Making my way past the VIVID lights, I sat down in the main concert hall of the Sydney Opera House to see Martha Wainwright. I was not sure of what to expect, I mean when your parents and brother are who they are the stakes are high.
The show starts 8pm sharp as Martha walks out onto the stage in a fitted white dress where she later comments, “I’m like a sausage squeezed into this dress, a white pudding! Oh what are you going to do?”
The opener is “I Am A Diamond” originally written by her mother Kate McGarrigle. She then welcomes the rest of her band on stage to play song songs from her new record Come Home To Mama one of them being bass player and husband Brad Albetta.
Martha went on to play, “Four Black Sheep”, “Can You Believe It”, “Some People” and “Bleeding All Over You”.
While playing these songs it’s easy to see Wainwright is no stranger to the stage, placed in the middle the petite star brings such poise and elegance as her intense emotion filled vocals fill the room.
Vocally she is like no other, each run, every note, vibrato and pitch are perfect. Like you’re listening to your favorite Martha Wainwright song at home.
Even though most of the time she is hidden behind her acoustic guitar her stage and body presence is huge, always swaying around and bring you in with her engaging foot movements, it is seriously something you need to see, extremely charismatic.
Wainwright’s band tonight is made up of Bass, Drums and the special add on of Keys, that she wanted just for this tour helping to fill out the sound and help bring the songs to life. She then goes on to talk about her support band that has been with her through this Australian leg of her tour called “Brighter Later” being kind enough to let them play a song in the middle of her set and have to two singers join her on the song “Factory”.
The last 30 minuets of Martha’s set is a bit of a mix box and got a little tedious at time’s, like in the song “This Life” forgetting lyrics etc. A stand out moment for the night was when Martha performed two songs by Edith Piaf, her vocals where stunning, goose bump worthy. Wainwright then went to pay homage to her Australian crowed by playing a song, and I quote “another old man I think is hot” Nick Caves “Ship Song”.
The Encore consisted of two songs, a cover of “stormy Weather” where she thanked her brother Rufus Wainwright for teaching it to her, then all time crowed favorite “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole”.
All in all tonight’s show was pretty bloody excellent from Martha’s witty stage banter, to the caliber of the band and the stage presence they all oozed.
Martha Wainwright is someone to put on your musical bucket list with her smooth singer songwriter lyrics and vocals a sight to be seen and heard.