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Jack River is golden

The absolutely loveable Jack River proved herself to be anything but ‘Fool’s Gold’ when she took to The Corner stage. The 26-year-old is the real deal, and her talent was dazzling.

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Dylan Martin

She had two supports along for the night, the first of which was the charming Annie Hamilton. River and Hamilton are actually housemates, so there was a lot of love between these two. Hamilton released her debut single ‘Fade’ earlier this year, which she sung live in her sweet, soft-spoken vocals. Considering it’s the only track she’s released, she held her own for the full-length set, and it’ll be exciting to see what comes next from the budding artist.

Jess Kent was the second support, throwing a little bit of spice into the mix. The British-born, Australian musician is a bit of a genre-bender, mashing together elements of rap, hip hop and pop to create her sound. Tracks like ‘Get Down’ and ‘Bass Bumps’ delivered thumping beats, while others were more stripped back, showcasing her sugary voice. She played a mix of old and new tunes, including her latest release ‘Girl’, which was a treat given it hadn’t yet dropped by the date of the gig.

It was a pretty impressive turn out for a Wednesday night, and the venue was packed by the time Jack River took to the stage. Her band appeared first, dressed in matching white silk shirts, before being joined by the singer herself. River was a vision in a glittery pink frock, which shone and shimmied around her as she made her way through opening track, ‘Ballroom’.

She continued the set with some older tunes, ‘Palo Alto’ and ‘Talk Like That’, from her Highway Songs No.2 EP, before pausing to introduce her band (which included a reappearance from Annie Hamilton on guitar).

River’s joy was palpable as she addressed the crowd, her broad smile and humble words making her even more endearing. Selling out a mid-week gig at The Corner Hotel is an exciting achievement for any musician, but particularly since she had played to a smaller audience at Howler earlier in the year, so this was an evident step up for the singer. She was clearly in awe of the number of people who had come to watch her perform, gushing her thankyous to the room.

Next up was ‘Limo Song’, which kicked off a string of tracks from her debut album, Sugar Mountain. The record was a very personal project for River, and she took the time to introduce each song, explaining the stories behind them and her various inspirations. This kind of crowd interaction made it feel as though she was inviting everyone into her mind for the night, fostering a connection between the artist and the audience beautifully.

While she sung her way through tracks like ‘Constellation Ball’, ‘Stardust and Rust’ and ‘In Infinity’, orb shaped lights around the stage flickered and glowed, reminiscent of planets or stars in the solar system. This seemed like a pretty pointed display considering River’s infatuation with the cosmos is a recurring theme on Sugar Mountain, and it made the performance feel dreamy and otherworldly. Similarly, the use of coloured lighting, with neon pinks, blues and purples illuminating the singer as she moved around the stage, gave the same tones that feature on a lot of her cover art.

After playing ‘Fields’, she and the band disappeared off the stage for what could have been the end of the show, but everyone knew there was more to come. Sure enough, they quickly reappeared, breaking into ‘She’s So High’, a track which River has covered before at her shows, and always draws a huge response from the crowd. Everyone started clapping along for the final chorus, and even the band stopped playing their instruments momentarily to join in.

The night wrapped up with none other than ‘Fool’s Gold’, which River poured the last of her energy into. As she thanked everyone again for coming, there was nothing but genuine gratitude emanating from the singer. As well as being exceptionally talented, River is just a straight-up lovely human being, and that’s what will see her selling out many more shows to come.

Highlight:  ‘Constellation Ball’.

Lowlight: Nothing.

Crowd Favourite:  ‘Fool’s Gold’.