Xavier Rudd Brisbane Review @ The Tivoli Theatre

  • Written by 
  • Tuesday, 14 August 2018 22:28
Published in Music News  
Xavier Rudd at The Tivoli Theatre (Brisbane), 11 August 2018. Xavier Rudd at The Tivoli Theatre (Brisbane), 11 August 2018. Image © Kalem Horn

The murmurs within The Tivoli Theatre (12 August) hush and Xavier Rudd kicks off the second night of back-to-back Brisbane shows solo with guitar and stomp pedal, singing “I believe, I believe it’s my beginning”.


It’s the track ‘Honeymoon Bay’ from his brand-new album ‘Storm Boy’: as the song builds, the band joins in, paired with a beautiful light show.

Xavier picks up a didgeridoo for ‘Rusty Hammer’. The band has a fluid line-up of roles throughout the show, but never leaves any part of the soundscape lacking. 

Harmonica breaks into ‘Come Let Go’: the spotlight reveals Xavier is seated, slide guitar across his lap.

Xavier Rudd.2Xavier Rudd - image © Kalem Horn

We are officially welcomed into the space, before a communal blessing is sung for the nation, for each other and for ourselves.

Click here to read our June 2018 interview with Xavier Rudd.

‘The Mother’ ends with one spotlight on each band member with a finger/ drumstick up. “Do you feel it?”

All four in the band are assembled across the front of the stage, a perfect representation of the unity woven into the music. The sound morphs into a gently rolling underwater notion; blue and green lights soak into each other.



Feedback-heavy rock and reggae grooves permeate the atmosphere with enough salty love, it’s almost as if you’d feel the sand of Bells Beach or the dust of The Kimberley between your toes if you slipped out of your shoes.

Xavier Rudd.3Xavier Rudd - image © Kalem Horn

“Come people, come now people,” as the incantation continues. “I believe we are one, we are sacred.”

Solo, with a stomp box, Xavier tells us he feels like he’s come full circle, back to sitting by the river. Steel drums make an appearance, as do a few bass solos courtesy of Yosa Haile, intricate drum-work from Lisa Purmodh and a grandiose piano concerto by Mr Ian Peres.

Even during stints without guitar or bass, the versatility of the didgeridoo and musicianship of the players ensure a seamlessly complete experience.

After about 90 minutes of performance, the stage goes dark and then the spectacular happens.

During the show there has been a black sheet covering something at the back of centre stage. When the didge begins, fiercely focussed blue and white lights show Xavier behind the unveiled drum kit and didgeridoos: behind him a lioness’s head is superimposed over a backdrop of stars (the cover of ‘Storm Boy’).

Click here for more photos from Xavier Rudd's Brisbane show 11 August, 2018.

What follows is ‘Lioness Eye’, which displays itself as an epic trance/ EDM kind of number that maestro Rudd performs alone – as mind-blowing as it is transcendental.

“I’m having a good time, I wanna keep playing some music,” he says as the performance extends with a dynamic mix of band and no band, quietening into a splice of ‘Messages’ and ‘Spirit Bird’.

Xavier Rudd.4Xavier Rudd - image © Kalem Horn

“Some people they just won’t understand…” Xavier pragmatically preaches, “may you be strong, and your journey be long, and I wish you the best of luck.”

The crowd makes a giant choir that persists all the way through with the backing vocals found on the 2017 ‘Live In The Netherlands’ album as Xavier draws to a close.

“Slowly fades, slowly fades… sleep in your dust because we've seen this all before.”

Next to see Xavier Rudd is Hobart (Odeon Theatre, 17 Aug), Adelaide (Thebarton Theatre, 18 Aug), Melbourne (Forum, 24, 27 Aug) and Geelong (Costa Hall, 25 Aug).

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