I must admit, I was clearly not as prepared for this show as the other picnic basket toting, cheese and quince consuming patrons. But with the Twilight at Taronga concert series, which has brought the likes of Belle and Sebastian, Rufus Wainwright and Something for Kate, the ambience is just right to let your tannins settle with your favourite drop.
Although comfort looks tempting, I’m too keen to see Sarah Blasko to stay seated. We’ve been deprived of anything new from Sarah Blasko since the slightly underwhelming album release “I Awake” in 2012.
But it will be great to see the much-respected artist touch base and tell us she is going ok.
Cue the sunset, and Sarah and the band come out almost unnoticed. She welcomes us delicately with ‘Down On Love’, one of many songs performed from “As Day Follows Night”. Playful tracks ‘Always Worth It’ and ‘Hold on my Heart’ warm up the benign crowd as Sarah begins to loosen up.
You can tell it has been a while and Sarah admits this. As she moves into ‘All I Want’, you can feel the hairs trickle up the back of your neck. Her haunting howls pull on the heartstrings of the dateless on Valentine’s Day eve. Backed up by an orchestra of cicadas, this is a moment of grace displayed by Blasko.
The crowd grows restless with the rain but it is then welcomed by the band, and they are
now in their element. Blasko’s signature dance moves are only second to her velvet voice, something that has grown stronger over the years.
The stripped-back, moody version of ‘(explain)’, as well as ‘No Turning Back’ exudes urgency and control by the end of the set. She is now in command of the crowd, it just
took a bit of coaxing. Although she concludes with ‘Not Yet’ from “I Awake”, it is her ‘Flames Trees’ cover that shows why Blasko gets the respect she deserves.
Blasko teases that a new album is on the way, but there will be no new material tonight. But that’s o.k. We will take what we can get. Welcome back, Sarah!
*Words and photography by TN
Sarah Blasko – 13 February 2015.
Twilight at Taronga