The magical moments that made us happy to be at BIGSOUND

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The Double J BIGSOUND showcase provided no shortage of incredible moments.

Sometimes a voice is so singularly powerful and beautiful that it brings a packed room to a standstill. Everyone becomes so quiet that you can practically hear hairs stand on end all around the room.

When Eleanor Dixon belted out the most beautiful, powerful note to finish Kardajala Kirridarra’s first song at Double J’s first ever BIGSOUND showcase at Brisbane’s Black Bear Lodge on Thursday night, she stopped the usually chatty crowd in its tracks. Her voice is so strong, so spirited and so beautiful. It commands attention, but does so with grace rather than sheer force.

Kardajala Kirridarra at BIGSOUND 2017. Photo by Dave Kan.

It happened over and over through the set as Dixon’s voice and Beatrice Lewis’ beats melded perfectly. Kayla Jackson’s relatable rapping tied it all together, ever word felt meaningful as she rhymed about a genuine desire for togetherness and retaining culture.

Kardajala Kirridarra weren’t the only ones to provide us with special moments.

Mama Kin Spender, the brand new collaboration between Danielle Caruana and Tommy Spender, proved to be more than the sum of their considerable parts as they unveiled their live show at BIGSOUND.

While they couldn’t fit their 16-piece choir on the Black Bear Lodge stage, they decided to bring them along to the show anyway and position them in the crowd. At one stage the duo jump off stage and join us on the floor, which gave the set a new, thrilling energy and sense of inclusiveness. It felt as if we were part of the journey.

They closed the set with their next single ‘Bird In Your Tree’, a glorious little uber-cool rock’n’roll track that you should very much look forward to hearing.

The Cactus Channel at BIGSOUND 2017. Photo by Dave Kan.

The venue filled to capacity for Melbourne genre benders The Cactus Channel. They rose to the occasion stunningly, with a set of smooth jams that slowly built up to a rousing crescendo to finish. Their musicality was second-to-none, their intuitive chemistry as a band made their impressive performance appear effortless and each of their songs quite simply oozed with cool.

As if being Australia’s finest soul singer wasn’t enough, Kylie Auldist has now decided she’ll dominate as our country’s next big disco queen. Flanked by just two musicians, Auldist’s amazing voice and incomparable charm was at the forefront of the show, as it should be. A Kylie Auldist show is an invitation to party and that’s precisely what we did for 30 high-energy minutes.

Kylie Auldist at BIGSOUND 2017. Photo by Dave Kan.

While the enormous, chart-topping ‘This Girl’ sent the crowd into a frenzy, ‘Sensational’ felt just as strong in its wake. With that voice, that charm and those songs, you can’t have a bad time at a Kylie Auldist show.

It seemed like everyone wants to end BIGSOUND on a particularly slinky note as the venue again filled to capacity for Donny Benet’s closing set. If you have seen him perform, you know that there are no words to do this man’s show justice.

One thing that became very evident through Benet’s set tonight was that his new album is a particularly incredible piece of work. He played a huge number of songs from the forthcoming release and it sounds as if it will be a dream come true for anyone who loves and respects the genius of perfectly executed soft-rock.

In a night full of magical moments, Benet lifted the bar as he serenaded a woman with a broken leg in ‘Gimme The Heat’, before inviting a dozen or so rabid fans onstage to close out the night in a dancing frenzy.

Donny Benet at BIGSOUND 2017. Photo by Dave Kan.

It was an honour to witness so many genuinely special musical moments in the one space and astounding to think of all the other special moments that have happened within a stones throw from this venue throughout the week.

We might be tired, but BIGSOUND, we are so glad we came.