Petey isn't someone who has just seemingly exploded onto the stage – unlike other artists he may be paired with.Cultivating a strong online following with his Instagram skits, paired with a thriving musical career, Petey made his Australia debut on Saturday night (3 February) at Melbourne's The Corner Hotel.
Supported by Australian punk-rockers Dear Seattle, the night was set perfectly. Playing to an already sizeable crowd for an adjacent-genre'd audience, Dear Seattle performed a raucous set that encapsulated their three -album discography.
Their larger than life sound connected perfectly with both those familiar with the band and those who were not. Having a yarn with the crowd, the band received a large reception after asking who knew the band and then who was enjoying them.
Dear Seattle - image © Harrison Innes
Long-time fans made themselves better known during tracks 'The Meadows' and 'Daytime TV', with groups of hugging friends throwing themselves into the air. A newer track from the band, 'Nothing's Stopping Me Now', also went down like a treat, building an ever growing anticipation for the next body of work Dear Seattle is brewing.
As even more bodies packed into the dark room, the energy was well and truly growing in what felt like a sold-out show.
Arriving onstage armed with an anthem intro, Petey emerged onto a silhouetted stage to yells, screams and applause. Without a moment to catch breath, the American blasted right into his huge track, 'I'll Wait'.
'I'll Wait' feels like a deep breath out in the middle of a panic attack; a hard but reassuring moment letting you know 'You'll get through this, everything will be okay'. The track has the lyrical power to make anyone melt, with those in the front row giving everything they had to make sure Petey knew he wasn't alone.
Moving around the stage free from instrument or chords, Petey danced with anxious hands and a solemn head – a mood known far too well by those in the audience. It was a nervous excitement that the adoring audience ate up.
Petey - image © Harrison Innes
Petey manages to connect with a fearful generation, conversing through themes of anxiety and hopefulness for a brighter tomorrow. Speaking right to his core audience, songs like 'Lean Into Life' cut almost a little too deep with those in the crowd.
A divide between the audience slowly emerged towards the middle of the set, where the voices of the Instagram audience drifted away, letting those that knew the artist side of Petey sing a little louder.
It felt comparatively similar to a Steve Lacy concert, where there becomes an apparent difference from those fans who discovered Petey via social media and those who discovered the artist from their earlier music.
This thankfully was short lasting at the Petey show, with a half-cover of Fleetwood Mac's 'Everywhere' mixed in with onstage ambience that helped wake those who may have felt disconnected.
Petey - image © Harrison Innes
With a spirit to finish his debut Australian appearance off strong, Petey charged through a brilliant string of hits, including 'Did I Mention I'm Sorry', and 'The Freedom To F... Off'.
Another crowd favourite performed as an encore, 'Don't Tell The Boys' wrapped up the night in perfect rockstar fashion, with a huge snare roll building and climaxing with the entire room yelling in harmony.
Bright lights blinded the audience as the musicians onstage ripped around, concluding the night.
More photos from the show.