Even if Alpine had even the slightest chance of being a poor show, the fact that it takes place in the freshly restored Estonian House would still keep it from feeling like a waste. The reincarnated theatre has been given new life by Shadow Electric, who combined with their Abbottsford Covenant HQ have been showcasing quite a knack for finding beautiful historic buildings with amazing acoustics. As such, simply arriving at the theatre is an event in itself, and walking into its main halls immediately sets it up a feeling of excitement.

The floor underfoot morphs into clouds as the first act of the night Leisure Suite begins. The warm lulling synth–lines wash over the crowd. The most striking thing is the natural skill frontwoman Bridgette Le brings to the stage along with the hazy dreamlike atmosphere. Her presence is commanding while seeming effortless, her voice brimming with emotion but in a subtle way with a slight pause or a rise at the very end of a verse. The set speeds by at a bullet’s pace sadly, but Leisure Suite have definitely made their mark on the audience.

As a small village fills the stage and bizarre whirrs/screaming start radiating from the front of the theatre, it becomes clear that Dorsal Fins are about to start their set. The noise–rock outfit have made quite a name for themselves with their debut Mind Renovations and have quickly become infamous for their intense live shows where most of their audience ends up on the show, but this theatre feels a little different from the usual club show. Still, the band keeps cool and confident despite the change in surroundings, even if the music isn’t. The vicious noise pop group immediately get into the meat of things, horn section blaring, vocalists Ella Thompson and Jarrad Brown pushed about the stage by the sheer intensity of what is going on. Despite being dancy as hell, eventually the buzzing distortion does wear you down a little bit. That being said, no matter how drain you are feeling, closer ‘Mind Renovations’ will always manage to drag you back into the fray.

But Alpine are the stars of this show, as the massive crowd demonstrates. As the six–piece comes out onto the stage, they display a sense of hyperactivity that is way more intense than studio recordings would lead to believe. The band is clearly psyched to be on a stage such as this, getting the crowd to applaud the venue itself (glad to see I’m not the only one in this boat) before launching into ‘Come On’. The sing a long choruses that helped make the Alpine’s newest album such an achievement come off supercharged as if that were even possible, in particular the haunting “when you’re gone” of ‘Shot Fox’ hitting like a stack of bricks.

The show is surprisingly surreal and sensual for that matter, which sounds weird to say of a gig that isn’t Prince. Vocalists Phoebe Baker and Lou James comment throughout the night that the room smells of sex and that we’re all sexy people (this I can back up, the crowd is pretty damn banging). Watching the two of them dance about and even as they bounce somewhat inebriated non­–sequiturs off each other like some kind of strange Melbourne version of Waiting For Godot, it helps take the edge off and remind that this is all in good fun, regardless of the occasional brutally sad lyrics. Alpine played through their entire phenomenal album Yuck before leaving the stage, only to come back for a massive 6 song encore. It’s clear this is a show no one will forget easily, let alone Alpine themselves.

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