Tash Sultana entrances Oakland’s Fox Theater

The night of Thursday July 21st, I made my way back to Oakland for the second time in a week for multi-instrumentalist Australian artist Tash Sultana’s sold-out show at The Fox Theater. The show was in such high demand, the venue even added a second show for the following night!

Tour support for Sultana’s North American Terra Firma Tour was fellow Aussie artist from Melbourne, Josh Cashman, who instantly won over and captivated the audience with his beautiful voice and catchy songs. He introduced his newly released song “Blue Eyes” with his story about when he was younger, he fell in love with a girl living on the west coast of the United States. He wrote her a letter, but she never wrote back. She ended up being a prostitute… this got a laugh from the audience. Cashman also sang unreleased song, “Butterfly”, as well as songs from his 2020 album Now I’m Twenty-Five, such as “Dandelion”, “When a Friend Becomes a Lover” and “Law of Attraction”. Some songs included a drum backtrack; other than that, it was a very stripped down set of just Josh and his guitar. To close out the set, Cashman surprised the mesmerized audience by announcing he will be returning to North America as early as this upcoming September for his own headlining tour! 

After about a half-hour intermission, it was time for Tash Sultana’s long-awaited return to The Fox Theater stage!

The show kicked off at high speed with fan-favorite, “Jungle”, the song that skyrocketed Sultana to the top of the Australian charts back in 2016. The set featured songs throughout Sultana’s entire discography and included band support on a few songs later in the set. It was mostly Tash Sultana though, playing epic solos on so many instruments such as trumpet, saxophone and even a face-melting mandolin solo! These are just additional tools to Sultana’s toolbelt, because Tash is a master guitarist, bassist, percussionist and can loop all this together seamlessly. If you have never heard about Tash Sultana, then I would recommend starting at their bedroom sessions on YouTube due to how shocking that one human can master that many instruments — it’s truly an art!

In addition to this, Sultana’s live show is also a visual experience. To accompany the music, there are psychedelic trippy videos projected throughout the set, plus an amazing light show. Unfortunately, the west coast is the tail end of their North American tour, so you are lucky if you were able to snag a ticket to one of the remaining shows. I’ve noticed with Australian artists, it can sometimes take years until they are able to return to the States again, so you have to see them while you can! Of all the shows I’ve been to over the last decade plus, Aussie artists always put on the best shows and this artist is no different. See them while you can! 

Photography by Katey Shoenberger

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