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A Wholesome Night with Good Morning

There’s something uncomfortable about going to a concert by yourself. It’s the same feeling as going to a restaurant, the beach, or the cinema alone. All these locations carry with them the anxiety (or maybe it’s a desire) that you must be sharing them with someone else.

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There’s something uncomfortable about going to a concert by yourself. It’s the same feeling as going to a restaurant, the beach, or the cinema alone. All these locations carry with them the anxiety (or maybe it’s a desire) that you must be sharing them with someone else. And no matter how many times I do these activities alone, my neurosis always creeps up on me. The self-conscious idea that people think I’m a loser for being alone lingers in the back of my mind and I feel insecure. It’s a self-indulgent thought, that people even care what I’m doing and who I’m doing it with, but it’s one I think, nevertheless. It was no different when I went to Melbourne Recital Centre to see the Australian indie rock duo Good Morning as part of the Melbourne RISING festival.

As I entered the building, my first thought was how crowded and overwhelming it was, so I quickly rushed to the bathroom to collect and prepare myself to navigate the crowd. My second thought, however, was how cool everyone seemed. Cool in a very Melbourne sense of the word: Nalgenes, skinny scarves, carabiners hanging off baggy pants, Salomons and Mary Jane Dr. Martens. It felt fitting for the band we were all about to see. Their laid back, melodic and often quietly optimistic music fitting the relaxed energy of the crowd; and the modern extravagance of the Elizabeth Murdoch Hall being the perfect venue to capture the quiet orchestral sounds of the duo’s latest album, Good Morning Seven. It was a match made in heaven and as I settled into my seat and the blue and purple toned lights lit the stage, my anxieties couldn’t help but be washed away in a wave of excitement.

Members Liam Parson and Stefan Blair unassumingly walked on stage, followed by a collection of friends/bandmates––including Stefan’s dad who played the sax and other instruments throughout the night. As they opened with the soulful first track off of Good Morning Seven, “Arcade”, it was a wholesome sight, what felt like a gathering of friends just having fun together. This carried throughout the concert as the duo and their bandmates talked to the crowd and looked at each other cheekily throughout. The hour and a half went by fast as they breezed through their rather short songs, with the backing vocalists filling the Hall beautifully in songs such as “Excalibur” and the melancholic violin in songs like “Out to Pasture” serenading the audience, giving me goosebumps in the process. As they ended the night on the soft sounds of “$10”, I couldn’t help but smile for this was the song that led me to discover the band in the first place.

By the time the duo and their bandmates waltzed off stage and the lights came up, I could hardly remember the anxiety I had experienced at the beginning of the night. I didn’t feel so alone but rather like I was part of this warm gathering of friends, experiencing and enjoying the music alongside them. I left the Melbourne Recital Centre feeling uplifted, relaxed and content, for their songs have this quality that leaves you feeling like everything is okay and just as it should be. As I strolled past the National Gallery of Australia, Flinders Street Station and up Swanston Street, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for what I had just witnessed, comfortable in my own company and lucky to be in Melbourne for RISING festival and able to see a band I have admired for quite some time. I left appreciating their music even more––the best outcome of any concert.

 
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