Gig Review: Donny Benét | Howler | Melbourne | 14.04.18

Monday, April 16, 2018

I didn’t expect to walk into a time machine when I headed into Donny Benét’s gig at Howler, but that’s exactly what happened. Benét, who fans affectionately call ‘The Don’ (which is also the title of his latest release) revived the 80s in mighty style and the crowd were pretty darn excited about it.

Benét made his way onto the stage with his band, launching straight into ‘Working Out’ — which not only set the precedent of the high-quality sounds that we were about to be gifted by Benét and his band, but the amount of grooving the audience was expected to do. Looking around the room, there were quite a few eccentric dance moves from the audience (including some of my own) and it turned the energy right up. Despite Melbourne’s icy cold air, everyone wanted to let their hair down and have fun, and Benét provided the perfect opportunity for everyone to do this.

The alluring vibes of Benét’s sound continued on with ‘Love Online’, where the eagerness of the crowd was still burning bright. During his performance of ‘Love Online’, I spotted a girl near me who was on someone else’s shoulders — and if you haven’t been to Howler before, it’s an intimate venue, so this was a funny sight. After ravishing through ‘Love Online’, Benét announced to the crowd that he was playing The Don in full, which was exciting for everyone in the room.

Benét ploughed through the rest of The Don including the trance-like 'Konichiwa', which continued the fire that was clearly there when he hit the stage from the beginning. 'Konichiwa' also featured a fine saxophone solo (gold star stickers to Benét’s saxophonist who killed it all night!)

For his encore, Benét played a rendition of 'I Was Made for Loving You' by KISS, which was ever-so-magical. He added his own flair to the track and made it his own. Benét departed the stage with 'You'll Find Love Again', which is off of his 2011 release Don't Hold Back.

Donny Benét’s performance featured everything you could possibly want from a gig — including good vibes, galvanizing energy and dazzling sounds.