As a Brisbane local, I find it’s always risky when you love an artist from over on the West Coast- touring the other side of Australia isn’t always doable and I've spent many days looking at Webjet trying to justify tickets of several hundred dollars to see a band in Perth when they’re not coming over this way. But sometimes, luck is on your side and the stars and tours align to bring that plethora of talented artists over to the East Coast, and that was the case for Noah Dillon this June. Noah is one of my favourite live performers- his songs are strikingly authentic and genuine, and so many of them I feel just shine so much more live. Joined by an incredible live band as well, a Noah Dillon show is not one to miss.
Brisbane has no shortage of quality music acts as well, and I was so happy to see incredible local acts Lucy Francesca Dron and Hallie opening the stage up for Noah.
Lucy Francesca Dron was up first, and I genuinely think she’s one of Brisbane’s most underrated acts- I am so blown away every time I see her. From the very first song, she and her band had the crowd transfixed with their seemingly effortless performance and Lucy's elegant voice. All of Lucy’s songs have this gorgeous complexity and genre-blending nature that really shines live, but I especially loved ‘Liquid Numbing Pain’, and ‘What is Next?'. I’d absolutely recommend checking her out if you haven’t already.
Platonic Sex was originally slated to play that evening but had to pull out due to illness, and luckily Hallie stepped in, bringing their intimate pop goodness to the stage. Hallie is such a sweet presence and really enjoyable to watch on stage. Their songs are so fun and varied- often introspective, always danceable, and they have really wonderful chemistry with their bandmates too- they all seem so comfortable and natural together.
Hallie recently released their first EP This is Love and we were treated to some of my favourite songs from that collection- including ‘Do It’, ‘Cut it Off’ and ‘Love!’ as well as a couple of older tunes, like 'Fairybread', and some fun new moments as well- Hallie told the crowd that they’d decided to be a pop queen and try singing live with some autotune on one of their new songs- it was super cool and I'd I’d never have known it wasn’t their first time doing so if they hadn’t said it.
Not long after Hallie finished up, Noah Dillon took to the stage to enthusiastic cheers. He began with the tour's namesake song 'Drip Dry', from his debut album Kill the Dove, which has been out for almost a year now. I love this song, I think it’s so encompassing of Noah’s music as a whole- a perfect blend of intimacy, anecdotes, and powerful emotion. Bandmate Clancy Davidson’s harmonies were enchanting in this song, and Noah’s live presence is electric.
This tour was the smallest venue I’ve seen Noah play in, but I honestly really enjoyed it- it was packed full but still felt cosy, and from that very first song the crowd had a really incredible energy that was amplified by Noah and his whole band.
Noah Dillon has this earnestness in his music that really shines throughout- it did in 'Drip Dry', and I also noticed this in the earnest yearning of ‘Matthew McConoaughy’ and powerful, almost spoken verses of ‘I C.A.N.T’, before the whole crowd yells back ‘I can’t be anyone but me!’ in the chorus.
This tour wasn’t promoting any one album in particular, and we were treated to a really fantastic mix of new and old songs on the set as a result. One of my favourites was his second single ‘Maggots’. There’s this really vivid imagery lyrically that is complemented so well by the simple but effective instrumental. Noah’s steady yet emotional voice is always so powerful live and hearing the repeated lyric of ‘Only god knows why’ - especially combined again with Clancy’s harmonies that really elevate the dream-like quality of the song- is so powerful. I also loved the violin in this song- it added something really unique, and it’s always fun to see a somewhat more uncommon instrument on stage.
Two of my favourite songs live were ‘Alive and Kicking’- which was one of the biggest sing-alongs of the night, with an insanely catchy chorus, and 'Knievel Daredevil'. He created this one with another of Brisbane’s best, Asha Jefferies, and shouted her out before playing it.
Throughout the set, there was this really good push and pull of emotions- protests against society, joyful moments, and powerful introspection ebbed and flowed seamlessly from song to song. It worked so well, it made the hour he played seem far too short. I love the vulnerability regardless of topic, and the strength of emotion he conveys- all while delivering music that is so enjoyable to listen to and to watch. Noah Dillon is not an artist who does anything by halves.