Live Review: Sarah Blasko + Cameron Avery – Melbourne Recital Centre (15.06.17)

As part of her The Soloist National Tour, Sarah Blasko left her audience head over heels in love after her performance at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Thursday night. Performing without a band for the first time, Blasko laid bare her iconic voice and melted the hearts of everyone present, triggering a stand ovation.

Opening the evening was Perth born artist Cameron Avery. He sat playing his piano, his crooning voice echoing through the theatre illuminated by a spot light, sporting a long dark coat and rugged hair. Imagine one of the Hemsworth brothers crossed with Michael Buble’s voice and Alex Turners smoldering glare. He pumped out beautiful tracks from his album Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, such as, ‘Wasted on Fidelity,’ and, ‘Big Town Girl.’ His voice was extremely soothing, and the audience sat in silence taking every bit of it in, Avery himself pointing out the audible hush, “You guys are a very respectful audience.” He gave a back story to some of songs, giving further insight to the lyrics, making them feel more personal. His charm and easy going attitude made for easy listening and a complimenting start to the night.

After a brief intermission, there was an air of excitement as the lights went out and the audience sat in darkness waiting for Blasko to enter the stage. Suddenly a white spot light appeared revealing the petite artist, looking almost angelic, and with nothing but her voice, she tore right into, ‘Down on Love.’ Her soaring voice bounced off the walls of the auditorium, and already from the first song it was clear just how talented this woman is. The set list consisted of much loved songs from her various albums, spanning from 2004 debut The Overture & The Underscore to 2015’s Eternal Return. She also played a few new songs including ‘Read My Mind.’

Blasko moved around the stage, creating three stations. “I’m moving around the stage to give the illusion like there’s more than one person on stage…I don’t think it’s working,” she laughed.

But it definitely did.  Although she was the lone performer, as she moved from each station she performed in a slightly different way, using different methods. From playing the Ukulele for, ‘Bury This,’ to the electric keys for ‘Luxurious,’ and simply using just her voice for, ‘All I Want.’ It felt like there were several people on the stage, and I almost forgot that it was a solo performance.

Contrasting her entrance, a red spotlight shined on Blasko for her final song before the encore, a newbie called, ‘Phantom Heart.’ The power house performance left the audience crying for me and so she reappeared to play three more tracks, closing with, ‘Perfect Now,’ a track from her first album.

Although this was her first time performing without a band, Blasko was clearly in her element. She made everything look effortless and exerted such a unique beauty, proving that she is one of Australia’s most commanding live performers. The love the audience felt for her was infectious, and it was understandable why.  It’s not every day you get to witness such talent.

Sarah Blasko’s ‘The Soloist’ national tour continues in Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart. For all ticketing information visit: sarahblasko.com

Photo: Dan Boud