It’s Sunday 17th February, and I’m lining up outside the Corner Hotel for Eves Karydas’ second sold-out Melbourne show, as part of her summerskin tour. Just last year Eves was opening for Cubsport here, and now she is headlining sold-out shows – her upwards career trajectory is astounding. With incredible tracks like ‘Further Than The Planes Fly‘, ‘Couch‘ and ‘Damn Loyal’ featuring on her album summerskin, Eves is a ready-made pop star. Her summerskin tour is the next step on her path to conquering the music world.
Eves’ opening act is a young guy called Lakyn, who commands the stage with just an electric guitar and a soundboard. His voice is deep and flows effortlessly over his lyrics. As soon as he starts to sing, the whole room swoons. His voice has a rasp that conveys emotional turmoil. Pair this with his impressive guitar skills and the red cap he wears backwards, and you have a rock star heartthrob in the making.
Lakyn plays through a whopping 8 songs (for comparison, Eves herself plays 12). His guitar skills are technically impressive, however often his guitar playing overpowers his rugged vocals, which should really be the star of his performance. Sometimes he employs a voice effect, which minimises the impact of his vocals. He doesn’t need any voice distortion – his voice can break hearts on its own.
One of my favourite songs in his set is a new track, ‘Lowkey Fragile Kid’, which he explains is “about growing up in New Zealand, and just growing up”. Out of all the songs he performs, this song feels the most authentic. He’s not singing about a cute girl or a fun party – he’s singing about his own experiences. The lyrics, ‘lowkey fragile kid, they’ll try to break your spirit’, are revealing and heartbreaking. It’s almost a letter to his younger self and a beautiful song.
The highlight of Lakyn’s set for me is his cover of Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer‘. The whole room buzzes, singing along with him. It’s a brilliant cover, he makes the song his own, and everyone dances along with him. It’s tough being an opening act; no one is familiar with your music, and you need to warm up the crowd for the headliner. Lakyn’s decision to perform such a jam is an excellent choice – the crowd is electric, excited for Eves’ performance.
I tested a new song over the weekend at the two sold out Corner Hotel shows as Eves Karydas ‘s special guest on her…
At 9:40 pm the curtains open, the lights fade into a purple hue and Eves bounds onto the stage. She opens her show with ‘First Love’. During pauses in the song, the crowd cheers. From there she moves into ‘There For You’, dancing around the stage, her joy and energy exuding in every movement. The purple lights flash in time with the beat. Before she begins ‘Hush’, she welcomes us to her summerskin tour with a beaming smile.
As Eves performs ‘Honest’, I’m struck by her command of the stage. She owns every movement and every lyric. Her music moves through her, and the crowd is loving every second. Next up is her track ‘Balance’, after which she introduces herself, and thanks us all for coming to her show. “I’m genuinely confused as to how I sold out 2 Corner Hotel shows!”, she exclaims.
I ❤️ you Melbourne. Had the most amazing time over the weekend with two sold out shows at the Corner Hotel. Video by Michelle Pitiris
Eves then launches into the story of how she made summerskin. During my earlier interview with her, she had emphasised how excited she was to provide more context to the album and the stories behind the songs. However, as she starts telling the crowd these stories (5 songs into the performance), I’m left feeling disconnected from her. She tells the crowd the same things she told me in our interview; she moved to London after school, stayed there for 3 years, she fell in love for the first time, had her heart broken for the first time, and was writing songs throughout the whole time. “I realised I had written an album”, she tells us. This is the extent of the context she provides us with. It feels as though her walls are up. The crowd is electric, hanging on her every word, but she chooses to keep her distance.
After Eves performs ‘Wildest Ones’, we are blessed with the performance of a new track from Eves, ‘Up On The Roof’. It has the vibe of an EDM tune with some Latin music influences. It has a fast tempo, and lyrics like ‘you drive me crazy in the best way’ and ‘it’s not easy to forget about you’. From there Eves performs a cover of Post Malone and Swae Lee’s ‘Sunflowers’, a tune she had covered on her Instagram page a few weeks back. I love how stripped back her cover is, we get to hear her stunning voice.
Before Eves performs her final three songs, she alerts the audience that she will not be performing an encore, so if we wanted to dance, we had to do it now. I’ve been to many gigs – and I have never been to a performance where an artist does not perform an encore. It’s truly strange to me why she chose not to do so. Encores allow the audience to show the artist how much they love them! It bonds a crowd and ensures that everyone leaves the gig on a high note. True to form, however, the crowd dances their hearts out for the final 3 songs, ‘Couch’, ‘Damn Loyal’ and ‘Further Than The Planes Fly’, singing every single word back to Eves.
As I drive home after the gig, I reflect on Eves’ performance. She has all the pieces to become a global pop sensation, her entire show was stellar performance after stellar performance. Her vocals were pitch perfect, she looks like a pop star, and she has numerous adoring fans. But post performance I’m left feeling like something is missing. I didn’t feel connected to Eves for one moment throughout her entire performance. Fans attend performances of their favourite artists to feel connected to them, to feel connected to the human whose songs are the soundtracks to their lives. Eves did not give of herself during the performance. She came out, she did her job, and then she left. What makes a pop star is that magical star quality, that mix of authenticity and vulnerability, a mix that Eves did not fully provide. To really truly connect with an audience is a daunting but necessary task. You have to lay your heart bear, you have to share private and uncomfortable parts of your life, you have to talk about the hardships and the trials of life. You have to make the audience feel less alone. For Eves to reach the level of superstardom she’s striving for she is going to need to practice letting down some of her walls and letting us in.
Read Speaker TV’s interview with Eves Karydas here.
For details about Eves’ upcoming shows, check out her website here.