COVID gigs are bizarrely brilliant. Fronting for a show at 6pm might not give one time for dinner, but fear not, you can have some eats seated at your table in front of the stage. It's actually the perfect setting for tonight's performances, beginning with Sydney singer/songwriter Jack Grace in stripped back mode, his voice true to his recordings, striking the right note with the early-comers, (even if a brief 6pm slot is a bit on the brutal side).
It's difficult to find any fault in Gordi, her songs, her voice or this performance. Opening seated at her keys and flanked by a couple of oversized vintage light bulbs, an almost-solo 'Aeroplane Bathroom' opens her set, much like it does her recent second album Our Two Skins. Unlike the album, however, the song builds steadily into something much bigger.
This is the very first show of this recent (and rescheduled) leg of her Our Two Skins Tour, and she's visibly overjoyed to be here in Brisbane, somewhere she admits to not visiting in years. Her audience is attentive and appreciative and her band is careful and flawless. Early in the set, she invites Alex Lahey - "one of my favourite Australian artists" - to the stage, introducing her with a story about running amok in Nashville, the place they co-wrote this new song - a duet - that's to be released next week. On first listen, the song is a little more Lahey than Gordi, but the two are balanced with subsequent song - Gordi's excellent 'Extraordinary Life' with Lahey on bass.
Appropriately grandiose throughout, the songs translate into something more muscular on stage, and the warmth and charm of Gordi herself, as tonight's host, is undeniable and that of a veteran. She recalls stories of recording her album on her parent's farm, while Dad continues to replace the roof and lovingly get in the way while the tape is rolling. She pulls together a perfect setlist - incorporating a good split of songs from both her latest album and excellent debut Reservoir - balancing dynamics, ballads with folky bangers and perfect light and shade. The penultimate 'Sandwiches' is a highlight and main set closer 'Unready' is transcendently glorious. She returns for a two-song encore including an original and a cover of Miley Cyrus 'Wrecking Ball', remarkably something Gordi effortlessly makes her own.
At her core, Gordi is someone who seems to completely understand the nuances of being an artist, focused first on meticulous execution - it's easy to see - and delivering songs and music that far transcends the humble shores of her native and should be playing the same-sized arenas the likes of Bon Iver is globally.
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