Highasakite - Metro Theatre, Sydney

Written by Elisa Parry

Highasakite - Metro Theatre, Sydney

It’s a determined crowd of people gathered at The Metro, and they’re clearly reluctant to let the festivities of the triple j Hottest 100 long weekend. Who can blame them when their dedication is rewarded with such a stellar performance?

Japanese Wallpaper kicks things off by taking everyone to a very happy place. With his intricate and understated layering, ethereal melodies and catchy tunes it’s easy to see how young gun Gab Strum soared to Unearthed High glory in 2014.

No doubt 2015 has further triumphs in store for the 17-year-old prodigy, yet he remains endearingly humble, offering a shy smile between tracks in acknowledgement of the rapturous applause. His remix of Montgomery’s Piñata goes down smoothly, and Breathe In and Waves also receive a warm welcome. By the time he wraps up his delightful set with Between Friends it’s safe to say everyone is just a little bit in love with this kid.

Sufficiently loved up, we’re more than ready for a sweet dose of Norwegian indie pop. Lit from beneath, Highasakite emerge wraith-like from the shadows. Front-woman Ingrid Helene Håvik commands the immediate attention of all present and holds it unwaveringly for the next hour and a half.

She belts out their first track of the evening out, Lover, where do you Live?, followed by Leave No Traces off their debut album Silent Treatment. Before long the rollicking beat of My Soldier has the dance floor heating up and by the time I, The Hand Grenade drops, the party has officially started.

The soft intros, smoky tones and exquisite vocal harmonies of their songs tend to lull the listener into a sense of serenity before erupting into just the right kind of chaos. The crowd can’t get enough. The band power through popular choices including Darth Vader, Iran, The Man on the Ferry and Since Last Wednesday, which came in at a cool #77 on the Hottest 100.

Håvik delivers an incredibly dynamic vocal performance backed by equally exceptional performances from band members Trond Bersu, Øystein Skar, Marte Eberson and Kristoffer Lo. There’s no doubting Highasakite are one hell of a talented ensemble. All too soon it’s encore time and we are left with with a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Bon Iver’s Heavenly Father. It’s heavenly indeed.

Image: Highasakite Live In Sydney 2015 / Photo: Maria Louise Boyadgis

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