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Gig ReviewsReviews

Missy Higgins @ Palais Theatre, Melbourne 3/05/2024

Never in my young life could I imagine getting to a point where I would start a story with “20 years ago…” and actually have a living adult memory from that time, rather than it just being a blurred childhood recollection. So, when some of your favourite bands and artists start embarking on their ‘20th Anniversary Tours’ for albums you could swear to god were only released a year ago, the reality check hits you like a tonne of bricks. The latest artist to embark on such a tour is our very own and incredibly talented, Missy Higgins. Her debut album The Sound of White turns the big 2-0 this year, and she is currently touring the country far and wide to commemorate the hit album and its success.

Friday night my friend and I headed toward the ocean and landed in St Kilda at one of its most iconic landmarks, the historic and beautiful Palais theatre. This night she was lit up tastefully in a purple and red glow and commanded the attention of every passerby with her dominant presence on the St Kilda foreshore. As my friend and I approached, the crowd were gathering outside the doors and the icy sea breeze cut straight through us as we stood out the front finishing our traveller cans like a pair of naughty 16 year olds. With no support act and an early start time, there was just enough time to rehydrate at the bar and head in to settle into our seats ready for the night to begin.

We didn’t need to wait long until the lights went down, and Missy Higgins entered the stage to sit at her grand piano, to cheers and a huge round of applause from a very excited 2000-strong crowd. To start the set, she kicked off with one of her early songs Falling, and went on to explain that she’d put out a message on her socials asking fans to request songs for this set. The first half of the show was to be a mixed bag of old and new songs, before we revisited The Sound of White album. Halfway through singing The Battle, Missy had a temporary mind blank and hilariously said “Fuck, what are the words? This is what happens when I’m asked to play songs that are 20 years old”. We were then treated to a new song, Story for the Ages, which is on her new album due to be released later this year. Missy explained she wrote the song about coming to terms with her separation from her husband, and having to rewrite her story because it didn’t go the way she had originally planned. Despite her cheery demeanor and her reassurance that she is moving forward with her life, the raw emotion and grief is still clearly evident when Missy discusses this particular phase of her life. Being privy to that open emotion feels like a privilege and makes someone’s story and their music dive deeper into your soul.

The Broken Ones is another new release, and the relatable and emotionally charged lyrics really hit me for six. Throughout this entire set, Missy was alone on stage(bar a couple of numbers that included her backing vocalists), and she seamlessly floated between her piano and guitar, so the acoustic nature of each song gave it an additional layer of depth and feel. The Cactus That Found the Beat was a fun, upbeat jazz-inspired song that Missy wrote for her Year 12 end of year performance and had the crowd grooving and clapping along to the funky beat and her nifty scatting. We then got a huge surprise when Aussie singer Angie McMahon joined Missy on stage, and together they sang Where I Stood. The combination of Missy’s heavenly smooth tones and Angie’s ethereal vocals made this song other worldly, and the collective goosebumps in the theatre were palpable. This was a truly incredible moment, and one that I feel lucky to have witnessed first-hand. Missy made a joke about selling tissues at the merch stand, given the sad content of a lot of her songs, and I found this comment quite appropriate as she sang another new release in which there’s a line she sings about crying in the kitchen once the kids have gone to bed. It’s easy to forget that artists in the public eye are just as human as anyone else, and this particular lyric was really quite poignant and a stark reminder of this.

It was time for an interval so the crowd could grab a drink and emotionally reset, in anticipation of ‘The Second Act’. All For Believing opened the second set with a haunting arrangement with just keys and a cello, before the 6-piece band entered the stage appropriately dressed in white, to perform Katie. Missy flaunted her custom-made short suit for the tour with an accompanying white tasselled jacket, with different meaningful symbols embroidered on it to represent different lyrics from her debut album. The River prompted Missy to recall how she used to freak out her teachers at school with her fucked up stories, but it’s fair to say it seems to have worked out pretty well for her career-wise.

Nightminds brought a solid lump to my throat and had the nostalgia flooding right back into my bones, before Ten Days had me reminiscing about all the boys I wasted hours crying over in my younger years. Missy Higgins and her tunes of heartache were on high rotation on my broken heart playlist and despite the time that has apparently passed, she has the power to evoke all those feelings again making them bubble to the surface. This is How It Goes had Missy showcasing her incredible vocal ability where in one instance in the bridge her voice was doing things I didn’t think humanly possible, and the crowd agreed with their enthusiastic response. We kept moving through the album (not in track order) before landing on The Special Two. You could feel the physical energy of everyone in the room during this iconic track, and the audience couldn’t help but sing along (at a respectful level). Missy thanked her fans for riding this journey with her and for sticking around for the last 20 years, before leading into her first huge hit Scar that had the room singing along to every word and up dancing in the aisles. The Sound of White appropriately finished off the show, and the room completely erupted at its conclusion with raucous cheers and a well-deserved standing ovation.

Missy Higgins is one of our greatest talents in this country, and her songwriting and musical ability is second to none. Her incredible voice is a soothing salve for the soul, that has the extraordinary ability to heal even the most broken of hearts. This was a truly magical night of emotion inducing nostalgia, and I’m so thrilled that I got to experience it in the flesh for myself. Those that have been to this show will know exactly what I’m talking about, and will understand that sometimes there just aren’t enough words that will do this night and the whole entire tour justice.

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News

Summersalt Announce First Round of Shows for 2022

HOBART & FREMANTLE – GET READY,

WE’RE BACK THIS SUMMER IN 2022!

Following the enormous success of the SummerSalt concert series across Australia over past summer seasons, Zaccaria Concerts & Touring are thrilled to announce their next season of SummerSalt shows around Australia in 2022. First cabs off the rank are Tasmania & Western Australia!

For Tasmania, music lovers are set for a stellar line-up of artists, featuring MISSY HIGGINS, XAVIER RUDD, BIRDS OF TOKYO, PETE MURRAY, THE WAIFS, THE DREGGS and TULLIAH, on the lawns of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in Hobart.

For WA, the top-notch line-up will feature MISSY HIGGINS, XAVIER RUDD, BIRDS OF TOKYO, THE WAIFS, PETE MURRAY, COTERIE and BANJO LUCIA, under the norfolk pines, rustled by the ocean breeze at Esplanade Park in Fremantle.

Since its inception, SummerSalt has continued to deliver the finest Australian artists in some of the most scenic locations around the country. These festival events will be a great day out with live music and a vibrant setting. It’s the perfect place to bask in the sun, while kicking back or dancing the day and night away to some of Australia’s best live music.

Homegrown Australian talent performing live music in these superb locations and family friend environments, local market stalls, lush lawns, food trucks, and a selection of refreshing beverages, making it perfect for a day in the sunshine.

Promoter, John Zaccaria said “after powering through a tumultuous time for events, we are so excited to bring another great round of shows to Tasmania & Western Australia. We’re all keen to get back to enjoying fun days out with friends and some of Australia’s best live music. We have another top line-up of homegrown Aussie talent to bring to Hobart & Fremantle and can’t wait to see music fans out again making sensational summer memories with their mates.”

Today’s announcement coincides with the release of two short films released today that give a behind the scenes look from Australia’s promoters, artists, production crew, ticketing agents, and all those involved in getting live events back on the road across the country amidst lockdowns and imposed restrictions on mass gatherings. The films were commissioned and supported by Ticketmaster. The first film titled Radical Hope follows SummerSalt promoter John Zaccaria as he staged the first national tours in early 2021, SummerSalt and By The C, following the nationwide lockdown. The film stars an array of Australian music stars, including Missy Higgins, John Butler, and Felix Riebl (The Cat Empire), and industry legends Icehouse tour manager Larry Ponting, President, Live Nation Asia Pacific Roger Field, Ticketmaster Head of Strategic Partnerships, Rob D’Orazio and Event Health Management, Managing Director Hugh Singe.

The second film titled Back To Live takes a broader look at the industry, focusing on the importance of touring for artists, the need of community for fans, and a look to the future of our industry. In this film, artists and performers include Missy Higgins, John Butler, Tim Rogers (You Am I), Emily Wurramara, and British comedian Russell Howard.

RADICAL HOPE FILM

Missy Higgins is one of our most beloved singer/songwriters and her acclaimed studio albums, The Sound of White, On a Clear Night, The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle, Oz and Solastalgia have sold more than two million copies. Classic songs like “Scar”, “The Special Two”, “Steer”, “Everyone’s Waiting” and “Futon Couch”, plus her unforgettable live shows, have made Missy an authentic household name.

She has won nine ARIA awards and multiple APRA Awards. Missy received a Screen Music Award for Best Original Song composed for the Screen for Australian Film “Don’t Tell” and contributed songs for powerful ABCTV drama “Total Control”. She began 2020 by releasing single ‘Carry You’ written by Tim Minchin for his TV show ‘Upright’ and capped off the year with the release of “When The Machine Starts” a song focussing on positives that might be drawn from the year’s lockdown experiences. The stories Missy shares through songwriting come to life on stage as enjoyed by thousands of fans at her summer shows.

Xavier Rudd’s relentless upward arc is among the most astounding success stories of our time. Over 20 years of touring has seen his global fan base swell to perform sell-out concerts in Japan, throughout Europe, Canada, the USA, including his infamous sold-out Red Rocks Amphitheatre in 2018.

Countless more celebrated acts have come and gone like fireworks as his campfire steadily grows: a beacon to the kind of music fan that seeks sustenance in a fast-food world.

Birds of Tokyo formed in Perth in 2004 and have grown from independent roots to become one of Australia’s most popular contemporary rock bands. Songs like “Plans”, “Lanterns”, “This Fire”, “Anchor” and “I’d Go With You Anywhere” have all been top 10 airplay hits and have led to appearances at every major festival in this country including Falls, Splendour In The Grass and Groovin’ The Moo, as well as headlining slots at the AFL Grand Final and NRL’s flagship State of Origin game.

Subsequent records have helped the band carve a singular career for more than a decade, including 2012’s March Fires, which debuted at #1 on the ARIA Album Chart and produced triple-platinum radio hit “Lanterns”, gold-certified EP Anchor (2015) and 2016’s top #3-peaking album BRACE.

More than 70 Birds of Tokyo songs have featured on Triple J, making them one of the station’s three most played artists of this millennium. The band are also the only artist in history to win “Rock Work of the Year” on five separate occasions at the prestigious APRA Awards.

Multi-platinum selling Pete Murray has released 7 albums over an impressive career and is one of only a few Australian artists with over 1 million album sales under his belt. He has received 17 ARIA nominations throughout his career. Pete’s first three albums all reached #1 on the Australian music charts and his first album FEELER reached number 1 and remained in the Top 100 for two and a half years.

Pete Murray’s music is part of the Australian soundtrack with his tracks well-known and loved around the country. Pete won an APRA Award for ‘Most Performed Australian Work for his single ‘So Beautiful’. Single ‘Better Days’ has been nominated for ‘Song of the Year’ at the APRA Awards, while ‘Opportunity’ has received a nomination for ‘Most Performed Australian Work’.

Pete Murray is back with brand new music in the shape of ‘Hold Me Steady’ and he wishes people take from this song a happy memory or time in their life – as well as for it to make them not be able to resist wanting to sing it very loud every time they hear it!

A trip that began in a van in 1992, playing gigs anywhere in Australia that would have them, has led The Waifs to multiple ARIA Awards, platinum albums and successful tours across the world. With a career spanning more than 25 years off the back of relentless touring and ground-breaking records such as Up All Night and A Brief History, the hard yards in those early days paid off in terms of their career, but also bound them together as friends.

The original road warriors, The Waifs have built a career out of continually circling Australia and the globe. From bustling cities to the farthest regional and coastal towns, they have spent the past 25 years, reuniting with old friends, and gathering new fans, thanks to their enchanting live shows and affable natures.

Australian Indie-Folk duo, The Dreggs, were formed in 2017, and are made up of Paddy Macrae and Zane Harris. Equipped with two acoustic guitars and a stomp, the Dreggs are masters at keeping it simple, uncomplicated and a hell of a lot of fun.

With the release of their popular single, ‘Give Myself to You’ (2017), they received a significantly positive response, with airtime on Triple J’s ‘Roots & All’ and along with playing countless shows throughout SE Qld, helped them to develop a strong fan base, and let the world know that the Dreggs were here to stay. They continued to power through 2018 with the release of ‘Feel Alive’ and ‘Gold’, and then crashing through an epic 2019, releasing two singles ‘Just One Night’ and ‘You and Me’, and also making it to the line-up of a few major festivals and selling out shows on their National Tours.

At 19 years old, Tulliah, from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, simply writes from a place of heartfelt experiences with melodies that seamlessly wash over you. One of those songs – ‘Company’, a piano-backed pop song written about toxic crushes and unreciprocated feelings – gave Tulliah the tag of an ‘act of Australia’s future’, placed upon her after becoming a finalist in 2019’s Triple J Unearthed High competition. Off the back of that one single (and after finishing her exams), Tulliah blossomed. She signed to touring agency Select Music and supported acts like Amy Shark and GRAACE on tours, played Melbourne festival shows with Ball Park Music and Thelma Plum, and saw the world desperately ask for what’s next – something she was quietly working on, while still honing in on her skills and solidifying her craft.

Now, with a debut EP titled ‘Fre$h Hugs’ released March 2021, we’re able to go a little deeper into the musical mind of Tulliah and the potent bursts of indie-pop that come from one of Australia’s most exciting new names. The EP is a dizzying six tracks that simultaneously capture Tulliah’s brilliance in pop music as well as the heartfelt stories and emotions that give them their soothing edge: balancing intimacy and richness through swirling and incredibly powerful pop music.

Coterie, 4 brothers from Perth who grew up on their parents hand-me-down RNB mixtapes but fell in love with the electric sounds of Jimmy Hendrix guitars. They encompass an authenticity often lost in modern music. Their blend of indie rock meets pop is shared through records made in their lounge-room, telling stories via lyrics drawn from real life experiences with melodically rich vocals that bring a raw narrative heat to the songs, their live shows harness a lifetime of musical blood that evokes feeling, one that you can only get when 16 years of jamming simply speaks for itself.

Banjo Lucia is a passionate singer and songwriter steeped in a deep love for the craft and tradition. Her songs reveal a wisdom and sophisticated turn of phrase that belie her age, revealing an insight into the human condition that is at once heart breaking and uplifting. Her ability to turn mundane details into profound familiarity and transport the listener into the centre of her experience as if it was their own, is the mark of a truly gifted writer.

So, jump on board, folks and join us as SummerSalt sets to shine in all its glory again!

SUMMERSALT

ROYAL TASMANIAN BOTANICAL GARDENS, HOBART

MISSY HIGGINS, XAVIER RUDD, BIRDS OF TOKYO, PETE MURRAY,

THE WAIFS, THE DREGGS, TULLIAH

Sunday, 6th February 2022

SUMMERSALT

ESPLANADE PARK, FREMANTLE

MISSY HIGGINS, XAVIER RUDD, BIRDS OF TOKYO, THE WAIFS,

PETE MURRAY, COTERIE, BANJO LUCIA

Sunday, 6th March 2022

Tickets on sale for both shows on Saturday 9th October at 10.00am

Tickets are available at:

www.ticketmaster.com.au

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