The Jezabels transfix a near-capacity Johnny Brenda’s

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Photo by Sameer Rao

Rare is the Australian artist that breaks past American and British pop music cultural gridlocks. Even rarer is the down-under act that manages to stay there well after their initial entrance. So many prolific international superstars – Silverchair, Kylie Minogue, Crowded House – never make it past one-time (and, often, highly embarrassing) impressions that, even well past the age of one-hit-wonder-ship, are forever preserved as accessories to that era. Believe it or not, Silverchair is no longer a grunge act, but would you ever know?

The Jezabels, a Sydney-based quartet touring on the heels of 2014’s knockout The Brink, are well-poised to break this gridlock and stick in even the most fickle of American mindsets. They proved this last night at an almost-sold out gig at Johnny Brenda’s, where they tore through material from throughout their 7-year career with pitch-perfect agility and cathartic intensity. Lead singer Hayley Mary is a powerhouse vocalist whose soaring runs invoke musicians like Kate Bush, while the rest of the band channel arena rock synth indie-pop into something altogether empowering. If the audience response was any indication, they are well-poised to break into American consciousness and stay there well-past any of their contemporaries.

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