Image: Vasili Papathanasopoulos
On Friday night, Stumps kicked off their All Our Friends tour in Sydney to a sold out crowd at The Landsdown. The group performed their stellar hits to a standing audience, the first in over a year, who were dancing throughout the night. Made up of Kyle Fisher, Merrick Powell and Jonathan Dolan, Stumps treated fans to a night of superb musicianship, effortlessly moving between genres and sounds and creating a live experience that was truly unique.
Frontman Kyle Fisher kicked off the show by stating “let’s dance tonight” and from start to finish, there was no stopping the crowd from a good old fashioned boogie. Confident and captivating, the trio opened their set with Suburbia and Mouth Static, with the latter bringing an anthemic chorus that had each and every audience member singing along, with vivid lighting creating silhouettes as Fisher outstretched his arms to applause and cheers from the crowd.
One message in particular was threaded throughout the night; that it was a pleasure to be back and how intoxicating the energy of a standing live audience truly is. This was evident through the performance itself. The energy was electric throughout the night, after a year of postponed shows led to this very moment, with the audience reciprocating the energy.
Audience members were punching the air along to the driving beats of Makes Me Alright, with the venue erupting in dance moves, whilst also creating a more vulnerable moment within the set through the tracks conceptual nature. In contrast, The Bore provided ethereal vocals, that were absolutely transcendent. Building to a crescendo, the energy within the band heightened, with the group jumping during the chorus, met by the riotous cheers and applause from the crowd.
Laugh About It had the audience passionately singing along, jumping up and down, taking the energy to a whole new level. With guitar rhythms that could rival a Nile Rodgers or Chic classic, the performance was also a reminder to not take life too seriously, and have a laugh. That passion was followed through to Daffodils and Conversations, Conversations, with the expressions and energy palpitating from onstage towards the crowd. Fisher thanked the audience again for their attendance, noting how good it felt to finally perform again.
Fan favourite I’ve Had Enough had the crowd cheering along to the anthemic hook, shifting gears and bringing disco influences. Melodically the track moves through peaks and valleys, the song continues Stumps’ commentary of toxic masculinity, a theme threaded within their debut album, and subsequently their set. The commanding and captivating performance saw the band lead with a hand clap to which the audience followed along. The band were also joined on stage by Sydney-based sister duo CLEWS and Fisher’s own brother, musician Brae Fisher, which again brought another level of energy to the venue.
With just one song left until the night came to an end, Stumps closed the set with their superb 2020 single, Mt. Pleasant. The performance created a beautiful full circle moment, with the track having arrived at a time in the worlds history where we could not physically connect with each other. Twelve months later, there we were once again dancing together, and sharing the unique experience of live music. From start to finish, fans were captivated by Fisher’s mesmerising and commanding vocals, singing and jumping around to the enchanting soundscape. It was a great way to cap off the night, with cheers starting afterwards asking for “one more song”.
Working together in complete unison, Stumps elevated the body of work they presented us with late last year to a whole new level. The band created an unforgettable shared experience, and a night that many will reflect on. Stumps’ set was full of indie-rock melodies and riffs with a particular focus on their unique approach to disco, taking a more contemplative approach, working together flawlessly. Fishers vocals perfectly contrast against the nostalgic dance soundscapes presented throughout the set, with each song meticulously crafted to evoke emotions within the listener. For many this was a return to live performances, performances where you can stand and sing along, shoulder to shoulder with people, who like you, appreciate good music and supporting local talent.
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Images: Vasili Papathanasopoulos©