It’s been a couple of years since Lewis Watson last toured Australia but previously when he has played shows here its been just him, on his own, completely acoustically. For the release of his second studio album “Midnight” he has introduced a bolder sound that steps out of his comfort zone and sees him maturing as an artist. This also included incorporating a band to his live show which I was unsure of the dynamic it would create but I’m pleased to say it worked pretty well. Walking out onto the stage to an excited all ages crowd he kicked off the intimate show with one of the boldest sounding songs on his new record “Maybe We’re Home”. He then went into a 90 minute setlist of new songs and old favourites like “Little Light”, “Deep Water”, “Hello Hello” and “Outgrow”. There was a playful banter between Watson and the crowd which started off as slightly annoying heckling of “I Love You’s” and “I have a boyfriend but he doesn’t mind” but turned into a intimacy where he candidly opened up onstage about his family and touring. There wasn’t a lot of interaction between him and the band throughout the show but that will come with time. He did perform an unplugged performance of “Halo” with keyboardist Julie Thorp where it was just their vocals and a guitar without any microphones or amps which was a sweet moment. He really does shine when it’s just him and his guitar and he acoustically performed old fan favourites “Bones” and “Into The Wild” which had the crowd entranced. It was little candid moment like this which made the show so special. Closing the show with “Stay” he returned for an encore but instead of taking the stage he went to the middle of the venue where everyone formed a circle around him as he performed a cover of the Guillemots “Made-Up Love Song” completely unplugged. It was the perfect way to finish an intimate and relaxed show which had its moments of pure magic.
Central Coast’s Winterbourne opened the show with their quirky banter and infectious folk meet indie-pop. They played some unreleased songs as well as fan favourites from their EP’s “Pendulum” and “All But The Sun”. They even did a unique cover of Lorde’s “Green Light” was was epic in it’s own right. They seemed to had quite a strong fanbase in the crowd but if you hadn’t heard of them before tonight then you instantly won over. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.