Photos by Holly Rose
This is a songwriter to keep a keen eye on.
For a Wednesday night gig, Gena Rose Bruce did well to attract a crowd to Northcote Social Club. The venue is a hub for all things indie-music and a fitting location for Gena Rose Bruce’s laid-back performance.
Opened by indie-pop singer Sandy HSU and four-piece Tamara & The Dreams, the evening’s supports were the perfect appetisers for the smoky rock sounds of Gena Rose Bruce.
The gig celebrated the launch of Bruce’s debut album Can’t Make You Love Me. The LP was released to the world on June 28 via Dot Dash Recordings and offers a stunning introduction to Gena Rose Bruce.
Performed with an incredible live band, the audience were also lucky to watch jade imagine on stage singing backing vocals alongside Bruce. As she tells the audience during the show, they helped her produce her album Can’t Make You Love Me.
Bruce performed each of the album’s 11 tracks, which weave an emotional story of love, heartbreak and healing. Most notably, ‘I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You’ is that break-up song that will have you crying, single or not.
Not all of her songs will leave you an emotional wreck, however, with her boppier anthems like ‘The Way You Make Love’ and ‘Revive’ breaking up the melancholy while keeping the set dynamic and interesting. The former was a personal favourite – suddenly, Bruce’s angelic vocals were given the room to shine.
Bruce’s incorporation of dream-pop and alt-country make for an incredibly interesting performance. More heartfelt songs such as ‘I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You’ were raw and were performed without her band while the aforementioned ‘Revive’ added another level of energy to the show.
The eye-catching light display was also a highpoint of the night. The red lights that often masked Bruce’s face added an intimacy and ethereal quality to the performance. The set up was simple, but it worked; the red roses cascading down the microphone stand were a subtle but sweet touch.
Other favourites of the night were ‘Logan’s Beach’ and ‘Rearview’, with fans joyfully reciting all the lyrics. In true northside fashion, the crowd were docile but you could tell they were enjoying themselves – silently swaying without too much effort. There were even a few local music celebs like Merpire floating around.
Ending on the final song from Can’t Make You Love Me, ‘Wild One’, Bruce left the crowd in awe of her musical talent. Definitely a face to watch, Bruce is destined to send shockwaves through the indie music scene.
Highlight: The EDM lighting without the EDM.
Lowlight: The gig being on a Wednesday.
Crowd Favourite: The surprise of having jade imagine on stage alongside Bruce.