Fresh from her tour with John Butler, Missy Higgins wowed an energetic audience at the Gold Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre on Saturday night.
The audience settled in for a night of a mix of Missy’s old and new songs, as she kicked off the night with a piano solo. With a simple backdrop: “MISSY” lit up in neon, the music was all that was required to for the crowd to enjoy themselves. Following the solo, her band joined her on stage for ‘Don’t Ever’ and ‘Going North’ before the crowd enthusiastically joined in singing her incredible ballad ‘Everyone’s Waiting’.
The intimate nature of Missy’s Gold Coast show was maintained despite there being a crowd of up to 4000 present. The intimacy was highlighted with the many conversations and engagements Missy had with her audience. After her solo performance she told the crowd “I was asked tonight by the lighting guy if I was going to start the show with an uplifting song…… I told him just do depressing lighting and you will be ok”. The crowd responded with laughter, a common theme throughout the night. Her follow up interaction was a recollection of the last time she performed on the Gold Coast, “Last time I was here just as I was about to leave for the venue I started throwing up. I had to go to the hospital, get and injection and I was 45 minutes late on stage. I promise you there will be no throwing up tonight”.
Six songs into her set there was a technical issue with her microphone creating a strange calmness and quietness among the crowd. After approximately 30 seconds this pause was interrupted with crowd members yelling out everything from “I love you Missy” to “Don’t throw up again”, much to the amusement of the audience, and Missy herself. This pause in the concert actually added to the connection and when sound was restored Missy simply laughed and said, “Well that was weird, I felt I was in some kind of nightmare”. Then she proceeded with the show with her hit song ’10 days’. The audience joined in knowing the song word for word. Following this song she performed ‘Peachy’, which she described as the “sequel written as a revenge song as an artist she needed space to write”.
As an artist and songwriter Missy Higgins has shown time and time again her commitment to write about issues we are facing as a society. By addressing the issues, such as refugees and climate change, her music highlights these things in an entertaining way. Her message was warmly received by the audience when she made the comment “If we act today we can change tomorrow…… Adani is not the way to go”. The audience was receptive to her message and the loudest cheers of the night and wolf whistles met it. She then performed ‘Red Moon’, which was written with climate change in mind. Following this song she shared another heartfelt moment when she saw a picture of a Turkish refugee baby washed ashore and how being a mother this had a huge affected her: “this could have been my son in another time or situation”. After this somber conversation with her audience she sang ‘Oh Canada’ followed by a ukulele performance of ‘Song for Sammy’, further entrenching the audience in not only the performance but also the meaning behind it.
After this heartfelt moment of the evening she invited Dan Sultan back on stage with her to perform a rendition of Slim Dusty’s ‘Biggest Disappointment’ before lifting the tempo with ‘Special Two’ encouraging the “reluctant plus ones that were asked to come by your partners” to join in as “you might know this one”. The reluctant partners and the rest of the audience did not disappoint with everyone joining in and even crowds spilling into the isles for a dance. She finished off her set then with ‘Unashamed Desire’ and ‘Scar’ before returning for the encore performance of ‘Steer’.
It is hard to believe Missy Higgins has been satisfying crowds now for 20 years. We look forward to the next 20 years of music from this Australian treasure.
IMAGES (c) Simone Gorman-Clark