Phebe Starr @ The Black Bear Lodge

This star knows how to captivate a crowd

My 16 year old self was beside herself when she heard that Phebe Starr was playing her first headline show in Brisbane.

Playing a small, intimate show at the Black Bear Lodge, I was excited to see how Starr would bring the sparkle of her new record Chronicles to the stage. Bringing along two local supports – Niterunner and Yuuca – it was a stellar lineup for a real starr.

Niterunner seemed apprehensive at first – it seemed as if there was a problem with the sound as the lead singer started with a slightly shaky vocal performance, but after a few tracks, the aesthetic power fam band eased into a groove on the stage to deliver some funky synth-pop glory.

Yuuca, another Brisbane band were up next, and they oozed confidence and musicality. The 6 piece outfit, complete with two lead singers were almost trance like as they played through their set – a combination of older tracks and yet to be released bangers. They commandeered the stage with the kind of precision you don’t usually see at the level, and were the perfect counterpart to the more upbeat vibes of Niterunner and Phebe Starr.

A quick changeover saw Phebe Starr come onto the stage in no time at all, dressed in a magnificent sequined yellow suit. (Seriously, where can I get one of those) Ambient wind noises and hi energy yellow lights commanded you too look at the stage – a small stage that Starr transformed into a huge platform as she traversed every inch of it.

She opened with a couple of new songs before playing some of the tracks off her new record – Two Hearts and Dream were just as funky in the figurative flesh as they are on record, and her informative chit chat felt as if she was talking directly to you. Older track Alone With You, and a new track called Anna (which was about losing your best friend) were a mellow filling before she picked up the energy again with anti-jerk banger They Keep Telling Me. She finished with lead single Feel My Love which brought the back-of-room dwellers down to the front for a boogie before saying goodbye.

Phebe Starr is one of the most underrated artists I have had the pleasure of seeing perform. They say there is something in a name, and she cements this thought – she really is a starr.

Olivia Shoesmith

Zed Facts

After 4ZZZ was evicted from its UQ premises in 1988, staff temporarily broadcast from the Mount Coot-tha transmission tower, using a cassette player which was set up to go straight to air.