Forum Theatre, Melbourne Australia, 16th June 2017
Australia’s Alternative Pop duo, BIG SCARY has just commenced their final ‘Animal’ tour, starting in hometown Melbourne at the iconic Forum Theatre. On this tour, Tom Iansek and Jo Syme are accompanied by a three-piece ensemble, to create a truly rich, studio sound, live.
‘Animal’ is the third studio album released by Big Scary, in September 2016. On Friday night the packed crowd were treated to all the treasures on this album plus some older treats in the encore. Front man Tom Iansek moved seamlessly between guitar & synthesiser, while providing his distinctive vocals and theatrical arm gestures. Female drummer and vocalist, Jo Syme, created an impressive centre point in her unassuming way.
‘Animal’ is a thematic album broken onto four main themes; hunting, lurking, resting and waking. Everything about their performance resonated with the themes of ‘Big Scary’ and ‘Animal’. The floor-level stage lighting created big, scary shadows on the backdrop. These were, largely, spotlights, which cast long, distinct shadows, giving the impression of doubling each performer. Tall curtains of crinkled paper formed the backdrop and looked different with every lighting change. The creases picked up the shadows beautifully. The whole performance was arty, carefully crafted and designed, much like a play.
The crowd were thrilled to hear favourites like 'Organism', 'Up and Up and Up', 'Lone Bird' and 'The Opposite of Us', all now well known to avid fans. ‘Over Matter’, part of the Waking theme, contains a wonderful saxophone solo section. During this solo I was particularly impressed with the stunning lighting on the saxophone player which left the crowd completely breathless.
Tom Iansek’s vocals take the listener on a journey of emotions, from power and strength to blissful trance-like dreaming. Several songs begin with a strong tribal drumming beat, which draws you in and continues like a shadow behind the vocals. The album ‘Animal’ grows on you with each listening, like the moulding of new shoes to your feet, until they become completely comfortable and you forget you are wearing them.
The professional presentation of BIG SCARY’S show left everyone feeling truly satisfied. They have several more shows to perform on this tour, including the sold-out Splendour in the Grass Festival. If you manage to catch them somewhere, you’re in for a real treat. Big Scary were supported by popular Brisbane band, Cub Sport, who were well received by the crowd.
Saturday 17 June - The Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW
Saturday 24 June 24 - The Tivoli, Brisbane QLD
Friday 30 June - The Gov, Adelaide SA
Saturday 1 July - Metropolis, Fremantle WA
Friday 21st July – Splendour in the Grass Festival – Byron Bay, NSW
Article & Images by Deb Kloeden