Photography: Max Reilly
Gigs are back! As the nights get colder, the return of live music is steadily growing in Melbourne, and this one well and truly brought the adrenaline rush we have all been craving. Fremantle singer-songwriter Noah Dillon has timed his run to perfection. Off the back of a strong 2020, the curly-haired crooner has been touring around the country, playing to packed-out venues everywhere he ventures.
Kicking off the festivities were Melbourne three-piece Obscura Hail. Punters knew a limited amount about the bedroom rockers but were pleasantly surprised by their performance. Balancing cathartic harmonies reminding us of an early Angus and Julia Stone, backed by strung-out guitar chords and mixed with wit and charisma that had the steadily growing crowd hanging on their every word, it was a perfect warm-up to the main event. For fans of Julia Jacklin or Sweater Curse, these guys are a band for you.
Dressed in matching boiler suits, Noah Dillon and Co opened with 2019’s in-your-face anthem ‘Don’t Act Like You Know Me’ which was met with raucous approval from the Old Bar crowd. Rolling through some of 2020’s favoured releases including ‘Sunburnt in July’ and ‘Knievel Daredevil’, Dillon’s talent began to shine through. It is not an outlandish statement to suggest that this man is one of the finest songwriters Australia currently has in rotation. The well-haired gentleman’s talent is obvious through the breadth of melody and tempo control Dillon is able to exude. No two tracks are the same, however, perhaps the most striking fascination, and what has led to his deeply dedicated fanbase growing exponentially, is how Noah can blend the raw emotion of personal experiences into personable thematic concepts relatable to listeners from all walks of life.
The most poignant moment of the performance was a tear-inducing solo tribute to a late friend. Whilst all musicians have their own story to tell, at this moment, every person in attendance went beyond the point of learning, and, in a testament to Noah’s performance skills, were able to feel what he was conveying.
A reflection of his growth, the tour’s namesake single ‘That’s Just How I Feel’ brought the crowd alive. To the positive horror of Noah and crew, it was one of those ‘holy crap, I’ve made it’ moments, with the crowd memorising the entire chorus. From this point, the energy only grew as the striking guitars reverberated throughout the venue, each chord being met in volume as the crowd joined the vocals in unison. Better clear some space alongside the WA indie visionaries honour board, Noah Dillon is coming.
Closing with 2020’s tongue-in-cheek ‘Matthew McConnaughey’, the sweaty hair and beaming grins of all involved told the story of the night; gigs are back, and Noah Dillon is here to stay.
To find more from Noah Dillon: