Sarah Blasko and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra – Festival Theatre – Feb 1st – 5K

SarahBlasko ShowMePerthBy Ben Nielsen

Sarah Blasko was once told that not a single musical bone existed in her body. With numerous multi-award winning albums under her belt, her old high school teacher has certainly been shown otherwise. Blasko returns to Australia, kicking off the national tour for her latest album ‘I Awake’. In one of her most ambitious projects, she is joined on stage by a three piece band and an entire symphony orchestra.

Supporting artist Wintercoats (Melbourne based James Wallace) ambled on stage, addressed the audience with an incoherent mumble, and began to play. While his arrival was apprehensive, Wallace soon wowed the audience with his one-man chamber pop orchestra.

With only his voice and a violin, Wallace created the musical depth of a symphony orchestra, every sound and motif recorded live with a loop device. The violin was ingeniously exploited – the strings, the resonance of the sound hole, and the percussiveness of the body. Floating above this were Wallace’s soothing, somewhat androgynous vocals. It was a fascinating journey of musical creation.

To whistles and cheers, Sarah Blasko soon took to the stage, performing tracks from her most recent and undoubtedly best album, ‘I Awake’. Where in earlier albums instrumentation was sparse and music simple, she now offers a rich, multi-layered, almost cinematic experience. Blasko belted out each chart with a gusto that made it easy to forget each song’s fundamental musical similarity.

The art and popular music worlds collided; a distinct contrast formed onstage between the refined Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Blasko’s unreserved nature. Besides this aesthetic difference, the orchestra offered Blasko’s work an otherwise unachievable smorgasbord of texture and sound.

Blasko was perpetually appreciative of her audience, eventually thanking them with a generous encore. This allowed an opportunity for her to perform solo at the piano, and then once more with her extraordinary band and orchestra.

With a new sound and a lovely onstage demeanor, it’s all too easy to like Sarah Blasko and her new album ‘I Awake’.

Kryztoff Rating    5K

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