The Sydney-born Gang Of Youths opened to a sparse audience, various patrons still flooding in one by one. As punters entered, they were hit with a crystal clear sound from their opening number, ‘Evangelists’. “We’re Gang Of Youths from Nashville, Tennessee,” frontman David Leaupepe joked, “and this song is not at all appropriate for this venue but hey, fuck it.” The audience laughed as the band carried on, thriving in such a large performance space.

Despite the gusto and sincerity in his voice, it was nice to see Leaupepe not take the image of himself or his band too seriously. “My wife’s back home in Nashville, but her favourite city is Melbourne, so I’ll tell her you said hi,” he grinned. The group played a mesmerising brand of indie rock yet maintained a lively stage presence, which was perhaps only overshadowed by guitarist Joji Malani’s outfit choice (a glossy poncho with Mona Lisa print). The band exited the stage as unceremoniously as they entered, letting the last song’s guitar chords ring out for a few seconds before Malani returned, literally pulling the plug on it.

Coming off the release of their second studio album, The Brink, the Sydney quartet have accelerated their career in leaps and bounds, now playing to a sold-out crowd at the Palais with not a single seat unoccupied. However, after appearing on stage to open with the eponymously titled number, Hayley Mary issued the entire venue to stand up, instantly levelling the playing field.

The frontwoman moved in an almost trance-like manner, each step and swing of her body channeling her inner David Bowie – perhaps further amplified by her choice of sleek bodysuit. The foursome segued into the vibrant ‘Endless Summer’ with the entire crowd singing and clapping along in unison as Nik Kaloper piled into his kit.

Mary took a moment for the odd political crack at Tony Abbott before playing ‘No Country’, which the singer personally dedicated to the asylum seekers. However, it was ‘Hurt Me’ that was arguably one of the evening’s biggest highlights, with Heather Shannon leading the way on her keys as Mary pranced about the stage, egging the audience on with her various rhythmic dance moves before ambushing the crowd, being held up by various fans as she raised above the sea of people.

Rivaling that was none other than the breakout hit ‘Dark Storm’, led by the frontwoman’s pitch perfect vocals booming throughout the entire venue as Sam Lockwood bounded about stage, guitar in hand. The lights flickering on and off and sweeping around the crowd was a perfect way to witness one of their most popular tracks.

The group ended their set with the monumental closer ‘Catch Me’, sparking huge worship from the crowd. The members thanked the crowd and said their goodbyes before departing the stage, a resounding applause quickly filling the room.

Before long, both Mary and Shannon re-emerged to an almost deafening applause. Both claimed that they “haven’t played this song in a while” and that the crowd will have to fill in the words “as well as the chords,” Mary added, laughing as she gestured at Shannon. The duo dived into a stripped-back version of ‘Disco Biscuit Love’ from their very first release, where Shannon was a star on the keys.

Both Lockwood and Kaloper returned, ending the night with the spectacular ‘Easy To Love’ – the longtime fans sweetly relishing the old material.

Despite the sanctity and sheer magnitude of the Palais Theatre, the four-piece somehow performed a remarkably intimate show with the sincere showmanship and appreciation of a large crowd. Perhaps one of the greatest staples of modern Australian music, The Jezabels have ascended a seemingly infinite spiral of greatness in their career. Let’s hope it’s a lengthy one.

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