Wednesday nights are usually reserved for a night-in watching trashy TV or Netflix binges. Well, not on May 22nd, The Freo.Social hosted You Saw Them First, presented by Open Minds Music. Now, Open Minds Music needs a little explanation before I get into how the night went. The idea behind the start-up is to give talented, emerging and undiscovered artists a start into the scene. On the You Saw Them First nights there is a headliner act who attracts the crowd, this time is was Abbe May. A relatively well-known rock-chick who has been knocking around on and off for many years on the Aussie music scene. In addition to the headliner, there are three local up and coming acts, all of whom are a surprise on the night. All coupled in with dinner before the show,Freo.Social know how to make a night of it.
The emerging support artists all played four songs each on the night. Starting my night was charmer Kozo Mkhwanazi, with a voice and sound that were soulful in an earthy way. He was a bit funky and had a great stage presence he played the guitar for his first song, way to steal a girl’s heart.
Alexis Naylor, musically talented with a great voice. The first song in the set there was some real Celine Deon vibes. Powerful vocals and well-rounded musician, as she jumped from piano to ukulele throughout the set.
Abbe May the headliner; she was happy, funny and a little bit crass at times. A solo performer, but enough personality to fill the whole room. I would not have had it any other way. She had people out of their chairs, some people dancing and everyone laughing. We definitely all wanted more from the short set of about seven songs. She went overtime and none of us wanted her to stop.
For the guests there was tables and chairs, being a Wednesday night, we managed to get a spare table right by the side of the stage. It was comfortable and welcoming. Cozy is the best word for it with a couple couches up the back near the bar. A highlight of the night apart from the music was the lighting. They danced across the stage and into the relaxed crowed which really added a visual element to the show.
The atmosphere was different to any other event I have been to. It was pretty clear the crowd was local, a real friendly friends and family feeling. The host of the show Maurizio Aimoni, one of the founders of Open Minds Music, made himself known on the night. Bouncing around the venue, filled with excitement, he’s certainly proud of the passion project, and it shows. We all know it can be hard for our talented music friends to break into the music world and Open Minds Music is a fantastic platform for local artists. In addition to getting these talented artists on stage, they also help them with recording an album at no cost to the artists. This is real grass-roots stuff.