Show Pics: Austra @ The Mohawk (9.13)

I really enjoy the nights when I can double up shows. A positive of the noise ordinance regulations is that the outdoor shows at Stubb’s and The Mohawk finish early enough to head over to another venue to do more shimmying. We already shared show notes and pics from Dent May, now we have some Austra love.

This ended up being a very photogenic show. DIANA was a pleasant surprise and the light show and ever-improving stage presence of Katie Stelmanis made Austra a true headliner.

Click through for some notes and plenty of pics…

I had a nice talk with Austra‘s tour manager, Ryan I believe it was, about the fact the band is headlining for the first time. To celebrate, they rented lighting for the tour and set up some midi sync antics to give the fans a show. Sure, it means a longer set up and tear down, but in for a dime, in for a dollar. Let’s make the fans happy. I enjoyed it. Not the best shooting conditions, but is was pretty.

DIANA had to navigate the parasols to set up their instruments. I hadn’t spent much time with this band beyond sampling some songs to know what to expect. You know a band does something right when you recognize songs, even recalling song titles, when hearing them live for the first time is only the second spin. DIANA is fronted by Carmen Elle and though the formula for both bands are similar, Carmen’s delivery is more charming. Their songs give her some space to play unlike the nearly operatic performance reuired out of Katie. Recommended listening.

Austra has come a good way since I saw their performance at FFF6. Gone are the elaborate garb, bleached hair and eye makeup. What is still there and getting better is the vocal, from solid to hauntingly big – even better than the opening spot for The XX (headlining adrenaline boost?), stronger and more confident. Katie spends time out in front, using all of the stage in between short keyboard stints better connecting the crowd. Maya’s performance on drums was another notable, she broke a cymbal stand. I loved the material from Olympia. The crowd wanted the hits. Of the new tracks, “Home” was most warmly received. I would only recommend to perhaps increase setlist variation or create a little more separation; a couple songs blended into the next, that “didn’t they play this already” moment.

This is a headlining act. How else were they able to fill the Mohawk on a night with a TON of competition?

More pics at the photo site

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