Picture this; It’s a Saturday night, 0 degrees outside, but inside Zierholz at the University of Canberra, things are heating up and Van She are about to take to the stage.
Tit for Tat hit the decks to open up the night and despite the small crowd, provided a fun and energetic set, which saw a few people make friends with the dance floor. Tucked away in the corner, the duo DJ’s provided some fun tunes before the main acts took the stage.
Running a little behind schedule, Rufus came on stage at 9:15pm and by this time the venue was starting to fill. A small swarm of partygoers made their way to the front as the lights dimmed and the eclectic three-piece launched into their set providing a sound that I can best describe as electro indie rock. By electro I’m referring to the backing tracks, which blasted through the speakers and seemed to encompass 90% of their “live” sound. After accepting the fact that most of their set was in fact pre-recorded, it became easier to appreciate and enjoy. The crowd were clearly having a ball and rejoicing in every minute of it. Small groups of people were having their own mini dance parties at front of stage, which is always fun to see. Rufus did a great job at heightening the energy in the room and setting the vibe for the headliners. The unique, baritone effects on the vocals for their closing song ‘Paris Collides’ made for an epic finisher and a clear crowd favourite track.
When Van She hit the stage at 10:15pm the vibe in the room was well and truly electric. The crowd was giddy and eager to party. From the moment they walked out Van She had the crowd in the palm of their hands. The singer oozed a slick confidence and had the room in a frenzied trance throughout the set. It was clear that these guys were pros as the Sydney four-piece seamlessly delivered a crowd-pleasing set overcoming a few minor technical difficulties.
The “Hell Yes!” moment of the night actually came in the first song when all the music stopped except for a quick two-bar, Phill Collins-esque drum solo to bring the band back into the chorus. It was glorious. Some subtle, yet relevant harmonies by the keyboardist (almost hidden up the back of stage and a dead-ringer for Freddy Mercury) helped authenticate the bands live sound.
The band closed with their popular track ‘Idea of Happiness’ which had fists pumping throughout and the crowd well and truly off their feet. The audience was delighted and lapping up every minute of the dynamic set and the foursome was exceptionally well received. The cries of ‘ENCORE! ENCORE!’ were sadly denied as the lights came on in a flash, a telltale sign that this portion of the night was quickly coming to a close.
While most were gathering their buddies and scrambling to grab the first taxi into the city, others were happy enough with the evening’s entertainment to call it a night. With my ears still ringing as I lay my head down to sleep that night, I could still hear Van She’s falsetto from their closing track echoing in my head.