The official return of Killing Heidi became more than a victory for South Australia at the end of 2016. The band’s official first show reunion actually occurred in our fine state at the Handpicked Festival in Langhorne Creek, but this re-emergence was really just a taste – a sampling of sorts. Thankfully, Ella and Jesse Hooper with their talented friends decided to allow Adelaide (in fact Australia) to drink-in the entirety of their adored songs with a headline tour; as a result, a sold-out Governor Hindmarsh was the gratitude for their effort.
Entry into the venue was, no word of a lie, an impossibility. A line-up of fans rounding the entire venue was a sign of remarkable things to come but also a challenge to say the least. Fortunately for this writer, an entrance occurred just in time to witness Gold Coast’s Eliza And The Delusionals providing warmth to the exponentially growing audience audibly and soulfully. Channelling a rather exceptional influence from Boston’s Letters To Cleo with an excellent alt-rock edge and chic pop sensibilities, tracks like: Salt, The Ground and Falling Out caught Adelaide off guard but in the best way possible. This was an excellent introduction to the evening.
Sydney’s Iluka knows how to mark her arrival, even if it is somewhat unconsciously. Draped in glamorous attire which would have Joni Mitchell express admiration for; it was an instantaneous enchantment. Vocally and musically wavering between Birdy and Joan Jett, astonishingly with absolutely no discomfort; Iluka and her musical troupe were hypnotising consequently trapping Adelaide in an attentive gaze. The retro-pop-soul formula evident on Blue Jean Baby is of international standard and there is no doubt in this scribe’s mind that global attention is certainly headed Iluka’s way.
The tension from impatience was becoming beyond palpable for the headliner; there was a hustle, bustle and inability to move that was causing an excited stir at The Gov and incredibly it was for one reason; finally the arrival of Killing Heidi. Adding extra anxiety, rather superbly in a show-womanship sense, was Ella’s purposeful delay to greet Adelaide onstage while Jesse and co. played her on. The eruption was deafening when she paraded elegantly onto arguably her favourite place in the world, the stage; ironically opener Calm Down did the exact opposite in its execution, it was explosive. The starter gun had been fired, it was time to time travel up to twenty years into the past and South Australia plus Killing Heidi were revelling at the chance.
Outside Of Me brought the rock-side of the band out in full force, however their musical flexibility was showcased with Mascara a placid yet energised dedication of sorts that wooed The Gov with its loud/quiet combination. Kettle and Astral Boy exceptionally exhibited that the outfit are still as strong musically as ever – they were near faultless in execution. Understandably Weir created a riot with a small earthquake being generated from the audience’s jumping contribution.
Ella’s stage attack is conceivably more refined now than it has ever been, charming all near her with her acrobatics, persona and dance movements – a true performer does not begin to describe her power. Similar to how a ballerina can silence a crowd, Ms Hooper can incite their chaos to whatever level suitable. Needless to say the chemistry between her and her brother is still impossible to fracture.
An encore of Superman Supergirl and I Am provoked a choir contribution from Adelaide and to be frank, the band could have left the entirety of the tracks to the audience to perform acapella; it was the loudest “thank you” South Australia has given Killing Heidi and pleasingly it will undoubtedly happen again soon.