(Photographer: Tim Doig)
Art of Sleeping has gained quite a reputation through their live performances in their hometown, resulting in a following of devoted fans that has only been growing. With the release of a new album looming they certainly had a lot to prove to the crowd at The Corner Hotel.
As the mass hustled into one of the most iconic venues in Melbourne, I noticed how oddly bright the main band room was lit. This did not change despite the first support of the night, Sunbeam Sound Machine, commencing. Their abrupt starting took everyone off guard and so did the singer’s voice, which came out sounding a lot more mature than he looked. They had a psychedelic, Tame Impala feel about them, with the addition of a tambourine player slaying it on the side. As Jesse Davidson came to the stage, the lights were yet to be dimmed, causing there to be senseless chatter that was almost louder than the music. His dweeby demeanour combined with rustic guitar made for a great performance, yet he struggled to hold the audience’s attention. It wasn’t till they finally dropped the lights, and Davidson whipped out a cover of Elvis, everyone quietened down and turned their heads.
When the time was reached for the headliners to take the stage, the room was at full attention. An eerie light shone up from below as they began their first song, and trippy visuals were projected on either side of the stage that continued throughout the set. From the get go, Caleb’s voice was on point for every long and high note that he busted out, which was quite frequently. Apparently he had half lost his voice, which was announced half way through the set, yet it did not show. To accompany these vocals was a dramatic use of drums that echoed throughout the room, especially in the kick, adding impact to every song. The set was not without its glitches, as they cut a song in true rock star fashion, to start over. I guess you can’t get the chords right every time.
Emotion was expressed in every moment, however, and everyone watching on felt it. These whimsical tangents of music would take place in the middle of songs that took you on a journey; particularly noticeable in a new song they played. The set list displayed an experimentation of textures, with the juxtaposition of fast and slow that brought to light the raw talent behind the band. Closing on a crowd favourite, ‘Crazy’, that got the fans moving and Art of Sleeping left the stage with chants for more.
Written by Jess Vaia