The last music venue in town is shutting down, probably to make room for more hotels, so a group of musicians have gathered together for one last concert in their beloved Town Hall. It's a bittersweet night of music, memories and mayhem as Joseph O'Farrell and Sam Halmarack bring together a variety of local music makers for a final music showdown in We Are Lightning!
In both the show and the concert within the show, O'Farrell and Halmarack have a running theme of what community means and more specifically, how music can bring people together. As such, the two seek out local groups and musicians to take part in the show and in this instance, we are joined by teenage rock band Pythagoras and the Field, the Harmony for Humanity choir and a number of brass musicians - with a few added surprises along the way. Despite their varied musical styles, it's not long before you realise their passion for music and singing ties them together, and if you have any appreciation for live music, you can't help but feel part of that connection too.
There are four stages set up around the perimeter of the entire venue space at Arts House, with each group performing on one. Like any authentic music or gig experience, the audience remains standing for the duration of the show, and turning to face the relevant stages. At times, all four groups perform together requiring you to spin around like a revolving restaurant to savour all the musical goodness that is being performed.
We Are Lightning! is a love story; a love story about a building and a community that forms inside that building. However, these buildings are slowly being shut down due to noise complaints and the gentrification of once thriving night-life areas. While O'Farrell and Halmarack highlight this, they also show the resilient nature of live music and they are not giving up just yet. It's a spirited and defiant farewell that's also an invitation for all who support live music to keep on supporting it and make some noise.
Venue: Arts House, 521 Queensberry St., North Melbourne
Season: Until 10 December | Sat 2pm and 7pm, Sun 5pm
Length: 65 minutes
Tickets: $35 Full | $30 Conc | $25 Student
Bookings: Arts House
Photo Credit: Bryony Jackson