Standing before a backdrop of moons, Half Moon Run open the show with ‘Warmest Regards’, a subdued and melodramatic bluesy intro taken from new album ‘Sun Leads Me On’. This is the beginning of the band’s story-telling.
‘Turn My Love ‘sees dizzying spotlights flash over each member of the band as they turn hard-edged with abrasive electronic guitar strumming and synths. Stripped back to vocals and guitar, ‘I Can’t Figure Out What’s Going On’ pairs feel-good lyrics with raw vocals; a song perfect for the bittersweet and delicate drive home from a festival.
Returning to older material taken from 2012 album ‘Dark Eyes’, dreamy ‘Nerve’ is an instant crowd-pleaser with lead singer Devon showing off his beautiful vocal range and drowning each word in meaning: There’s a lot of nothing in the words I know. But I keep on talking ’cause it feels like home.
Talking about dreamy Devon, it’s during progressive performance of ‘Narrow Margins’ that someone throws their bra on stage. They probably don’t get this behaviour in Canada! Next is a song we’ve waited a long time to hear live, and it didn’t disappoint. Old favourite ‘Unofferable’ hits you in the heart with an emotion filled outburst: Of how you burn through your lovers, it’s like an ugly disease.
Half Moon Run have rather abrasively perfected a progressive euphoric sound, haunting vocals that sear over insanely intense background noise.
I never thought I could be so happy sings Devon on ‘Hands In The Garden’, to a crowd of happy faces who are hanging on to every beautiful word sang. ‘Call Me In The Afternoon’ gets a disappointing reaction from the crowd. We wanted more dancing. Festival crowds please fix this.
Dancing complaints aside, we get a bit lost during ‘Need It’. An understated and distressingly mesmerising track that turned out to be one of our highlights of the evening. Another highlight, another bra landing on the stage during ‘Everybody Wants’.
Lengthy album title track ‘Sun Leads Me On’ is the most beautiful four minutes of the evening: I’m going where the sun leads me on… Where I always disappear but I’m never really gone. Lost in emotion for a while, we return to the room for personal and crowd favourite ‘She Wants To Know’. Finally, some dancing. And she wasn’t like the best thing under the sun. But yeah, I guess I needed to learn from her.
Half Moon Run’s signature harmonica returns for the first encore performance of the evening, ‘Fire Escape’. Followed by rave-inspired and experiential number ‘Trust’, proving that Half Moon Run are keen to take an electronic direction and not be confined by genre.
‘Full Circle’ is obviously an explosive ending. I mean, we thought it was the end. It wasn’t. This band’s career hasn’t come full circle. Half Moon Run close the evening with a surprise cover of Bob Dylan & The Band’s – ‘I Shall Be Released’.