Published Jul 25, 2015Despite the privilege of entrance music, Courtney Barnett took the stage with little presence, but assuaged all fears of being too small for the stage by launching into a slew of rock tracks with equal — and copious — amounts of jangle and fuzz. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Barnett's set list, featuring tracks from her latest release, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, represented her compositional diversity despite remaining tethered to the realm of garage rock. Whether singing huskily or speaking, Barnett clearly expressed her smart, creative lyrics; no matter how idiosyncratic, select devotees in the crowd were able to sing along to every word, a testament to her impressive lyrical abilities.
Though the set was tight from its opening moments, it was taken up a notch in the middle with the four-song stretch of slow-burner "Canned Tomatoes (Whole)," waltzing "Small Poppies," Pavement-indebted "Dead Bugs" and melancholic, alt-country tune "Depreston," which demonstrated four varied takes on her sound, but with a common element of impeccable execution. The tracks also demonstrated the strength of her bandmates, bassist Bones Sloane and drummer Dave Mudie, who opened up tracks as Barnett swapped guitars. Ending with powerful Sometimes I Sit and Think lead single "Pedestrian At Best," Barnett captivated from start to finish with her lyrics and arrangements.