Dan Sultan played a powerful and massively long show for a sold out hometown crowd as part of hisBlackbird tour tonight. He treated the audience to some special guests as well as playing a few memorable covers by some of Australia’s most talented musicians.
Four-piece sister group Stonefield supported Dan Sultan this evening and they owned the stage as if they were headlining. I last saw them play a headline show at The Corner Hotel last year, and what an incredible live act they have become since. They have developed their musical talents and onstage presence, with lead singer Amy Findlay having clearly worked on the strength of her vocals, as they boomed throughout the theatre.
The theatre’s lights dimmed, and the stage was lit up in dark purple background lighting as the drums started to radiate through the room. Dan Sultan walked onto stage, welcomed by a loud roar and launched into a brilliant blended set of country, soul and rock and roll numbers. He launched into songs from his new album Blackbird “Can’t Blame” and “Under Your Skin”.
The support of his band and horn section added volume to his songs that would of easily sounded comfortable in a large stadium venue. “Ain’t Thinking Of You” and “Your Love Is A Song” were enhanced greatly by the horn section and had the crowd swaying along.
He was very thankful for his home audience and made it an exceptionally show by inviting a number of special guests on stage. Kingswood joined him as chorus support on “The Same Man”, andSpiderbait’s drummer Kram joined him on stage, lending his vocals and drumming talents during a cover of Nick Cave’s “Diana”.
Dan found a good balance between rocking out and also sharing with us his more emotional and sentimental side. He shared with us his struggle of finding inspiration and fighting off depression before creating Blackbird, and told us how a phone call by Paul Kelly changed everything for him. He thanked his mentor by covering one his songs. He also covered a song by Paul Dempsey.
What was noticeable was the older crowd and the pleasant lack of mobile phones. Everyone was captivated by his performance and crowd favourites “Old Fitzroy”, “Kimberley Calling” and “Loving’s Just For Fools” had the crowd wanting more as the set came to a close.
Including the encore, Dan played an extensive set lasting just under two hours. He sang with such soul and emotion on his slower numbers, and rocked out hard during his louder rockier numbers. His enchanting and energetic charisma brought his performance to another level, and while I am not a die-hard fan, my respect for him as musician increased ten fold.