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Gig Review: Washington @ Corner Hotel, 17th September

Washington set an all time record for most ticket sales in a single tour at the Corner Hotel as part of her current national tour, selling out a staggering total of fives shows. Friday night saw the first of these five shows to go on sale take place, and Washington’s performance completely justified such phenomenal ticket sales.

I missed all the support acts, which was slightly disappointing, especially Scott Spark who I have been hearing very good things about. However I arrived in time to catch the start of Washington’s set, in an absolutely packed Corner Hotel.

Arriving on stage to deafening applause, Washington and her band proceeded to put on one hell of a show. There was a real confidence about their performance, and rightfully so. They created a very full sound that was at times richly layered and at others stripped back to just Meg’s stunning voice and keyboard.

There can’t be any complaints about the setlist either: naturally most of the songs came from Washinton’s recently released debut album, the wonderfully titled ‘I Believe You Liar’. But there were a few surprises in there as well.

The Hardest Part, my favourite track off the aforementioned album, made an early set appearance and served to get the crowd, who were initially very reserved, into the spirit of the night. It was up there with the tightest I have seen a crowd crammed together at the Corner, which made for a bubbling atmosphere that lifted and lifted as the night went on.

Meg knew just what we wanted to hear as well, as she said “So we’re playing a lot of shows here, but this was the very first one to go on sale. So I guess you guys are just awesome then”. How To Tame Lions was the first big hit to make an appearance, and had a really great feel to it live that got the whole crowd moving. “You be my Arthur Miller and I will be your Marilyn Monroe”.

There were quite a few songs that I didn’t recognise, as I’m not as familiar with ‘I Believe You Liar’ as I probably could be. Not to sound cliched or anything, but every song, even those I didn’t know, added to the experience and the gig, especially when Washington’s bandmates departed the stage temporarily to leave her to take requests from the crowd and play a couple of solo songs.

Rich Kids was probably the highlight of the set: it was really in a league of its own live. The whole crowd sung along to every word of the bouncy tune, and it was just impossible not to get carried away in the infectious rhythm.

In fact I take it back, the highlight of the set was actually another song, one I certainly didn’t see coming. Meg’s cover of I Touch Myself was incredibly good and so very very fun, partly because it was just so unexpected. Meg’s take on the track was great and unique, and the whole crowd once again was singing in one voice, in one of the more memorable scenes of recent gigs I’ve attended.

Cement was always going to make an appearance, and finally it did, right at the end of the set. It’s another of those unfailingly infectious Washington songs, and provided a great conclusion to what was an incredibly fun gig.

There can be no doubting that Australia is gripped with Washington fever at the moment. But there’s a very good reason for it, and Meg and her band have a live show that does justice to their recorded material and demonstrates just why they are so popular.

It was a show impossible to fault, and there was something very very endearing about the bespectacled frontwoman. There was nothing about this set not to like, and that’s pretty much all I can say.

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2 Responses to “Gig Review: Washington @ Corner Hotel, 17th September”

  1. Great review. You are a fantastic music writer.
    I am seeing Washington on Tuesday. You have me excited!

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