Concert Review: Austra, December 1st, Phoenix


It’s a helluva thing.

Katie Stelmanis has undergone one of the more radical rebrands in recent memory, changing from friendly looking girl next door Katie Stelmanis

to platinum blond midnight electro goth sexpot Katie Stelmanis

in a matter of a few years. Maybe it was an artist finally becoming comfortable with herself, maybe she accidently stumbled into one of those matrixy night clubs one night

and discovered a new use for her talented vocal pipes. Whatever it is, the change in appearance and music has completely worked out. Katie is now a part of Austra. Behind the always magnificent classically trained voice of Stelmanis and the pulsating dark electro beat provided by the rest of the band, Austra has rode a tidal wave of praise from fans and critic alike to the top of most people’s best-of charts for their debut album Feel it Break.

The momentum that Austra has gained in recent months swelled to a point that their 2011 homecoming Thursday show took place at a packed Phoenix, a far cry from the confines of the Bovine Sex Club, a place where they played a show almost exactly a year before. Having toured extensively throughout the year, the band’s live renditions of their tracks sounded crisp and Stelmanis’s voice sounded as glorious as you would imagine. The track Lose It, for me, remains one of those songs where you really really hope no drunk wannabe singer tries to sing in karaoke. It is completely unique and definitely one of the tracks of the year.

Despite the the solid set by the band, I felt rather disconnected from the show – maybe it was because I was all the way in the back of the venue, or maybe it was because of the fact that the place was rather well lit, I’m not sure. Austra seems like a type of act you see live at 2 am on a Saturday, when you stumble into some hidden alley and enter some pitch black bar that seems to be a borderline opium den. Maybe my imagination got the best of me there. Either way, Austra’s homecoming show and subsequent response was a great conclusion to what was a fantastic year for one of Canada’s brightest up and coming acts.

Austra ‘Lose It’ (Young Galaxy Remix) by Paper Bag Records

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

One Response to Concert Review: Austra, December 1st, Phoenix

  1. Nightdrive

    We had a fun interview with Austra we would like to share with you guys :)

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