time to come together, support the artists who have done it so tough, and to let loose.

Kicking off the night was Harvest, followed by Miniskirt. Both DJ sets were filled with an electric energy, which filled the room and hyped up the audience. Lonelyspeck was next up, whose vocals soared and then Fresh Hex, with an unmissable gold jacket, full of confidence on stage. Each set brought a fiery, uplifting performance, each aligned with the individual artist’s creativity.

For the first few sets it felt as though the fans would rotate in and out, depending on who was playing, yet when Cookii stepped on stage, there was a definite shift in energy.

Playing behind a white sheet to hide her identity, Cookii was a big draw card for the audience. Everybody jammed in tight, jumping around and screamed at the top of their lungs for the artist. It feels as though their presence allowed for the crowd to come together and get the event fully underway.

As the sets were a short 30 minutes, it allowed the artists to go hard and fast. There was nothing left behind on stage, with all their energy poured into their music, and the crowd. It almost felt like hitting shuffle on your iPod, getting short tastes of what each musician has to offer.

The night continued with a slew of different artists, all equally as captivating as the next, making for a night full of dancing and sweating profusely among strangers.

The Coalesce event was an amazing introduction back to live music, and a strong line up of Australian artists for Melbourne Music Week. The support felt between artists, from the friends and family in the crowd, and of course the fans, was truly palpable.

I felt as though I was part of something, part of a group of friends coming together to celebrate, even part of the Coalesce community.

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