What’s Goin On: Bob Evans @ Black Bear Lodge

By Gabrielle Zgrajewski

It’s Saturday night. You find yourself walking up the main strip of Brunswick St in the Fortitude Valley with nothing to do. Walking in between groups of people, you find that the Black Bear Lodge is hosting a gig tonight- Bob Evan’s Lonesome Highway Tour. You open the door and walk up the stairs of the small hole in the wall bar. Greeted by soft lights and friendly staff members. You ‘check in’ at the entry and pay for your ticket, then walk behind a curtain, to reveal a small stage set up, lighting and a few chairs. You take your seat and the gig begins…

To start off the night, friendly faced Royal and the Southern Echo joined the stage. His great stage presence filled laughter in the room as he began to explain his first song of the opening set, telling the a story of a broken nose. His music held a very full sound on stage that filled the room and all its nooks and crannies. With a beach-y vibe to his acoustic set, he had great vocal range that surprised many, setting the bar for acts to come.

Bree De Rome, the second opening act, was equally as entertaining. Unsure of what to compare her with, as she had her own type of sound, her voice held remnants of the singer Birdee, although had a country twang within her music. It was refreshing to hear, as she is a Gold Coast born singer, although, with a natural country component that was then justified by her powerful voice. She also had great stage presence, as she shared a few stories about particular break up songs that she had written, with her boyfriend that she is still with, creating laughter within the audience.

Although, the main act Bob Evans, stole the show (as he should), jumping on stage with his guitar- featuring fairy lights, a harmonica and a bottle of red wine. A big smile on his face, and a few laughs on stage were a great way to start the set, as the entire room filled with fans of ranging age.

While playing  favourites alike “Don’t Wanna Grow Up Anymore”, “Someone So Much”, “Friend” and “Cold Comfort”, the whole venue became one big instrument as Evan’s played his guitar and the harmonica, as well as using his foot to make the beat using the stage floor. It was had a great impact on his acoustic set as it kept the each song steady and kept the fans in beat when they sang along to nearly every song that was played.

It was great to see such a thankful and interactive performer play such a passionate and playful set, as everyone could tell how connected Bob Evans was to his fans. Sharing stories about inverted eyelids in the Melbourne Nova studios back in 2009, to breaking strings on stage and changing lyrics for songs, he was always ready to laugh, make someone laugh or be laughed at (in the best kind of way).  There were many jokes cracked that only fans would get, which created a clear indicator of who were and who weren’t diehard fans of Bob Evans.

Luckily, the Brisbane audience was also treated to songs that were not performed at previous gigs tour such as “My Matilda” as it was one of the many that Evans were happy to play. Although, there were other requests that he laughed at as he decided that there were better songs out there for him to sing, again making everyone would laugh, whistle and clap. Closing with “Stuck On You” during the encore, it was a heart-felt way to end the night.

Inevitably, the show was a pleasure to be at. The audience was respectable, although playful and Evans knew exactly when to play on those moments. With his lively attitude and great mannerism, it is clear that Evans loves to perform and loves to do what he does. As for his music, it was great to hear a stripped back set, quite different from some of his recorded and published work, which made the night very enjoyable and laid back.

Thank you to both opening acts, Bob Evans and the Black Bear Lodge for the great night! We will be back very soon..  Also, gallery photos will be uploaded later this week. So stay tuned!

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