E^ST @ The Foundry

Good things come in small packages

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The Valley was looking a bit sad on Friday night when I arrived to see E^ST play her first headline show in Brisbane at the Foundry. I hoped it would pick up a bit before the young vocalist took to the stage, as I was sure she would give justice to her recorded tracks.

Melbourne-native electronic pop songstress BEL, opened up the night with her three piece set. Whilst there weren’t many punters there at this stage, she didn’t let that phase her, and her progressive pop tones filled the venue with their synth riffs and sparkly production. Her vocals were astonishing, and showed an incredible amount of skill and control, shown by her vibrato and range. She played a new song Own Home in the middle of her set, which she described as being about ‘not letting the power of the dark overwhelm the light’, and was an incredible display of grandiose alt-pop, almost becoming a bit avant-garde. Her last song of her set, Melancholia, was a highlight, although at times her voice became a bit lost in the mix. BEL had very good stage presence for a rookie performer, and I’ll be excited to see more from her in the future.

Alive Ivy came to the stage at around 9.30, and opened with track Touch. She performed mostly as a producer, and was a solo artist, looping synths and guitars over computer generated sounds. The first tracks were exciting, but after a while her stuff became slightly repetitive and un-engaging. Performance wise – she was pretty good, but I feel as though it was perhaps the wrong venue for her style. Her cover of Sweet Dreams Are Made of This was a highlight of her set, and I hope to see if she evolves in the future, as I feel she has great potential.

E^ST kicked off at 10.20, bouncing onto the stage with an incredible energy. Opening her set up with Parallel Lines, her two piece set up (just her and a synth/guitar player) seemed to work well, as she commanded the stage with the bubbly personality. Dressed in docs, cargo pants and a sheer mesh top, she dripped with confidence as she played through singles, and tracks from her new EP. Earlier tracks such as The Alley and Old Age merged well with newer tracks such as Cult and Anti-Hero which she confessed to have only played twice live.

By the time she got to bigger tracks Disappear and Monster, the Foundry had filled up behind me, and most people were having a boogie. Her short songs allowed her to have a long set list, and she kept on slaying every track on that list. Screentime and Let Down were other highlights.

Near the end of the set her band member left the stage, and she performed solo on guitar, showcasing her skills as a musician. Older track Until Then was filled with a fragility that she had not shown until then, and new track Bad Choices (which was approved by her mum), was also impressive. Her band member came back on the stage to an orchestral opening, and E^ST finished her set with Get Money!. I was half expecting local emerging hip-pop sensation Mallrat to make a surprise appearance to perform her rap section in the recorded song, but I was more surprised by how much E^ST absolutely nailed the whole thing.

There is much to come for this young performer, and if she keeps heading in the direction she is now, she is destined for great things. An excellent show.

-Olivia Shoesmith.

Zed Facts

On 14 December 1988, 4ZZZ was taken off air and forcibly evicted from its UQ premises by the then student union executive, headed by one Victoria Brazil. The move prompted many previously apolitical students to take a firm stand against the move and to rally support for the station. While Zed was not to return to the premises its' volunteers had helped hand-build, unprecedented community support saw the station live to fight another day.