Review by Andrea Royston
SAFIA graced Melbourne with a weekend of live shows that had crowds in a frenzy. SAFIA, known for their energetic and visual stage presence played two shows over the weekend to celebrate the release of their second studio album ‘Story’s Start Or End’.
Written and produced by the band over the last few years in their hometown of Canberra, the record consists of single ‘Resolution’, as well as previously released songs ‘Think We’re Not Alone’, ‘Starlight’ and ‘Cellophane Rainbow’.
Fans gathered eagerly at the Forum on Sunday evening for the bands highly anticipated return. BOO SEKA was the support act that warmed the younger crowd up perfectly by bringing the beats and preparing them for what was about to be an intense set. Playing older tracks including 2015 ‘Kingdom Leader’ and their 2019 track ‘Rush’.
SAFIA is Ben Woolner on keys and vocals, Michael Bell on drums and Harry Sayers on keys and guitar. As the band took the stage with no hesitation they got stuck into it and opened with track ‘Ivory Lullaby’ followed by ‘Starlight’. These catchy and hypnotic tracks gave the crowd a taste of what was to come.
The set did not fail to deliver the highly energetic standard that SAFIA brings to their audiences. The ambience and rush in the room was evident as the crowd pushed towards the front and formed a huge mosh pit.
With no surprises, when the opening of ‘Make Them Wheels Roll’ sounded, there was a huge roar from the crowd. Fans got on the shoulders of their mates and there wasn’t a still body in sight. Woolner moved consistently around the stage encouraging the audience to go wild.
Woolners raw talent was on display through his exceptional vocal ability that sounds so unique up against the thundering bass.
It quickly hit that point of the night where the volume was turned down just a notch. Bell appeared on stage with his acoustic guitar and the band performed a softer performance of ‘Listen To Soul, Listen To Blues’. The crowd swayed and some lighters were in sight as the song played a It wasn’t long before the volume was turned back up with belting tracks ‘Over You’ and clear crowd favourite ‘Counting Sheep’.
The encore was nicely tied together with this track as it was clear the night was coming to an end.
After showing great appreciation to the fans of all ages, the band closed with track ‘Embracing Me’- and what a fitting note to finish on.
It was evident from this performance that the band has left their mark on the Australian electronic music scene. Their fan base is vastly growing and it will only increase.
Keep an eye on these guys- brilliant things coming up!