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[Review] Aurora @ Palais Theatre, Melbourne 09/3/2023

Aurora is truly one of the most triumphant artist of our generation, and on the 9th of March I, along with a sold out Palais Theatre audience, were humbled to be in her presence. The best way I can describe Aurora’s performance was that of a re birth, as she used her music to gently guided us to unleash our inner animal, let go of societal judgement, and embrace the raw experiencing of being human. However, I get ahead of myself! Let’s start from the beginning.

I entered the charming Palais venue with deep fondness, as I am well acquainted with its well-worn walls and earthy green carpet. When the support act Blusher made their way onto the stage, I thought their youthful energy paired perfectly with the venue’s vintage aesthetic. Newness was meeting with tradition, and I was loving the ambiance that this was creating. The Palais stage has welcomed countless up and coming artists and the trio of women that make up Blushers certainly left no crumbs; making their mark from the moment their hands touched the mics. Blushers performed with such finesse, confidence, and hypnotic power, that their 30 minute set felt like a delicious glimpse into what a full length Blusher show may look like, and you best believe that I will be in attendance for it. As someone who doesn’t listen to a lot of pop, Blushers truly won me over. Their use of the silky, dream like synth and hard hitting bass became part of what makes their sound so irrespirable. Their performance of Dead End, a song that celebrates that celebrates youth and ‘going out on a Tuesday’, had everyone out of their seats, myself included. Seeing these three powerhouse women grooving on stage with their synchronized dance moves made it impossible to resist doing the same, and I definitely saw a few strangers pull out some moves together. Finishing their set with Softly Spoken, this spicy track sealed Blushers as a band that aren’t afraid to pair their sweet melodies with biting, unafraid lyricism. This duality is clearly a signature aspect of Blushers that is quickly becoming part of their appeal and growing fan base. One of the sweetest moments of the night was when they gave a shout out to their devout fan, who has been at all of their performances. I loved to see the growing relationship they have with their fans, despite this being their debut tour. If the love the crowd had for Blushers is anything to go by, I would say that this trio is on their way to global pop domination.

After a half hour interval, Aurora’s entrance could not have been met with a more captivated attention. All eyes were on the dimly lit, misty stage. Three thousand breaths were being held, as we watched this tiny figure make her way to the front of the stage. I was six rows from the front, and I can safely say that seeing Aurora stare out into the crowd, shrouded in a dark silhouette, was one of the most hauntingly beautiful images I’ve ever seen on stage. And so, just like that, an hour and a half of pure, spellbinding magic was set into motion, with Aurora as our trusted enchantress.    

After having a few second to soak in Aurora’s presence, her dark anthem Heathens kicked off the night; snapping the audience out of their mystified spell, and plunging us into a cosmic darkness that made me want to break free of my human form and become pure matter. Heathens acted as an introduction to what kind of instrumental, vocal, and performative experience we could expect from tonight’s show:

A fusion of angelic yearning, and animalistic chaos.

With each song that Aurora performed, I could not help but notice how her whole body moved to the music. From her ballerina like twirling, to her wolfish crawling and crouching, to the way her fingers delicately danced in response to each note, it was as if she were composing the pieces right in front of us and throwing her whole self into it. It wasn’t hard to see just how much of Aurora’s soul exists in each song.

The majesty of this performance, combined with her reflective talking segments on life, love, and the beauty and the oddities of mankind, made the night felt like a communal un shedding of pain and suffering. To be there in that room, being serenaded by ethereal harmonies and watching people dance their way through songs that deal with respecting nature, and respecting the things we don’t understand, was more than my little brain could comprehend. I think I will be comprehending it for a long time. My favourite performance was definitely Infections of a Different Kind, as it displayed the rawness of Aurora’s vocal abilities on a new level. There was such beautiful range to Aurora’s song choices that left the audience with no idea of where the night was headed. The performance of the dark, cinematic Churchyard shook every persons souls, whilst Exist for Love comforted us in it’s lilting blend of three part harmonies and pristine guitar accompaniment.

 To me, Aurora is one woman who both channels The Sublime, and crafts a performance that is expansive and utopian in it’s message and aesthetic. The way that Aurora appeared to us was almost like an other worldly being; dressed in all white, blessing us with anecdotes that celebrated uniqueness, and stories of acceptance and kindness. Ultimately, Aurora’s show gave new meaning to the title of her latest album called The Gods We Can Touch, for she is our all inclusive and all accepting voice of truth and reason; a vision of the hope, the change, and the courage that this little old world relies on in order to be nurtured and thrive. Finishing off the night with Cure For Me, a song that champions her defiantly positive message of self love, I left that night feeling a little lighter and happier in myself, and optimistic about the world and people around me. I guess that is the power of Aurora, and I cannot wait until she returns to Melbourne.

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