Big Scary, Beckah Amani @ Jive, Adelaide 15/10/2022

Saturday night at Jive and a nearly full crowd are there to witness an absolutely wonderful performance by Big Scary promoting their most recent two albums. Thanks to the streaming age that we live in I was able to hear both of these albums, 2021’s Daisy and this year’s Me and You, from start to finish several times before this concert. Prior to that, I had only heard a few of their songs on Triple J. Both albums are fantastic and tonight’s performance sounded incredible. The acoustics at Jive were immaculate and clear. Big Scary are Tom Iansek and Joanna Syme and they have been around since 2008. With just two people on stage, they create a rich full sound. They both take the vocal lead on different songs and when they harmonise together it is joyous. Tom plays keyboards and Joanna plays the drums and both of them played guitars on a few of the songs.

They opened with the slowly building Wake and the melodic Love to Love from last year’s Daisy album. A third way into tonight’s set they played Get Out! and Bursting at the Seams from the same album and they are both absolute disco funk anthems and my two favourite songs from that album. Both songs are so catchy and have great bass lines.

They played songs from the 2022 Me and You album and these songs were more keyboard focussed and gentler songs with absolutely beautiful melodies but yet quirky at the same time. They played Goodbye Earle Street and F.A. early in the set and to me, they evoked an indie version of the Italian piano player, Ludovico Einaudi.

They appeased older fans with an excellent selection of songs from their first three albums. Songs like “Twin Rivers” and “Gladiator” received huge cheers from the crowd.

On stage with Tom and Joanna were a few Roman columns with various items placed on them. One had rolls of industrial tape representing their performance being held together with gaffa tape. One column had two glasses of sparkling wine that represented a celebration of their career and another had hand gel representing covid. Jive’s mirror disco ball was used effectively as well to light our performers.

The delightful, harmonious Real Love was a highlight with its slow burn building up in power towards the end until it gently finishes with glorious solo piano The Opposite of Us from their 2016 Animal finished their outstanding set before coming back to do an encore of the heartfelt and beautifully written early hit Leaving Home from 2011.

Towards the end of Big Scary’s set, they shouted out the support act tonight: Beckah Amani. Joanna said that we needed to watch out because she is going to be huge. She said that over the years Courtney Barnett and Ball Park Music supported Big Scary early in their careers and Beckah is headed for their sort of fame.

Beckah Amani has been on my radar this year thanks to a friend’s recommendation and I was really looking forward to seeing her and she did not disappoint. It was just her and her guitar and she performed some excellent songs. She has her first EP being released on Friday 21 October and I personally can not wait to hear it. She performed Lebecka Leka a song about being present and a brilliant version of Halo by Beyonce. Beckah has such a beautiful and powerful voice which was highlighted in the songs Standards, Naive, and Strangers a song about how when you let go of people you are intimate with and then they become strangers. She ended with Waiting on You and I can not wait to hear this again one day with a band. I am hoping Beckah plays at Womadelaide next year as she would make a perfect fit.

I know I have been to a good concert when I can not wait to see both acts again and know I will continue to listen to them in the future. Anyone lucky enough to be in Victoria or Queensland in the next week will be able to see both acts.

Live Review By Richard De Pizzol

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