The concept of seeing Vera Blue perform with an orchestra is one that has crossed my mind multiple times. It’s as if her discography was always meant to get a moment to shine in this format with her vulnerably layered songs arranged in an extra gorgeous and hyper-emotional way. Bringing this vision to life, the ‘Everything Is Wonderful’ show is a one of a kind production that has graced the stages of the East Coast and transported listeners to a dreamy world of reflection.
Making its way to Brisbane for two nights only as a part of the No Strings Attached series at The Fortitude Music Hall, Vera Blue and the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra created some incredibly beautiful magic. Opening the show with the unreleased title track ‘Everything Is Wonderful’ and ‘The Rose’, they immediately transported you into this cinematically scored world. Premiering these songs live, it gave an exciting glimpse into her forthcoming project with the emotional strings (pun intended) very much still in-tact
Welcoming the crowd to the ‘Everything Is Wonderful’ show, she expressed her gratitude to the audience for coming along, to the orchestra for performing with her, and teased a night of some of her favourite songs from her album and EP.
Segueing into the heartbreaking ‘Settle’ and the romantic ‘Hold’, the orchestral arrangements of these fan favourites were immediately goosebumps inducing. With some very upbeat songs in her discography I was very intrigued to see how she approached the arrangements of songs like ‘Lady Powers’, ‘Lie To Me’, ‘All The Pretty Girls’ and ‘Regular Touch’, and they didn’t disappoint with this fresh new perspective being spotlighted though their new interpretations. But ‘Private’ provided one of the most surprising renditions of the night with a brassy twist that no one saw coming, and ‘Like I Remember You’ delivered one of the most emotional moments of the evening.
Premiering three new live songs throughout the set, ‘The Curse’ was the last one to have its moment, and it was the one that definitely deserved its own moment. Written about falling in love with your best friend and having to tell them how you feel and them not reciprocating those feelings back, it was a vulnerable and honest reflection of unrequited love and how it feels like a curse. “Shouldn’t punish myself, I saw a sign and clearly I read it wrong cause I was under the curse” she retrospectively sings during the beautiful chorus.
Closing the show with ‘Mended’ and ‘Rushing Back’, she left the audience spellbound and ready to watch the show all over again. Even though the concept of this show was slightly out of her comfort zone, she surprisingly seemed the most comfortable that I have ever seen her on stage before. She delivered this calmness and candid vulnerability that intertwined so beautifully with the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra.
With flower arrangements dressed across the stage and venue, you were immediately welcomed into this vividly charged creative and artistic direction she had for the show. From the moment the show begun your jaw was wide open and resting on the floor, and you were left in a constant state of awe from how beautiful these renditions were. A creative match made in heaven, and hopefully this isn’t the only time see her collaborating with an orchestra because I’d like to revisit the feeling this show gave me over and over again.
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Photos by Kirsten Roe