Live Review – Jack River Sugar Mountain Ball, Brisbane – 2019

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Following a HUGE 2018 which saw the release of her debut album Sugar Mountain, many festival appearances, and three ARIA nominations, Jack River launched her Sugar Mountain Ball Tour at The Tivoli in Brisbane on Friday, 31 May 2019.

The event, including the gorgeously hypnotic voice of Eves Karydas and dreamy vibes of San Mei, was nothing like I’ve ever experienced before; a nostalgic wonderland infused with enchantingly vintage décor. From the prom-inspired photo wall to the sparkly string hanging from the stage ceiling, Jack made the night one to remember.

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San Mei’s performance of ‘Heaven’ was a crowd favourite which got everyone into a dancing mood with sizzling guitar riffs. The bold track from the Gold Coast band, featuring equally heavy and light musical components, was the perfect way to set the tone for the night.

As people steadily arrived wearing dreamy prom outfits, the venue transformed into a ballroom reminiscent of a `90s high school dance.

The next act was the magnificent Eves Karydas. Originally from Brisbane before moving to England at the age of 21, she was welcomed home with open arms. In her first performance at The Tivoli, she shared intimate interactions with the audience throughout her set.  

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If her songs ‘Hush’ and ‘Couch’ weren’t enough to get the audience singing along, her electronic cover of Post Malone and Swae Lee’s ‘Sunflower’ sure did the trick. Predictably closing with hit ‘Further Than The Planes Fly’, Eves indisputably proved why she was the perfect supporting act for Jack River.

In the time it took me to write a few notes and get a drink after her set, Eves Karydas had already made her way to the merch stand and was meeting fans; demonstrating the value she has for her followers. After getting a photo with the pop princess, I noticed the lights began to reduce along with the volume of crowd conversations. American wild west music blasted through the speakers… I, along with everyone else, knew it was time for the headliner.

Jack River received a rockstar welcome as she waltzed onto stage wearing a sparky vintage suit, animal print boots, and a tiara. 

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After a seemingly gradual start to the set, the powerful chorus of ‘Confess’ was enough to shift the show into gear.

As the concert progressed, Jack expressed her gratitude to the crowd by explaining the somewhat dark origins of Sugar Mountain and the role music has in her life. The kind-hearted musician even held the hand of girls in the front row during her more personal songs.

In true Sugar Mountain fashion, members of the band began handing out fairy floss (cotton candy) to members of the mosh pit, making the night even more special than what it already was.

Maintaining the indie-rock fun throughout the entire set, the encore performance of ‘Palo Alto’ had the crowd bopping in every corner of the venue.

Although slightly disappointing there was no cover of Savage Garden’s ‘Truly Madly Deeply’ in the set, the order of tunes created an immersive experience filled with dancing, crying, and healing.

The future is extraordinarily bright for Jack River, and after witnessing her Sugar Mountain Ball Tour, I can promise she is only going to get sweeter. 

Tour Dates:

JUNE 7 | The Enmore Theatre | Sydney

JUNE 8 | Metropolis Fremantle | Perth

JUNE 14 | The Gov | Adelaide