Excited murmurs filled the cosy 170 Russell last Wednesday night, as fans crowded around the stage in anticipation of Alex Lahey’s first Melbourne show on this leg of her Huge and True Tour. Winner of the Triple J Unearthed prize in 2016 and set to perform at Splendour in the Grass and Groovin’ the Moo this year, the Aussie artist definitely has some huge things going on but – in typical Alex Lahey style – she remained true to herself in this riveting performance.
The lights dimmed as the 25-year-old Melbourne musician and her band raced onto stage, the opening bars of I Love You Like a Brother drowning out the audience’s thunderous applause. The title track of Lahey’s full-length debut album made the audience feel at home, as the catchy lyrics and enthralling guitar riffs, played by none other than Lahey herself, filled every corner of the room.
After her first song, Lahey exclaimed to the audience that it felt “so good to be back in Melbourne,” before heading straight back into the music.
What followed was a mixture of melodic and whimsical indie-rock tracks reaching back to Lahey’s debut EP, B-Grade University, before launching further into tracks from her album – songs like Ivy League and Perth Traumatic Stress Disorder had the audience jumping up and down. The crowd swayed and smiled as Lahey sang out I Want U and Backpack, hypnotised by her killer vocals.
Lahey thrilled fans as she belted out a new, untitled track. It didn’t take long for the crowd to join in, with the snappy lyrics “don’t be so hard on yourself” echoing around the room.
In between songs Lahey stopped to shout out “it means so much to be back home”, before reminding us where it all started, with her debut single Airmail.
Lahey’s cover of Avril Lavigne’sComplicated completely captivated the audience, with every single one of us singing along to Lahey’s alternative take on the track. She finished her set with Everyday’s the Weekend, the tumultuous drums and rhythmic strum of Lahey’s guitar – combined with the shouts of the audience – manifested an ear-piercing yet extremely enjoyable wave of sound.
As Lahey and her band exited the stage, the crowd’s deafening chant (“one more song!”) flooded the venue, their volume rivalling that of Lahey’s thumping melodies.
Submitting to the encore, they raced back on stage, bellowing out You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me before closing with I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself. The audience surged closer to the stage, fuelled with exhilaration, trying to get a glimpse of Lahey one last time before she exited 170 Russell for good (or at least until her next show on Friday) – her Wednesday night performance truly making it seem like every day’s the weekend.