It took Angus and Julia Stone one song to transform Madison’s Majestic Theatre into a scene from a sappy indie romance flick; specifically, a scene on a beach at sunset.
“This song is about finding that person you want to make lots of babies with,” Julia Stone, one half of the Australian brother-sister folk-blues duo, said as she slid into a song titled, “The Wedding Song.”
It was a night for Madison’s lovebirds, with perfectly harmonized vocal melodies and gentle guitar sways that turned into passionate throws of sounds, as the two played songs from all three of their studio albums, including their most recently self-titled 2014 release.
Serving as fuel for the hopeless romantics of the world, the set seemed to capture the feeling of sinking your toes into warm sand with the love of your life to the sound of the ocean. The calm waters of crooning ballads crashed into tortured waves of overpowering walls of sound.
There were moments where you forgot that you were in a blistering hot theatre shoulder-to-shoulder with a sold-out crowd of strangers — when sounds of a circus from the boardwalk spilled over into the beach. Julia Stone stood armed on stage singing “Private Lawns” with her guitar and trumpet as if Dick Van Dyke from “Mary Poppins” sang like a folk-y woodland nymph.
There were moments when everybody around you disappeared and it was just Angus singing directly to your memories of heartbreak. And then there were moments where that next syrupy song, with the same lyrics about being swept off your feet made you ever so aware that you were not on the beach at starlight, but rather in Wisconsin on a brisk Friday night, feeling kind of alone.
The two exhausted every way someone could say, “I love you,” with every song somewhat sweeter than the one before.
Angus and Julia alternated time in the spotlight, giving each other’s voices depth. The two, who began making music together in 2006, have both found success with their own solo projects since — a dynamic that proved helpful in sustaining the brother-sister image, which was otherwise left unsupported by both the lyrics and rhythm.
“You two are adorable,” Angus said to a couple in the front row after he and Julia played “Santa Monica Dream.” “I hope it all works out.”
“You’re so creepy,” Julia responded to her brother, restoring the family vibes briefly before diving head first into another wave of love songs.
The duo’s most recognizable song “Big Jet Plane” seemed almost understated, with a performance mimicking the studio recording. The rest, however, were a testament to their band — heightened adaptations of the recorded songs. The drummer even found himself in uncharted waters, after Julia accepted a request to play “Wasted,” during which even Angus looked a little lost.
The two signed off with an adoring hug to a crowd split between shouting requests and hugging loved ones. They were a somewhat starry-eyed and emotional reminder of what is most important in life.