Hyper-buzzed Australian indie rock band Eliza & the Delusions made their Boston debut opening up for Silversun Pickups on Wednesday, November 2nd at Boston’s House of Blues. The tour, which originally kicked off in March 2020, was postponed two years as the course of the pandemic shut down, then reopened music venues globally. In their time off the road, the band were able to complete their debut record, Now & Then, which was released on April 29, 2022 via Cooking Vinyl Australia.
With fresh material and an eagerness to introduce themselves to new fans, Eliza & the Delusions bring to stage a sense of excitement and determination that easily wafts into the crowd. Their set begins with a spacey countdown, full of ambient sounds and an astronaut voiced overture. While there’s no clear connection for this thematic decision, it fits well and later resembles itself in other similar atmospheric interludes. Their live lineup is composed of five musicians: the band’s titular frontwoman Eliza Klatt on lead vocals and guitar, accompanied by two more guitarists, bass, and drums. They kicked off their nine song set with “Give You Everything,” a single off their debut LP. Mid-song, Eliza used the bridge to introduce themselves with a cheerful disposition and a tactic to garner audience attention as people were still trickling in.
Songs “Pull Apart Heart” and “Swimming Pools” both appeared in the band’s discography as early singles and instant hits, instilling them as high energy and mega catchy live tracks. Eliza is a captivating frontwoman, both parts energetic and delightful. The band’s young, jubilant spirit is instilled in their sound and stage presence, as they zealously jump around the stage. It is clear they have a potent vitality and truly enjoy being up there with their best friends, not only to perform but to also laugh and joke around with one another. Their charisma puts smiles on each fans’ faces, eliciting audience interaction to double after each song.
“This is our first time here, so thanks so much for coming early and hanging out with us,” Eliza announced a few songs in. “We’re from Australia, but funny enough, everyone across the country thinks we’re from here. Because we say water,” she pronounces with her Aussie lilt that honestly does reflect the dropped “R” of a Boston accent. “You guys say it like that right? That’s what we got told,” she laughs. Taking a moment to tune their instruments and banter with the crowd, their humble nature bodes well with audience members.
“This next song is from the new album and it’s a good one for dancing. I’m looking at all of you, I can see you all the way in the back. I can see you up there. I wanna see you moving,” Eliza introduced “Nothing Yet,” a pop-tinged track that soars with catchy melodies and accessible lyrics. Getting the crowd waving their arms and interacting with the music, though unfamiliar to a mostly older crowd, they succeeded in captivating and holding attention of upwards of two thousand. Easily flowing into the next track, “You,” Eliza dedicated it to “the music of the early two thousands. I feel like this is our little homage to that”. Steeped in early Y2K nostalgia, their music provides enough of an appealing throwback without the mockery of past trends.
On track “Halloween,” fitting to this particular time of year, the band ushers a throwback quality via distorted, shoegazey indie rock. There are particular vocal ranges and cadences delivered by Eliza that are eerily reminiscent of the late Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries, while still maintaining just enough modern edge. “Save Me” is a great example of the band’s ability to crank up their rock ideations in the shape of an effervescent indie pop record. The moments where they shine the most are when they can truly rock out and flail with their instruments as if they are attached limbs, moving in a blissful, in-the-moment manner. Witnessing the band playing off each other is as thrilling to watch as the fruition of the music itself is.
The band concludes their set with 2019 hit “Just Exist,” which still reigns as their top song on streaming platforms. It excels as a live track, perfectly encapsulating the Delusional’s sound of a throwback to the aughts that is also influenced by contemporary stylings. Eliza’s powerful vocals are given the chance to soar as the track builds into a climactic peak, and erupts in a satisfying instrumental break that allows her to dance around. She took her time on this final track to fully survey the crowd before her, making eye contact and smiling as she locked eyes with each new face. As stray bits of colorful confetti glided down from the venue’s raised ceilings, Eliza and company ended their set in a movie-like moment of recognition and pride. If their goal was to crack the often tough-faced facades of Bostonians, they surely succeeded tenfold and even got them dancing.