Dope Lemon is back with their first headline tour in three years. Originating from Byron Bay, Angus Stone unleashed his hypnotic and mystical alter ego along with his talented band mates, to Adelaide fans at HQ Complex on August 15th. Branching out as a solo alternative and indie artist, penned under the name Dope Lemon, Angus’ psychedelic combination of visually imaginative lyrics and sound mix into a trippy and wonderful ride on stage.
Support act Golf Alpha Bravo began the night, enlightening fans to a melancholic surf soul experience. Resembling undertones ranging from the likes of The Stooges to Dinosaur Jr., these talented and mysterious guys, interacted with each other and the audience smiling throughout the whole set. Reflecting grunge skater vibes, the trio of long haired, furry cap-wearing musicians performed Unwind as well as their other songs. Gab and Josh delighted us with their catchy guitar riffs while David displayed his multi-layered talent as he played the maraca in one hand and the drums in the other.
Lemon lights lit up on stage and a retro yellow ‘DOPE LEMON’ sign flashed. Four dapper dudes wearing tan suits, cowboy boots and eclectic hats waved to the crowd. Out of the shadows, Angus appeared, acknowledging the crowd in his smooth black velvet suit and hat. Immediately, we all entered the dream zone. Performances such as Coyote and Fuck Things Up, highlighted melting moments as the crowd swayed to the soft synths and melodies that were sonically pleasing to the senses.
Tracks like Hey You, Salt & Pepper and Smooth Big Cat from the aurally pleasing and stunning second studio LP Smooth Big Cat, delighted fans. We were on a ride together, being transported on a big green spaceship, heads bopping and singing Hey You in unison. There is ultimately something refreshing and intimate about making eye contact with strangers as you ask them amongst a dancing crowd; “Hey you! What ya doin’ over there?” In between songs, Angus spoke to the crowd, introducing his lead guitarist, highlighting his musical talents and telling us, “You guys are just beautiful.”
Since Dope Lemon’s debut 2016 single release Honey Bones, their sound has developed and they have solidified their place in the alternative music scene. Angus rolled out arguably, the sexiest Dope Lemon song in his smoky drawl; “Ah she got them honey bones.” Angus’ sultry vocals kept in time with chimes and tambourines, the melodies complimenting each other perfectly.
Angus’ seductive guitar and vocal drones melted through us, playing with our imagination, evoking vibes of Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Stuart’s Willy Wonka soundtracks. Fans twisted and turned with each other to the kaleidoscopic sounds of Marinade. Simultaneously creepy and delightful lyrics like; “She used to draw rainbow faces in the sand, but the rainbow made the face sad”, unravelled the senses. Angus’ shirt came undone and his hat disappeared as we landed together at the end of the show.
After strolling past a small tiki statue and sipping on his bottle of beer, Angus and his four band members waltzed to centre stage and took a bow, smiling for the crowd. Like the enchanting smooth big cat, Dope Lemon boogied away after spreading their mischief, mayhem and love. The party continued to vibe well after the gig, where the crowd passed around a giant cat head wearing it and dancing with it in a beautiful, strange aftermath.
Live Review By Zara Zampaglione