People young and old filled the back of Jive, enthusiastically waiting for the Pierce Brothers to come on stage. Members of the crowd excitedly shared stories of when they first came across the twin brothers; one sharing that they had seen them busking in Melbourne, playing on bins and cardboard boxes a few years ago. It has been a busy and fruitful year for Melbourne’s Jack and Patrick Pierce as they have released their Top 10 Aria EP Into the Dirt, toured with the likes of the Cat Empire and taken their live shows to America, Canada, Europe and Australia.
Despite being advertised on the line up, the gorgeous Anna O did not make an appearance on the Adelaide leg of the tour. Therefore, the first support act was the very eccentric Jack Stirling, dressed head to toe in a white and gold caped suit with glitter tassels hanging off his guitar and glitter sequins on his moustache; definitely not what I was expecting as a support for the Pierce Brothers. Stirling presented his very 80's funk sound, with groovy pop hooks and twists as a bed for his strong, raw vocals. Although he was very musically talented and had a very charismatic stage presence, the early crowd was quite unsure on how they felt on the more experimental electronic sound. The then quite nervous Stirling began winning over the hard crowd with his sense of humour, introducing his song Glitter with, “You would have never had guessed the name.” His set only got better with Stirling showcasing his range of talents, especially when pairing only his strong vocals against the electric guitar. Although he had a bit of a rocky start and most probably the wrong crowd, is sure to go places as his production develops and with his brilliant stage presence and strong vocals.
The dancefloor at Jive was filled when the Pierce Brothers came on stage. The boys formally apologizing if they seemed ‘whacky’ or ‘cooky’ as they were still experiencing jetlag from coming back from touring the US and Europe last week. They also thanked Timberwolf, Grenadiers and Woodlock for helping them get to the venue and for lending a couple of instruments.
There are not enough words to be able to describe the energy and passion that the Pierce boys bring to the stage. Their raw and heartfelt folk and roots sound comes from the many years of street performing and for just being downright talented. The first couple of songs in their set had been their slower, more emotional songs, leaving the crowd speechless and in awe. As their set built, there was more crowd participation, with crazy stunts being pulled on stage. The crowd went absolutely wild as Jack played the didgeridoo, whilst using a foot drum and holding the harmonica at Pat’s mouth to play whilst playing the guitar. At one point Jack jumped into the crowd and played drums on the stage and then later on played on the merchandise desk and the floor. Using basically anything they could find and experimenting with sounds on various surfaces, these boys could make an instrument out of nothing.
In between songs there was humorous brotherly banter as they shared stories of touring Europe and failing to hide how tired they actually were from touring. They played a song called Amsterdam that they had started writing in Amsterdam and was yet to be finished but so far it's a real tear-jerker. Jack also shared a story about how their song Black Dog was written for a wedding and that he did not know about the symbolism of depression, but he thought it was cool because it gave another meaning to the song. The atmosphere was so gorgeous and intimate as everyone got involved for Overdose and Jack stood at the end of the stage and conducted the audience as they sang the chorus of the song. Pat also performed a song only on the guitar called Self Portrait which was a love letter dedicated to John Butler and was absolutely mesmerizing.
An absolute stand-out of the night was when the pair did a cover of Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. Apparently they performed this song for the Netherlands radio station, 3FM’s equivalent of Triple J’s Like a Version, which you can watch here. Jack warned before the song started that he could, ‘only do this if I dance around like I think I am hot shit,’ and then followed the sass by flicking his hair. The crowd went absolutely wild of their rendition of Uptown Funk with an obvious folk and Australian twist, with cowbells, didgeridoos and the added bonus of Jack pouring water on himself seductively.
The Pierce Brothers brought Woodlock and Jack Stirling on stage for their final song, Flying Home which had members of the crowd joining in by tapping empty cups together. The Pierce Brothers are absolutely exhilarating on stage with their high level of energy and passion that definitely one of the best performances I have seen in a long time. The twin brothers were very humble and thankful for everyone coming out and the absolutely crazy journey they have been on this year. This is only the beginning of big things for The Pierce Brothers.
Header Image via Kate Sansome