Music / Review

We chat with the team behind WA Unlocked about their first show back

We get the inside scoop about bringing live music back to Western Australia

With some parts of Australia still working through lockdowns, Western Australia’s return to live music earlier this month is a shining light for all of us. WA Unlocked was the state’s first major show back, and to celebrate the occasion, organisers pulled together a selection of the state’s electronic heavyweights to bring the party back in fine form.

All photos by @Brendancphoto

Organisers pulled the lineup together in a matter of days, with the excitement for live music ensuring tickets were quickly swept up. But a lot goes into putting an event together, so we sat down with some of lineup to get an inside look at how it all went down.

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Playing a sell-out show at HBF Stadium is a pretty topnotch return to live music. And the WA Unlocked artists sure had a good time getting fans back together.

Despite the short turnaround, excitement machine Tina Says didn’t have too much trouble getting everything together. “It was super easy preparing for the gig even though it was in a short time. I’ve had five months off, the excitement of playing was through the roof,” she says.

The pull of finally returning back to the live stage was more than enough for her. “[The show] was insane. Five months off being on stage is a huge break, I felt like I was able to reset my mind and come on with a fresh focus.

“I’ve put out a bunch of music and did some things in that time, so it was surreal to see how engaged the audience was with my music. They were singing to lyrics which almost made me cry. Such a high calibre and high energy event, definitely one for the memory bank,” she says.

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Globetrotting hook masters Slumberjack were equally as stoked by the success of the event. “It was definitely a massive rush getting back on the stage after such a long break – we must have been channelling some crazy energy under pressure because we had our best run-through of the show to date,” they said.

“Being able to see the crowd reaction to the new music we’d worked on throughout isolation was a rare treat – we’re very excited to release that work.”

Check out some of that new music below:

Following WA Unlocked’s sellout weekend, Karl Thomas AKA drum and bass heavyweight ShockOne was full of praise for the team behind the event. “It was an incredibly well-run show. Shout out to John Zaccaria and Luke Whelan for pulling it all together.

“On a personal level, it was great to be back on stage and the energy in that stadium was electric,” he says.

shock one reija lee wa unlocked

Pulling together an event so quickly, and selling it out, isn’t an easy feat. With Crooked Colours recently returning back home to WA after a stint in Melbourne, there was a lot of work behind the scenes to pull their set together.

“Logistically, we had to jump through a few hurdles for Crooked Colours,” Ben Robinson, the band’s manager says. “Liam [Merrett-Park] from the band had to fly in from Melbourne two weeks prior in order to quarantine. We also had to source a local crew as our usual team are in Brisbane and Melbourne.

“We’re working through restrictions day-by-day at the moment, but this event certainly proved that some markets are opening up.”

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We couldn’t be more excited to see live entertainment returning to stages, theatres, arenas, and stadiums around the country. And if the success of WA Unlocked is anything to go by, fans are just as excited as we are.

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