Review: Girl in red @ 170 Russell, Melbourne, February 1st, 2022
To call Marie Ulven Ringheim, better known as Girl in red, anything other than a youth icon would be a severe understatement.
Her ability to capture the modern youth experience has enchanted her listeners over the last several years and with each new track is propelling herself to a whole new stratosphere of fame.
Like plenty of international artists, Ulven hasn’t been in Melbourne since 2019 and it’s safe to say, she’s been busy. The 23-year old now has over 1.85 billion streams and has clearly become a household name to a whole generation. This shift was evident well before she graced the stage.
Love Live Music?
Get the latest Live Music news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
Walking down the stairs at 170 Russell (better known as Billboards nightclub) did bring back some haunting memories. But once inside, those memories were quickly crushed. Though the gig may not have had the numbers of Sidney Myer or Rod Laver, the energy and sound in the venue could’ve filled out both of them put together.
First was a stellar opening act from Betty Taylor who perfectly set up the atmosphere and tone for the rest of the evening. Singer Sophie Patrick, alongside Kayla Smart are bound to make waves in the future with indie rock crowds. Be sure to check them out.
But then, blackness. The audience erupted immediately as the band almost ran onto the stage and launched straight into the head bangers.
Check out ‘I wanna be your girlfriend’
“How you going, mate?” Ulven says in her best Aussie accent. If it wasn’t for her own thick accent, you could confuse her for being Australian, as she loves to shit-talk (and that’s a compliment, to be clear).
“What’s the drinking age here? 18? Fuck yeah”
Regardless of her chill persona, it was clear that Ulven had a blast when she was touring, and being up on stage jumping and headbanging with a mild hangover was the rock and roll lifestyle she always wanted.
“Every experience is… Not a great one,” she jokes, referring to drinking all night and waking up at 4am. But the show goes on – she downs her water and starts the next hit track.
Check out ‘Bad idea!’
I’m not being dramatic when I say, the only time the night slowed down was when Ulven wanted to chat to the audience, literally trying to learn their names and show off her ability to catch grapes.
But other than that, the band jumped to the beat in unison for a solid hour or so. Even if you weren’t familiar with their work, Ulven and the band’s ability to reel you in, get you singing and to act a little bit fit feral was incredible.
Check out ‘We fell in love in October’
“Are you concert girls?” Ulven asks the front. “Cause the next part is gonna need some experience… It starts with ‘M’ and it ends with ‘oshpit.’”
Girl in red has undeniably mastered the art of casualness and familiarity. Ulven’s charisma and low-key charm made it feel like the whole venue was you and your mates having a jam sesh in the garage.
This all eventuated in Ulven eventually joining the crowd and singing from the mosh for the final number – an experience her fans I’m sure to remember for a very long time.
Check out ‘Serotonin’
Girl in red is the perfect example of why indie rock has ironically become so popular. The unfiltered honesty, stripped back set design, functional lighting and some trippy backdrops all work together to create an event that would be hard to not enjoy.
Girl in Red still have some Aussie gigs before she heads over to Europe and are actually back in Melbourne on the 11th of Feb for Laneway Festival. If you get a chance, I’d highly recommend checking them out.
Saturday, February 4th
Laneway Festival, Fortitude Valley, QLD
Sunday, February 5th
Laneway Festival, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW
Monday, February 6th
Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday, February 10th
Laneway Festival, Adelaide, SA
Saturday, February 11th
Laneway Festival, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday, February 12th
Laneway Festival, Perth, WA