Having released one of the best albums of the year, it’s no surprise most of the crowd for Angel Olsen have arrived early and made a beeline for the front.
Supporting Olsen is Jack Ladder, who reworked tracks from his Dreamlanders project for a rare solo performance. It’s a testament to his talent that Ladder had plenty of presence without a band, offering an interesting spin on normally synth heavy tracks Reputation Amputation and Come On Back This Way. While his dry humour can easily be perceived as arrogance, the strength of his songwriting spoke for itself. It mightn’t have been as palatable as Olsen’s amicability, but it worked.
Olsen was finally unveiled with her backing band in tow wearing matching suits, launching into the bittersweet Never Be Mine and followed this with the stunning Hi-Five. The commanding Shut Up And Kiss Me was delivered with a compelling intensity while older track Lights Out was a taste of Olsen’s seductive blend of country folk.
The control in Olsen’s voice was impeccable, with her range going from gentle to forceful, often within the one song as was the case with Not Gonna Kill You. As Olsen’s vocals grew more urgent it became clear that she completely surrendered herself to the performance.
The seven-minute track Sister was Olsen and her band at their very best, enrapturing the crowd with the song’s sprawling outro. Returning for an encore, Olsen took to a synth to bring the set to a spellbinding conclusion. There’s an undeniable magic in the air during Intern when Olsen’s vocals became so enchanting her performance felt almost like a religious experience.
In between songs Olsen was humourous and charming, joking about wanting to roller skate in the ghetto of Sunshine and repeatedly saying “Yeah boy,” into the mic with a faux Australian accent. Olsen seemed completely taken with Australia and it’s clear the feeling was mutual.
Olsen’s captivating performance was one that will be hard to forget anytime soon. Live, her power was palpable from any spot in the crowd – the performance raw, vulnerable and most of all, breathtaking.
By Holly Pereira
Highlight: Olsen saying that tequila is better than coffee at waking you up.
Lowlight: The lighting (it was low).
Crowd Favourite: When Olsen wished a punter a happy 21st.