For the 2018 edition of Brisbane Festival we have seen an incredible curated list of shows that have taken theatre, art and music lovers all over the city and into some of your favourite traditional and pop-up venues. But nothing was more exciting than the announcement of The Tivoli’s first ever “in the round” shows. Over a 3 night residency, the iconic Brisbane music venue was transformed with a pop up stage structure whilst chairs, lounges and lamps took over the balcony and normally occupied fitted stage.
As the venue filled to capacity and the moody lights dimmed, Sarah Blasko walked out to the circular stage to a massive applause. “I feel like I’m entering a boxing ring to fight against myself” she jokingly confessed before she sat down at her keyboard for the solemn opener ‘I’d Be Lost’. The intimate setting highlighted her vulnerable storylines and soaring vocals as everyone was absolutely entranced by her captivating delivery. Along with the alternative stage set up, this was quite different to most of her gigs as she performed completely solo. With her just on the keyboard she stripped down favourites like ‘Beyond’, ‘A Shot’ and the bridezilla ode ‘Never Let Me Go’. Adding a synth backing track she decided to get up and make use of the stage design and walked up and down the catwalk as she interpretive danced to ‘Everybody Wants To Sin’ and ‘Making It Up’. She made sure that no matter where you were standing or sitting in the venue that you got to feel up close and personal with her. As she returned to the main stage she performed ‘Just Like A Memory’ acoustically on a little guitar before taking a seat at her keyboard again.
As the rain hit the roof of the venue and complimented the moody and dark aesthetic she delivered two of my favourites tracks from her new record, ‘Heaven Sent’ and the stunning ‘Read My Mind’. Crowd favourites ‘Leads Me Back’ and ‘Phantom’ followed before she thanked them for their graciousness and said good night. But the crowd couldn’t stop screaming and chanting for her as she left so it was unsurprising that she returned momentarily. She candidly told the crowd her dislike for long encores and announced that she would only be doing two more songs. ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ and ‘I Awake’ perfectly closed this intimate show with just her powerhouse vocals and a simple keyboard delivery.
Not all artists could pull off a show in the round at this venue but Sarah Blasko delivered it with such ease. She was captivating, humble and showcased an incredible amount of vulnerability which highlighted the intimate setting. This was a show for the fans, and I think it’s safe to say that the fans loved every minute of it.
Check out the full gallery captured by The Raveyard Photography HERE;
Photos by Hannah Dodd