It’s hard to believe that just under two years ago, I saw Hope D performing to an intimate crowd in a Betty’s Burger joint in the city. Now headlining a near sold-out show at The Tivoli, Hope D’s success is nothing short of well deserved. Hope first came to attention of Triple J listeners in late 2019 with her debut single, ‘Swim’, followed by her catchy and cathartic track ‘Second’ which saw hope take out #69 in Triple J’s Hottest 100. Hope D spent the weekend touring the East Coast in celebration of her new single, ‘Happy Hangover’, co-produced with G Flip. Hope described the song on her Instagram as “a song that was originally about bagels… let it be the reminder that excellent nights are still out there to be enjoyed, and excellent mornings are to be woken up with Happy Hangovers”. The song is a playful and infectious, and I’m sure it was a testimony to how a solid 80% of the crowd was feeling come Saturday morning.
Opening up the night was a performance from Rose Rogers, an Indie Pop artist from Brisbane. Rose is an artist that demands your attention, with her unique and haunting sound. Her wistful vocals draw you in, but her ability to take you on a thoughtful journey through storytelling and switching up her song progression keeps you on your toes. Rose has been compared to the likes of Angie McMahon and Julia Stone, and while I certainly see similarities, I think she is definitely bringing something distinctive to the Australian music scene. I took a particular liking to the song ‘Paper Dreams’, I felt almost enchanted while listening to her play it. Rose isn't an act to miss, and I'm keen to see what's in store for her career.
Melaleuca were second on the lineup. I had heard great things about the band, but I was a stranger to their music before the show. Before their set began, I was told by a friend that they “sounded like a band from a 90’s coming of age movie, emanating Scott Pilgrim vs. The World energy”; Moments after they started playing, I quickly understood the sentiment. A blend of indie/punk/grunge, these guys can’t be boxed into one genre. Their set was fun and energetic, filled with interludes of witty conversations between co-lead singers Andy Francis and Jane Millroy. My favourite song from their set was premised by Francis, “This is a song about my Tik Tok algorithm showing me ADHD symptom videos and I was like… well shit”. Finishing the set with a crowd favourite, ‘Jane’s in Town’, they got the crowd hyped and ready for to boogie with the lady of the hour.
Hope D and her band took to the stage and assembled while ‘The L Word Theme’ song played on the PA, a subtle nod to the wlw in the room – iconic. The crowd cheered in excitement as the five band members entered the stage. Hope is as charismatic as she is talented; It’s impossible to not have a good time while she’s jumping around the stage in her pizza socks. There is a great sense of sincerity watching Hope D and her band (Ainslee Dimmock on guitar, Jenna Goy on drums, Bridget Brandolini on vocals/bass and Mikayla Gedyeon vocals/keys) perform, and you can feel the love between the group as they’re performing. Hope really is a born entertainer, and her set was packed with singalong moments as well as a couple of sneaky unreleased tracks that are coming out next year, she told the crowd.
I think one of the best things about both Hope’s lyricism, is she can put her heart-on-her-sleeve and write from sincerity, but also contrast that with songs that are playful and fun to singalong to. Her storytelling is captivating and honest, and this translates to her on-stage presence. She made sure to chat with the crowd in between songs, expressing how humbled she was for everybody to be at her show, as well as having banter with the audience. She prefaced one of her new songs by asking the crowd if anybody had ‘greened out’ before, in which clearly with a show of enthusiastic hands, a lot of the crowd had been subjected to. She chats to the audience as you would your friend, and it’s clear no matter how big Hope gets, she will always carry this humility with her fans.
The live set consisted of a bunch of fan favourites, such as ‘Miscommunicate’, ‘Swim‘, ‘Second’ and of course, finishing up with ‘Happy Hangover’ before she exited the stage. The audience cheered in anticipation of an encore, and Hope and her band delivered, returning to play their Like A Version cover of Brittney Spears’ ‘Toxic’. The audience sang along and jumped around with Hope, as they concluded with an epic finale to the night.
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Hope D's latest single Happy Hangover is out now