Saturday night in Newtown. One of the last remaining hubs of art and culture in Sydney. The crowds are out in full force tonight, bar-hopping and concert-going with plenty to see and do on a dreary night. After a monster of a storm hit Sydney late Saturday afternoon, and being pelted by an absolute deluge, relief came and the population responded.
Fractures is a very new musical artist hailing from Melbourne. He released his debut full length ‘Still Here’ a mere 8 days ago, having only an EP and a few B-sides to his name thus far. Nevertheless, tonight’s show is sold out, anticipation is high and revellers come in numbers to see the man showcase his new material.
Rocking up quite late to the Social Club, not getting a chance to catch any of the support acts, Fractures arrives. It’s a very awkward introduction, unrehearsed and a little bit too humble in my opinion. Granted it was only a small gig, but at least try and act like it’s an arena and turn the lights off before you walk out!
Opening with the first track from the new album, Withhold is a solid beginning, showcasing the intricate guitar harmonies and lead singer Mark Zito’s smooth and well trained vocals. Tonight he is backed by a 4 piece band, and each member makes their contribution. Being a very guitar/piano based album, there was a lot of ground to cover, but the band did well to piece together the important parts and get the right depth of sound.
The setlist mostly comprised of songs from the latest album (of course), but we are gifted to some old favourites such as Twisted and Cadence. Highlights of the night included Timeframe and Apnea. Overall the setlist worked well, but it was mostly marred by the bizarre light-hearted and quirky jokes told in between each song. The material is mostly sombre, sad tales of love and loss, yet pausing between each track to crack a few funnies took away from the atmosphere of the night, and instead of feeling like I was at a concert, I felt like I was at a pub gig. Disappointing, because there is some great material there.
Another letdown was also the normally flawless album track Lowcast falling flat on it’s face as the second last track of the night. Such a shame that this piece couldn’t translate quite well enough to the stage, as it’s one of my favourites! The dynamic just wasn’t there tonight. Whether it was an off performance or a regular occurrence, I don’t know. Ending the show with the stirring and upbeat, though at times a little messy, I Don’t Mind, Fractures has showcased the best of his discography and there wasn’t a song which I felt didn’t need to be there, or could have been added, to enhance the song choices.
Fractures did well tonight. He has some fantastic songs, he knows his way around the guitar and blends perfectly with his back-up guitarist. Judging by the crowd response, I am sure Fractures will be around for some time to come, and I wouldn’t hesitate to go and see him again.
Fractures @ Newtown Social Club, Newtown. Saturday 18th February, 2017.
- It’s Alright
- Fall Harder
- I Don’t Mind