Middle Kids | Live Review
Photography: Kim Phan | @averagecabbage.mp3
Middle Kids played a phenomenal all-ages show at Metro Theatre on 9 April. Framed by an impressive floral backdrop, the three-piece band never looked so good. Astounding with their energy, they opened with a bass-heavy rendition of ‘Never Start’ that had the audience begging for more.
Frontwoman Hannah Joy was the heart and soul of this show, completely owning her spot on centre stage. Tracks like ‘On My Knees’ and ‘Your Love’ were rollickingly fun, Joy’s chirruping voice supported by hazy guitar and an incredible light show from Metro Theatre.
Stripped-back numbers ‘Maryland’ and ‘Hole’ were more intimate, a welcome break from the sometimes overwhelming volume of the accompaniment. With just a single spotlight on Joy, the songs were short and powerful, showcasing the melancholy pop that makes Middle Kids so exciting.
Seeing the audience reaction to tracks like ‘Edge of Town’, ‘Beliefs and Prayers’, and ‘Fire in Your Eyes’, it became clear that Middle Kids are following a blueprint with many of their songs: slow, instrumental start that leads to a beat-heavy hook and rolling climax showcasing Joy’s high notes. Obviously this is a format that works for them, with these songs in particular being crowd favourites, but at times it became formulaic. Consequently, more candid moments stood out as highlights for me, like the banter before playing ‘Slow Eyes’, where Joy revealed: “sometimes I have trouble putting a drink down, so I wrote this song.” The change of pace that came with a demo version of ‘Old River’ was also memorable. Evoking First Aid Kit and Fleet Foxes, the percussion-less track was aided by beautiful harmonies and some stellar melodica playing from drummer Harry Day.
Middle Kids are a joy to watch, even just for the incredible energy of frontwoman Hannah Joy and the fun that exudes from every other member. Their first ever release, ‘Edge of Town’, achieved international critical success almost overnight, but playing to a home stage in Sydney seemed just as special to them as Jimmy Kimmel. With their new EP set to be released in late May, nothing is stopping Middle Kids.