The Tivoli, Brisbane
Saturday March 14, 2015
In the late 1990s, Macy Gray rose to meteoric fame with her beautiful debut single, ‘I Try’. It’s been some time since she graced our shores, but she is back and as beautiful as ever.
Mysteriously this evening there is no support act, and so the crowd wait for Ms Gray to take to the stage. Anticipation builds as the room begins to clap and chant her name, calling her on stage. By the time she saunters on stage bedecked in a silver sequin dress, blue heels and a large purple feather boa all eyes are upon her.
She opens with ‘Get Up’, kicking off the show with an upbeat vibe. She dances, sways around and sings with her smoky voice that is like a mixture of honey and one too many cigarettes. Slow to warm to the crowd at first, eventually she gets going. Whenever she smiles she is disarmingly charming and gorgeous. She also brings an old world charm and glamour that could be right at home in a 1920s San Fransisco speak easy. When she asks the crowd to sing for her, it’s clear to see she has them in the palm of her hand raising the energy just a notch higher.
Taking a second to slow it down a bit she becomes reflective for a moment to deliver ‘Sweet Baby’, wrapping her hands tightly around the microphone and singing it slowly and sexily. It’s a serious section in the performance allowing Macy to show a softer side. She is entranced in the moment, under a spell.
She pauses to introduce the band and her guitarist Martine she informs us that “This is what happened, Martine Strattord over here on his guitar, he was at home and he had nothing to do, so he went on his laptop and he googled “What should I do right now?” and Google said “You should go to Brisbane“, pausing to let the crowd cheer So Martine a curious man, he googled “Why, why should I go all the way to Brisbane on a Saturday night? I’m a long way here in Los Angeles, why should I travel to Brisbane tonight?”
She proceeds to tell the room why her and the band have travelled to Brisbane tonight and it is at that moment that she has well and truly won over the crowd. She is funny and charming and tells the room that we really know how to party and scream loud and “That google says you sure do drink a lot, which is good – the more you drink, the better we sound“. She has the showmanship of one born to the stage and delivers with perfect comedic timing.
For most of the night she sticks to her earlier material and not so much of her new album. It’s a mix of songs from her first and second album mostly. She keeps the energy alive with mostly upbeat songs, staying away from the ballads and quirky songs of recent album material. She did pleasantly surprises the crowd with a sultry rendition of Radiohead’s, ‘Creep’ though.
Launching into ‘A Moment To Myself’, she glides around the room dancing provocatively only to pause half way through and tell the crowd that her drummer, Tommy,is going to take “A moment to himself, alright?” The house lights dim as the band exits the stage and Tommy launches into an impressive nine and a half minuet drum solo, taking over whilst Macy heads off stage.
She returns looking glamorous in a gold sequin dress and a long fox fur stole, she brings home the show with some more high energy numbers and the momentum keeps steady for the rest of the evening, that includes smash hit ‘I Try’, hidden amongst a medley. Closing the show by singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to one of her band members and playing a recording of 50 Cents, ‘In The Club’, she promptly leaves. Several moments pass and she returns in a black and orange dress with matching feather boa she returns to perform a quick introduction of songs from the new album.
This evening, Macy Gray has not only performed, but she has seduced the crowd, raised everyone up and had them dancing and laughing with her energetic eccentric self. She has been a Goddess in sequins to watch that will have people remembering this performance long after the house lights go up. Let’s hope this beautiful soul singer returns to the stage soon.
Reviewer and Photographer : Amanda Starkey