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Maxwell Stern, Pinch Hitter & Kelso (UPSTAIRS)

tickets $15+BF/$20 on the door. Doors 8.00 PM

Signals Midwest frontman and acclaimed singer-songwriter in his own right, Maxwell Stern will embark on his third tour of Australia this March, hitting the road once again with Sydney’s much-loved emo-folk banjo duo Pinch Hitter.

Stern has made a name for himself out the front of Cleveland Ohio’s Signals Midwest, who’ve grown to become a mainstay on the US indie-punk scene over the last decade. From their promising debut, 2009’s Burn the Blueprints, to joining the Tiny Engines stable (The Hotelier, Cayetana, Tigers Jaw, Beach Slang), through to their accomplished fourth set, 2016’s At this Age, the band’s star is still on the rise. In March, Stern strips things back to showcase his emotive and vivid storytelling in solo mode. No less powerful than a Signals Midwest set, Stern’s personal, vivid tales of love, loss and life resonate deeply. Australian audiences were introduced to this in 2014, on the back of the stunning debut EP Summering and a tour with Smith Street Band’s Wil Wagner and Pinch Hitter. Stern’s 2017 set There’s a Time for Everything confirmed what fans already knew – this is a voice that’s impossible to ignore.

He reunites with Pinch Hitter, the banjo-picking duo of Nick van Breda (Staying at Home, Animal Shapes) and Dave Drayton (Between the Devil & the Deep, Milhouse), whose unique emo-folk tunes have deservedly earned them an almost cult-like following. As well as collaborating on a split seven-inch with Meridian – Stern’s project with his brother Jake – in 2015, Pinch Hitter have the well-received debut album When Friends Die in Accidents out now.