Wednesday 8 May 2019
Photos by Leteesha De Landgrafft
There was a strange tranquility on the streets of Fremantle last Wednesday evening. With barely anyone in sight as I approached the venue, I wondered if perhaps the people of Perth were holding out to see Aurora at Groovin’ The Moo the coming weekend instead. Perhaps tonight would be a smaller gig with plenty of room for dancing. My initial thoughts, however, were proven very wrong.
Supporting act, Austen, managed to draw an impressive crowd with a near full venue. The Brisbane singer wowed the audience with her powerful vocals, electronic, dance-inducing beats and some groovy moves to match. She successfully got the crowd warmed up and ready for the main act.
Waiting by the side of the stage for Aurora to come out, I chatted to one of the other photographers, who told me she’d had the pleasure of photographing Aurora before and that I was in for a treat. This made me even more excited, yet my already high expectations were somehow exceeded.
Suddenly the lights dimmed and the venue fell silent. Silhouettes moved onto the stage. The set opened with the eerie ‘Churchyard’. Bathed in white lights to match her angelic voice, Aurora gave the audience chills from the opening line as she sung a capella. As the song picked up and the rest of the band joined in, she gradually became more expressive, spinning stories with her delicate hands, striking poses and gliding across the stage.
Next up was ‘Warrior’. Unlike the gentle gestures paired with the previous song, Aurora’s movements were strong, precise and swift. As she danced around the stage, I could barely keep up with my camera.
Aurora took a quick break to say hello to Perth. Her soft, sweet voice came as a surprising contrast to the piercing, powerful vocals we’d just experienced. The Norwegian singer told the crowd how she’d found a spider in her cutlery holder when she went out for breakfast that morning. A very Australian experience. She spoke frequently throughout the evening and never failed to earn a few laughs. Endearing and down to earth, she wasn’t afraid to ramble or to say whatever thoughts popped into her head.
Aurora’s set became more energetic as it progressed. Her dance moves effortlessly transitioned between ethereal, floaty and fluid — much like the jellyfish suspended above her — to theatrical, spirited and bold. She even paused at one point to take her shoes off, which led to even more head shaking, hair swishing and jumping around the stage, in her socks this time.
“I’m going to play a sad song… it’s one of those haunting love songs,” Aurora announced, before performing a stripped back version of ‘Murder Song’.
Standing still for the entire song, it was a well-deserved break and one of the highlights of the night.
“You’ve been sending me a lot of love today in your eyes and it’s really heart-warming,” she said, before diving into an energy-packed rendition of ‘Running With The Wolves’.
Aurora bowed and left the stage. But we all wanted more. After some serious clapping, cheering and foot stomping from the crowd, Aurora and her band re-emerged to perform ‘Queendom’.
Then one of the funniest moments of the night occurred. As soon as the song was finished, the lights abruptly came up and AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’ began to play over the speakers. The Norwegian singer promptly began to head bang to the crowd’s delight, before exiting the stage.
Leaving the venue, I overheard some girls in front of me describe the evening as “wholesome”. I couldn’t help but agree as I stepped into the crisp night air. Maybe it was the emotion in Aurora’s songs. Maybe it was her energetic performance, her humble nature or her banter. But something I’d experienced kept me feeling toasty all the way back to my car.