Let me tell you, it is impossible to end May on a bigger high than a Tash Sultana concert. IMPOSSIBLE.
Reuben Stone was the perfect act to warm the crowd up for Sultana, yet I’ll admit at first, I was a little confused. What was he doing with all those buttons? How can he make the trombone look so stylish? However, by the second song I was totally blown away and sucked into Stone’s looped beats and electronic dance sounds. Listen up Adelaide, we were the inspiration for Reubens song Trouble; written about the time he was busking at the Adelaide Fringe and the cops told him to turn it down.
At 9pm, Tash filled Thebarton Theatre with her radiating beauty and vibes. From her first song, every single person there was made to feel special, kind of the same way you feel when the cute guy at the cashier smiles at you. It was Tash’s first under-age concert, which was pretty damn obvious because of the high pitch screaming. (Not going to lie, that might have been me for a couple of songs…) She jokingly made comment that ‘It’s always much louder when there are lots of girls.’ But whether you were a guy, a chick, regardless of sexuality or culture, this was your night with Tash.
Dancing effortlessly around on stage barefoot, Sultana’s music lived through her movements and cheeky facial expressions- don’t get me started on those dimples! This concert was authentic and real, like you were in her living room watching those famous performances.
A couple of times I found myself closing my eyes and going on this wonderful psychedelic journey with Tash, covered in goose bumps despite the hundreds of bopping bodies around me. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one getting lost in the music, with Sultana confessing ‘you know you got into [the song] when you spit on yourself!’ Aghh Tash, we love you!
It’s hard to understand how vulnerable Tash is on stage, there is nothing she can hide behind, no backing band or singers, it’s just her and her instruments... Yet every darn tootin song was flawless! At one stage Tash even did a trumpet solo and casually said that she ‘never learnt to play the trumpet, [she] just bought it and that’s what happened.’ Yeah right siter, if I got a trumpet and just went freestyle, it would ruin lives!
All credit goes to the light and sound guys, the acoustics could not be faulted, each sound rang through Thebby and got you right in soul. And by the way, if you are ever at a Tash Sultana gig and wonder who the bearded guy standing side stage is, it’s her proud dad! Yep, he’s quit work and now tours the world with his daughter. Mum, if you’re reading this, no pressure to quit your day job for me.
Notion was a crowd favourite and the fans already knew her latest song Murder To The Mind word for word, but there was one song we were all waiting to hear. ‘Welcome to the jungle, are you gonna dance with me’, the song started with an acoustic sing along and then it was Tash’s que to go absolutely nuts. She made sounds with her pedals and guitars that only the love child or Hendrix and Jimmy Page should be able to make. Next minute, the baseball cap was off and she was on the ground absolutely shredding a solo. As Tash went down, the phones went up. I sure hope that when everybody re-watched their Snapchat story, it was as amazing as witnessing this pure talent in real life, not through a screen.
Just last year, Tash Sultana was playing to a crowd of 200, now she has sold out almost every show in Australia and overseas. “When I was 5 years old, I had this dream that I would be 22 years old and playing in front of you. Now I’m 22 and here I am.”
There was no encore, and I have even more respect for the girl as she didn’t feel the need for the audience to scream her back on stage and create the false suspense that happens at almost every concert. The night was made complete with Tash playing her final song, Black Bird, on an acoustic 12 string.
I have never seen an artist perform the way that Tash does, bringing the stage to life and staying with the audience long after she has left. Drawing influences from life on the street busking, new love and losing the ones closest to her heart, these are the words that are still going over and over in my head… “You are born and you die, and then there’s this space in between. Just don’t be a dick.” Tash’s soul shines through her talent. Call her reggae, folk or psychedelic, I don’t believe her music can be summed up in words. It has to be heard.