The first time I saw Alpine live, like many others, I was blown away by the energy and talent on display. The second time was at The Gov and it was a different feeling as I came to realise Phoebe had more talent in her star-spangled jumpsuit than I did in my entire body. The energy and theatre she and Lou bring to the stage is unparalleled, and they’re more than well supported by band mates Christian (guitar), Ryan (bass), Phil (drums) and Tim (everything).
Alpine is that band you buy a ticket for on the day the tour is announced. You know you are 100% guaranteed a good time so when a mate asks “Keen for Alpine?” the answer is a resounding “Yes” without second thought - price is just a number today, son.
Opening for Alpine last night was the beautiful songstress Olympia – armed with an arsenal that included a guitar, a loop pedal, a Macbook, a purple jumpsuit and a platinum blonde bob. So unique and nonpareil, Olympia is so difficult to describe – her jangling, crashing, tragic guitar is a contradiction to the soaring, Washington-esque like vocals that complement it. I think Triple J’s Dom Alessio summed it up perfectly – “...like how a storm in the middle of the ocean can be beautiful.”
It was mind-blowing to see this small woman was creating such a large noise with just a loop pedal and a few instruments, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were hearing a four-piece band the way Olympia layered sounds. But the atmosphere was a bit off, tables and chairs were still laid out in The Gov, it felt as if this genius was playing to a restaurant rather than one of Adelaide’s most loved live venues.
The next support act was Darts – an indie rock outfit from Melbourne that have been on the scene since 2008. They’ve built up quite a CV, playing at Groovin the Moo in 2009 and again in 2014, all the while dominating the Melbourne live scene. They had that rolling drums thing going on with a bit of a punk influence at times but it was really a call back to that 90s alt-rock angst.
Surprisingly the crowd was hesitant to get anywhere near the stage for the first two acts, preferring to stick as close to the walls as possible, like high school kids at a school social. But it was a different story once Alpine took to the stage, the floor was flooded and the crowd was packed shoulder-to-shoulder. One or two hits from “A is for Alpine” and they were jumping around like mad men.
It is so obvious to see vocalists Lou and Phoebe have been doing this for more than half a decade. The way they work together is like seeing one brain operate two bodies. They radiate off each other with Phoebe’s raw energy and Lou’s potent sex appeal to provide an extra layer on top of the music that culminates in a top shelf live experience.
Of course they played “A is for Alpine” tracks, it’s everyone’s favourite and when you’re on to a good thing stick to it. But this was a tour in promotion of their latest single release “Foolish” and when that track was played a whole new breed of Alpine disciples were revealed. They’ve stuck to their winning formula of pop hooks and faultless harmony for their new album “Yuck” and it is a clear winner. Make sure you purchase it and don’t miss them at Splendour if you’ve been lucky enough to get a ticket!
For more Alpine, head to our Gallery HERE.
Remaining tour dates:
25 June – Barwon Club, Geelong VIC
26 June – Karova Lounge, Ballarat VIC
27 June – Forum Theatre, Melbourne VIC
3 July – The Triffid, Brisbane QLD
4 July – Metropolis, Fremantle WA
8 July – Anu Bar, Canberra ACT
9 July – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW
10 July – Wollongong Uni Bar, Wollongong NSW
11 July – Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW
24-26 July – Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay NSW
All photos taken by Wade Whitington