The Jezabels @ Festival Hall
All limbs, long legs leading, Hayley Mary was a sexy spider woman adorned in tight black stockings and bike shorts; stalking and catapulting around the stage from the first moment The Jezabels burst in with hit Endless Summer. Mary was electric: one moment swinging her hips, another thrashing around wildly. The front woman’s showmanship was an unexpected surprise, with few artists today able to match her grasp on performance. However at times her constant dancing was distracting, and I longed for her to pause and communicate her admittedly personal lyrics with feeling and conviction.
Despite her extensive gymnastics, Mary never for a second faltered vocally. Irrespective of less than perfect sound levels – an overpowering amount of treble and ear-piercing volume doing both the headliner and support band Lights a disservice – Mary’s soaring, celestial, incredibly powerful voice was flawless; her extensive vocal range, technical finesse and immaculate control shining on favourites Long Highway and City Girl. Though it seemed impossible to retain such impeccable execution and accuracy even while jumping on and off the stage and mounting the barrier to interact with frenzied fans, Mary didn’t miss a single note. The band was equally solid, and despite their short career were a tight, creative, well-oiled machine.
The discrepancy between their limited experience and excellent performance skills was evident when dauntless diva Mary became modest, grateful and shy when the music ceased, expressing her incredulity at the crowd size. Complete with a light show and video backdrops, the Jezabels’ performance was an absolute spectacle, and difficult to fault.
BY KIMBERLEY CROXFORD
LOVED: The vocal skill.
HATED: The sound quality.