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Aussie Sensation Tash Sultana Plays Jacobs Pavilion

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May 31st, 2019

Australian sensation Tash Sultana made their way to Jacobs Pavilion last night, playing to a very large, very excited crowd. Maybe it was the warm Spring weather, an it-feels-great-to-get-the-hell-out-of-the-house vibe, or the fact that we had more than two whole days in a row where the weather didn't represent a schizophrenic Greek God having a tantrum.

A full-on Sixties-style gathering, many of the attendees were barefoot and sported attire more aptly describing a gathering at an old farm outside of Woodstock, New York.  The only anachronism that would have led you to believe that a full-blown time warp hadn't occurred was the multitude of cell phones thrust into the air, like some electronic cigarette lighter swaying in the breeze, hungry for out-of-focus grainy cell phone pics.

Sultana, whose identity is "non-binary," is a solo artist who prefers to be called a variation of "they." A veritable one-person band, they played a multitude of instruments, most notably beat-boxing on a pan flute.  I gotta admit, I've never even considered that a viable music-inducing combo.

And, perhaps, that's what has made Sultana so popular.  Their mix of style, culture, and musicianship has largely tapped into the zeitgeist of nostalgia and a oh-so-worn mix of Americana/roots rock that has been popular among the millennial set for the last decade or so.

Their debut album Flow State dropped in the latter half of 2018, preceded by two EP releases in 2013 and 2016.  A few singles charted around the globe, and Sultana's popularity, while growing here, has firmly been established elsewhere with several dozen shows selling out across Europe and Australia.

Taking to Jacobs' stage barefoot, the twenty-three year old performer got right to business.  Starting off with a guitar, they changed to a trumpet, keys, and back to guitar, all within the same extended tune.  Relying heavily on a loop to create a layered sound, it felt as if there was a six or seven piece combo backing Sultana.


Dancing, parading and skipping across the width of the large stage, Sultana left the comfort of the stage for a walk through the audience; their diminutive height, no more than five feet, was swallowed by the sheer size of the audience.  

Espousing a pure Sixties vibe, Sultana embraced a mantra that needs to be more pervasive in our current climate.  "No matter what your politics are," they said, "we are all human."


Photos and review by Brian M. Lumley

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