Sarah Blasko @ The Playhouse, Thursday June 8

Photo by Bryant Evans.

Sarah Blasko appeared before the audience like a phantom, her silhouette cutting the outline of a modern-day explorer, cloaked in a ruffle-sleeved dress and shining silver buttons. As the welcoming crowd hushed their applause Blasko took to the microphone and opened with a haunting a cappella version of ‘Down on Love’. Stripped bare of its usual piano production Blasko’s vocal, with nowhere to hide, soared powerfully, proving that The Soloist can indeed do it alone.

Wedged between the grand piano and a keyboard Blasko marched through her set list, sampling her impressive back catalogue. Bathed in fuzzy yellow light the consummate performer poured through synth-laden versions of ‘Beyond’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’. Blasko howled from her position at the piano before slipping seamlessly into hypnotic movements, her arms stretched forward, reaching for invisible things.

On the opposite side of the stage Blasko laughed warmly at the ‘stations’ of her musical journey. With an acoustic guitar slung around her shoulders she performed ‘Woman By The Well’, momentarily faltering toward the end of the track, which only added further layers of charm and intimacy to this unique performance: “still, I want you around / ‘cause I’m more lost than found.”

‘Is My Baby Yours’ followed and Blasko stumbled again, tripping over chords during the song’s crescendo, “I’ll just recommence from that pivotal moment in the song!” she joked.

Blasko finished on a high with crowd favourite ‘We Won’t Run’ before returning for a three-song encore that included Cold Chisel’s ‘Flame Trees’ and the beloved ‘Perfect Now’ from her 2004 debut.

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