On Friday night, two international artists showcased their talents at Express Live.
I would be putting Tash Sultana and Leo James Conroy at a disadvantage if I didn’t preface the review with my unfortunate proximity to The Annoying Drunk Concert Guy; the risk run with general admission seating.
The otherwise chill and friendly crowd on the floor made his elbow in my back even more irritating than it would be at a show that called for aggressive dancing.
I eventually surrendered my intent on sticking my ground in my otherwise great spot. From my new side view, though, I could actually see his exaggerated dancing against the rest of the crowd that was calmly swaying and likely stoned.
I would see Tash again live, but not in general admission — which I usually feel adds to the energy in a show. Despite the enthusiasm that radiated from the stage, the show would have been best sitting back and embracing the heightening of senses that Tash stimulates. The performance was explosive with a broad spectrum of visuals and sounds.
I got there at 8:10, 10 minutes after Conroy, the opener, came on stage, and I blame Express Live for my tardiness!
The security guard wouldn’t let my small and mostly empty bag into the show, though he did suggest that I “just leave it on the sidewalk outside the venue,” as a solution.
Tempting, but I’ll pass.
“Your bag is too big; not my problem!” would have been just as valuable as offering me the abandonment of my belongings on the street for two and a half hours.
After a few unsuccessful loops around the parking lot in attempt to find my friend’s car, I decided to take the “hide my bag and cross my fingers” route. And it worked! The bag was untouched in its hiding place at the end of the show.
Conroy kicked off the night — rocking out with his rose-patched shirt and red guitar for about a 30-minute act. He left the crowd cheering, but with lights on and no music following his finale, the hype died down by the time Tash came to the stage.
A few minutes of spotlighting the empty stage transitioned the fans from downtime to the headliner. The set-up on stage included multiple instruments and technology used throughout the show and props including a salt lamp, om tapestry, and neon-lighting in different shapes.
Tash seemed to be in a different dimension than the fans throughout the show — as if it was more of an introverted performance than an interactive one with the crowd.
Tash’s music is classified as psychedelic rock. Much of Tash’s performance was indistinguishable by song, more-so it was a conglomerate of instrumentals.
Tash’s performance involved instrumental stretches that were well in excess of the time spent on vocals. The mic was more often used to make seemingly drug-induced noises than to sing lyrics.
The deeper into the concert, the more I embraced the sensationally unique experience. The guitar, trumpet, keyboard, loop-pedals and other devices used throughout the night were a testament to Tash’s long list of instruments in their repertoire.
At three-years-old, Tash was gifted a guitar by their grandfather which was the impetus for all musical success to come, according to their website.
Now, Tash has nearly four million monthly listens on Spotify and is in the midst of their last tour of 2019.
Correction: A previous version of this story listed the opening act as James Leo Conroy and stated that he was from Australia. Leo James Conroy is from Manchester, England.