Live Review & Gallery: SUO at the ACO Neilson, Sydney 20.01.2024


Saara Untracht-Oakner is a multifaceted creative force best known as the singer and guitarist for the band BOYTOY and for her solo project SUO. Tonight the Brooklyn native will be bringing her androgynous energy to the ACO Neilson stage in Sydney.

Untracht-Oakner’s work with BOYTOY, an all-woman surf-rock outfit, and her solo project SUO, showcase her diverse artistic range. Her album with SUO, ‘Dancing Spots and Dungeons,’ reflects a collection of songs inspired by a mix of emotions and a variety of musical influences including David Byrne, Prince, Lou Reed, The Supremes, Brian Eno, Grace Jones, and Patti Smith. Aside from music, Untracht-Oakner’s artistic expressions extend to multiple mediums, including photography, painting, and even furniture design.

Untracht-Oakner spent February 2023 in Mexico City working on new music with producer Pablo Valero (of cult Mexican rock band Santa Sabina.) SUO frequently collaborates with members of Josephine Network, Dirty Fences, Widowspeak, and Bower. Tonight she is supported by some members of these bands, Robert Earl Thomas, Hershguy and Josephine Solo (of the Josephine Network.)

From the moment that SUO, dressed in red pants and top, and her band stride on stage, there’s a palpable energy in the crowd. The spiky rhythms of her album ‘Dancing Spots and Dungeons’ are blended with an electrifying stage presence. It’s an experience that ricochets between swoony melodies and razor-sharp lyricism, a testament to her artistry that echoes Lou Reed’s poetic grit and Patti Smith’s raw power. The performance is a fluid dance across gender lines, captivating the audience in a spell of androgynous allure as she etches a narrative that transcends the binaries.

SUO setlist Sydney 20 January 2024

She plays a selection of songs from ‘Dancing Spots and Dungeons’ and we are also treated to a new song, ‘Arms of an Angel’ that she says the band is playing for the first time. The end of the gig arrives all too swiftly, leaving the crowd thrilled to have had the opportunity to see her perform in Australia, and eagerly hoping that she makes a swift return to grace our stages once again.

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