SummerSalt Festival: John Butler, Missy Higgins, Emmanuel Jal, Bec Stevens @ Adelaide 18/11/17

Glenelg’s Summersalt festival is one of Adelaide’s Calendar highlights. With the 2017 line-up sporting such names as Missy Higgins and the John Butler Trio, playing alongside some of South Australia’s most pristine coastline, Summersalt is truly a festival that can draw a crowd.

The crowd got to their feet almost instantly as the freshly cut hair of one Missy Higgins graced the stage. Such a familiar face could almost be excused for walking nonchalantly over to her piano, however she immediately welcomed the crowd and introduced Don’t Ever. Missy seemed right at home adjacent from the crashing waves that make up Glenelg beach. Eventually she introduced her title track Special Two making special reference to the monumental ‘yes vote’ that Australia had passed the most recent Wednesday.

The set list mirrored the beauty of the weather that was on show in Adelaide this evening. Running through classics such as Ten Days and Everyone’s Waiting whilst the sea breeze cooled the heat of the festival goers. Anticipation grew as the sun caused the sky to reflect colours of purple hue. This feeling was mimicked by Missy-Laneous as she introduced the Perry Keyes original NYE. After pretending to say goodnight to the crowd, she didn’t leave any fans hanging and belted out the classic four-chord-tune Scar, followed by Steer to end her set.

As the sun started to dip into the ocean, and the attendees sought out beverages and food from the various carts lining the length of the beach, John Butler and band arrived on stage, introducing themselves to a familiar crowd. Hailing from the USA, but still calling Australia home, the John Butler Trio are a band well acquainted with Adelaide’s shores.

Starting with a tribute to the original custodians of Adelaide’s land, and moving swiftly into such favourites as Treat your Mamma, Better Than and Ocean as Glenelg was cast in the rich colours of sunset, these were a talent that Adelaide had been holding out to see. Moving into a political statement regarding the state of the Great Australian Bight, and pleading with concert goers to take up arms and equip themselves with knowledge, the trio rounded off with Used to Get High, highlighting the discord between consumer and consumption. The prominence of this statement was supported by John discussing Manus Island, praising Australia’s environmental leanings, and the roars from the crowd set the tone for the sounds to come. Rounding off their set with a fan favourite Zebra, The John Butler Trio proved that they still remain a versatile, powerhouse acoustic band whose roots stretch beyond their Freemantle origins.

Review by Robyn Jade

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