It’s remarkable how much an artist can grow, both personally and in terms of their fan base, in under a year.
After a smaller, more intimate show at the end of August in 2016, Celia Pavey returned to Geelong with an epic show following her heartbreaking yet artistically progressive ‘Perennial’ album release.
Pavey kicked off the evening by demonstrating the electro-pop integration with her folk music foundations in Perennial, with a stunning ‘First Week’. Although poignant lyrically, the intoxicating instrumentals coupled with her vibrant execution set the tone of the peaks in her show to follow.
While it was difficult to subdue the excitable (and tipsy) Geelong crowd for her softer tunes after her impassioned entrance, Pavey’s permeating, unvarnished voice quickly won the listeners favour into silence.
The slower tunes in the set allowed Pavey to showcase her vocal nakedness and purity, which is what she was first recognised for in ‘The Voice Australia’.
A cloudy blue hue lingered on the stage during her quieter songs, reflecting the sombre, gritty nature of the lyrics.
Pavey carved through the slower songs within the set with highly charged ‘Lady Powers’. The intense lighting throughout the distinctively different tune ‘Lady Powers’ further roused the audience and gave an edge to her show.
Towards the end of her set, Pavey performed her breakthrough song ‘Hold’, which landmarked the artist on popular alternative radio station, triple j. ‘Hold’ earned Pavey unprecedented popularity and a significant fan base, which still follows her to the likes of the teeming Wool Exchange today.
‘Hold’ allowed Pavey an opportunity to connect with the crowd, handing out flowers to the audience and greeting some of her passionate fans at the front of the stage.
The thundering rendition of ‘Hold’ brought an incredible energy to the spectators, which was reflected in Pavey’s own performance and launched her through her last few songs.
Pavey finished the set with a fierce performance of ‘Private’, storming the length of the stage in her stunning sheer black shimmering maxi dress. The explosive and harsher lighting accompanying ‘Private’ replicated the intensity of the song.
The luminous Pavey soon returned to the stage after the frenetic crowd demanded an encore.
Combining an immaculate rendition of Jack Garratt’s ‘Breathe Life’ (which she debuted on triple j’s Like a Version back in early 2016) and her very own ‘Mended’, Pavey concluded her show elegantly.
It was difficult to hear Pavey over her fans during the chorus of ‘Mended’ as every single person seemed to be dispersing their last ounces of energy by belting it out alongside her.
A combination of her impeccable execution vocally and the new raw electronic edge to her music engaged Pavey’s onlookers almost instantly. Her recent recognition as one of Australia’s most promising talents and her extensive performing experience over the last few years radiated through a confident, incandescent Pavey.
This tour is certain to cement Pavey’s position as one of Australia’s most talented young musicians.
Where: Wool Exchange Entertainment Complex
When: Saturday August 12
Special guests: Thandi Phoenix and Lakyn
Reviewed by Mia Turnley
Photography by Opus Imagery