Live Review: AURORA

Melbourne – Forum Theatre
(Groovin’ the Moo 2019 Side Show)

Friday 3rd May

Twenty-two-year-old, doe-eyed Norwegian singer, AURORA – who shot to fame following the release of her 2015 single ‘Runaway’, followed by ‘Running with the Wolves’– is proof that you should never judge a book by its cover. Despite her age, and pixie-like, cookie energy, when AURORA gets on stage and begins to sing, she does it with such ferocity and haunting beauty that the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and sing along. So when I heard that the singer was gracing Melbourne’s Forum Theatre, as part of a national Groovin’ the Moo side-show tour, I ‘ran like a wolf’ to see the magic happen first hand. Okay, I already regret that pun, but I was genuinely excited!
Melbourne’s iconic Forum Theatre was warmed up by the effortlessly cool, Tones And I, direct from the beaches of Byron Bay. Toni Watson paired a catchy loop with soulful, pop-meets-blues vocals and impactful lyrics, getting the crowed bopping and cementing Tone and I’s status as 2019’s break-out act. A stand out of her set was ‘Johnny Run Away’, which is the only track that the artist has currently released and it has already gained over three million streams. Certainly an act to watch.
Not long after, AURORA and her three band mates make their way onto the stage, which was adorned with large, paper jellyfish (naturally), and bathed in dramatic lighting and projections of natural landscapes. AURORA dove right into her set with ‘Churchyard’, which got a sold-out audience rightly excited. What followed was a set full of energy and grace, skill and humbleness and paper jellyfish (did I already mention those?). AURORA’s voice swept across the venue like a forceful wind before a storm, filling every corner of the historic Forum Theatre and forcing you to really listen. She delivered a set full of established tracks from both studio albums, including ‘Animal’, ‘Warrior’ and ‘The Seed’, which deals with issues of climate change – a personal stand out of the night – and relieved the big belters with quitter, more meditative tracks, such as an acoustic version of ‘Murder Song’. As well as treating audiences to a few yet-to-be released tracks from her upcoming album (due for release next month). Her vocal range and energy while performing is effortless yet undeniably impressive, despite (per her own admission) battling a cold the entire tour.
With the exception of the stiller, dreamier songs, and despite the cold, AURORA spent the entire performance dancing across the stage with the same haunting energy that she sings. In fact, her dancing and performance style is not unlike the aurora lights – magical, enchanting, ephemeral bursts of dancing energy and colour. Between almost every song AURORA would share jokes and anecdotes, all of which were completely obscure, hilarious and charming streams of consciousness, highlighting how much of a natural born story fairy-tale teller she is.
AURORA returned to the set for an encore, and finished the night with crowd favourite, ‘Queendom’ before pulling out a rainbow LGBTQ+ flag from her bag and proudly waving it to the crowd. Both the act, song and overall performance had the crowd roaring and cheering. You left the venue completely buzzed, full of the same cookie, innocent and empowering energy that exudes from AURORA’s magical music.

AURORA: Australia Tour
Melbourne – Forum Theatre