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Live Review: Youtube’s Boyce Avenue know how to play IRL

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on September 6, 2014

Fans of all ages where lined up around the block for the doors of The Tivoli to open to one of Youtube’s finest exports, Boyce Avenue, on Wednesday night in Brisbane.

The night was opened by Melbourne musician, Fatai. The crowd was blown away by her incredible vocals, original and cover songs; even premiering a song she’d written only a few days beforehand. With her all Australian ‘mate’ stage presence and a serious set of lungs in her, Fatai won over the crowd with ease and is definitely one to watch.

It wasn’t long before cries and chants from the crowd welcomed Boyce Avenue onto the stage; opening with their album’s lead single, Speed Limit. It quickly became clear that these guys were the real deal. They have serious talent, and it really shone through. Vocalist Alejandro Manzano had all eyes, and iPhone cameras, on him as he led the group, nailing falsettos and vocal runs.

Although Boyce Avenue have seen their fame rise drastically these past few years by covering songs on Youtube, the band have managed to defeat all odds, and go far beyond the notion of a ‘Youtube cover band’ – and this show was just an example of that.Despite having never received radio play in the country, the Tivoli was full to the brim, and the engaging show undoubtedly pleased every member of the crowd. It was interesting to see an “IRL” audience of a largely Internet-centric band. Fittingly enough, everywhere you look, the audience was filming, updating, snapchatting, live tweeting, streaming and placing Instagram filters on the entire show.

The band played a mixed set, incorporating not only original material from their most recent EP, No Limits, but also some of their famous covers; a personal favorite of mine being a version of Fast Car by Tracy Chapman. The crowd sung along, at one point splitting the audience in two for a harmony of clapping which, surprisingly enough, didn’t fail horribly.

Their casual stage presence, and beautiful pronunciation of their names makes tweenage girls weak at the knees. It’s a slight downfall for the rest of the audience who lacked a great deal of interaction with the band, but those were, admittedly, few and far between.

It was quite a wonderful thing to see that a band known for their pop-centric, parent-approved music on Youtube, could take on the world like this with not even a song on the radio. It provides an interesting insight into the future of Internet-based music and the growth of online fanbases.

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