Monday, June 29, 2015

Alpine have been gaining momentum for a while now. The Melbourne six-piece recently unleashed their highly acclaimed second studio album Yuck, which was also the triple j feature album last week. They’ve also been a regular fixture on the live scene, having previously appeared at Laneway Festival, Splendour in the Grass, Groovin The Moo, Southbound Festival and St Kilda Festival.

Opening the night was songstress Olympia, also known as Olivia Bartley. She hit the stage rocking a sparkling black jumpsuit ensemble. Her set was just as exciting - she included such tunes as her latest release, ‘This Is Why I Can’t Have Nice Things’. The track, which is accompanied by glittering synths and a grooving guitar, was a highlight of her set.

Next up in the all Melbourne affair was up-and-comers Pearls. 2014 was a enormous year for them having signed to the prestigious Remote Control Records, this year they dropped their brilliant debut album Pretend Your Mine. The seductive thumping baseline of ‘Big Shot’ captured the crowd’s attention. ‘Pretend Your Mine’, the self-titled track from their new album, was also a crowd favourite.

My excitement leading up to Alpine hitting the stage was massive. I’m rather new to their music, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

They hit the stage exquisitely with Phoebe in a show-stopping shimmering gold number and Lou in a fierce jumpsuit with puffed sleeves. Opening with ‘Crunches’ from Yuck was a dynamic start to their set. The crowd erupted, grooving along with the enchanting guitar of Christian O’Brien. The most enduring thing about witnessing Alpine’s magic live is their infectious on-stage energy of both Phoebe and Lou, as evident from the very moment they hit the stage. They’re equally both super front women who have an abundance of fun when they’re performing, but also bring everyone else to the party with them as well. Their harmonising vocals are bewitching and always remain balanced and in harmony. 

Their powerful opener transitioned into ‘Hands’ from their debut album A Is For Alpine. The thumping track continued to infiltrate Forum Theatre with their contagious spirit and passion. They also showed their versatility when they slowed it down with mellow tracks such as ‘Much More’. 

Enthusiasm spread throughout the entire venue the moment they began playing ‘Foolish’. The track has been experiencing massive commercial radio play, so it was no surprise to see the amount of love it was receiving. Their performance saw the crowd singing along whilst simultaneously grooving in their own world -  it was a beautiful sight. Though many of Alpine’s music could be described as alluring, ‘Foolish’ possesses a unique quality that is grasping in the way it captures you. Another engaging track which was a delight to witness live was ‘Damn Baby’. Though it wasn’t one of my highlights from the album, it was magical to witness live.

A successful and almost sold out show wasn’t the only thing they were celebrating, with it also being Lou’s 27th birthday. Phoebe broke out a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ for her dearest friend, as well as presenting her with a cake. 

Alpine delivered a phenomenal high-quality show that was both entertaining and a joy to experience from start to finish. If you’re off to Splendour in the Grass next month or have tickets to their remaining shows on the ‘Foolish’ National tour, you’re in for something special. 

Written by Amy Smolcic 

Featuring: Pearls & Olympia
Photographer: Kristy Smolcic