Review – Dan Etiel
Images – Zach Hogg
Fresh off the release of their debut album Internal (but no strangers to hype) indie-pop darlings SAFIA bring their soulful, electronica A-game to an absolutely pumping, sold out Tivoli theatre.
The Other Guys: Set Mo
The Sydney DJ duo take to the decks at centre stage as punters begin to pour in. The boys are welcomed by the crowd and immediately get heads bopping with deep driving bass and indie dance hits. They even mange to get the eager beavers reserving prime viewing spots on the mezzanine, up on their feet. It’s a progressive main room set and with a cheeky RÜFÜS singalong, the crowd is suitably warmed for the main event.
The trio of Ben Woolner, Michael Bell, Harry Sayer stride out on stage to thunderous reaction, take their respective spots and launch into a swirling rendition of My Love Is Gone. The atmosphere is electric and joyous like a festival; people propped up on shoulders, everyone dancing, many a dilated pupil. You wouldn’t be hard pressed to imagine many members of the crowd shaking Triple J ‘TUNE’ Rags around.
With everyone catching their breath, the band survey the room from behind their instruments – all beaming with happiness. It’s clear that the band are grateful for the warm, Queensland reception – after all, it’s a sell out crowd. Almost as a reward the trio jump into fan-favourite Make Them Wheels Roll and once again the house is throbbing. The entire set plays out as a meticulously crafted balance of SAFIA’s previous hits and a sample of killer songs from the new album.
The orchestration and technicality of the band’s sound is evidenced as each member deftly moves about their station, utilising multiple tools. From drum pads, to synthesizers and even an old telephone – they all come together for that unique SAFIA sound and a well refined stage show.
The entire vibe of the performance is incredible. The crowd are ecstatic, engaged, and singing along; the band members feed it all back through a truly impassioned performance.
The abovementioned technicality of SAFIA’s performance leads to the only downfall of the show, as a technical glitch screws with instruments and sample timing. Vocalist Ben stops mid-song, calling it off, “Damn, computers man. We’ll be back in a couple minutes…”
It’s a little longer than a couple of minutes wait before the band returns and plays out their final songs but it’s well worth it for the cracking Embracing Me.