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Live Review: Meg Mac, Banff @ Max Watt's, 02.10.2015

Take my ears. I am done with them. Meg Mac came, Meg Mac saw, Meg Mac conquered the life out of Brisbane. Some artists come and go, some will resonate in the minds and hearts of music lovers for a long time and it’s certainly safe to say that Meg Mac is one of the latter. As the sold out crowd packed the house of the last night on her Never Be tour, Brisbane was transported to a world where the jazz/soul voice of this gorgeous gal was the only thing that mattered.

Jumping out on stage, tucked nicely in the supporting slot, was the homegrown hero Banff. Armed with his four piece band, Benjamin Forbes layered an ethereal sponge cake of a performance that certainly packed a punch. With a wall of sound that crescendoed into a very touching feels fest, Forbes’ band have certainly become quite the polished ensemble. Blending their sound together created a magical atmosphere, yet you could still here the push and pull of a guitar riff here and a chord progression; you could honestly listen to their live set over and over again and still be discovering new things. A set list penned from tracks lifted off his debut EP Stand In Line and All Again were certainly some crowd favourites, and with a fair few front rowers belting lyrics back at him, you can see the lad’s fan base on the rise. It’s so nice when you see someone so deserving succeed. 

As a forty year old woman stumbling through the crowed summed up so eloquently, “I’m fuck, just Meg Mac,” and by the roar that summoned the formidable Meg Mac onto centre stage, it was certain the feeling was shared by all.  

Despite being accompanied by her band and back up singer, it was hard to focus on anything else but the flawless woman standing in front of our eyes. Crowd favourites came swinging through with Roll Up Your Sleeves and Every Lie that kept such a high energy and electricity in the audience, so much love radiating for this woman. She has presence that commands attention and a voice that fills a room with one note, as soon as she steps out in the spotlight, the talent packed so tightly in her just explodes in a colossal brillance.  

Grandma’s Hands took flight in a crescendo to be reckoned with. A slow build, grows from vulnerable vocal only opening, to a swirling blend of music and epitomises just how good much this chick thrives in a life arena; transforming this ballad into an orchestral wonderland. I think an accidental ‘wow’ escaped this writer’s mouth at its end.

As lyrics flow from her mouth, you can see the beast in her eyes. A dominant and entranced performer elegantly stomps her way across the stage, belting powerful notes; impossible to takes ones eyes away. But as the music tampers out and the lyrics fade, the genuinely delicate woman behind the fierce performer weaves her way into the spot light. A darling of a young lady hides behind those lyrics, as she reveals stories behind her songs and strips away any facade she may or may not have. You can see the personality on this girl and it just makes a live performance so special. 

Belting tunes left right and centre was just incredible, how she could manage to keep up such high energy and power in her vocals is a marvel. But as she asks her band to leave the stage for a moment, we saw a couple of very intimate moments with the diva that were just gosh darn adorable. Sitting behind a piano she admits that playing and singing is one of the scariest things for her, and before the Never Be tour, she had never done it live before. It was quite touching stripping herself bare, giving us an intimate glimpse into the artist that is Meg Mac and should definitely remain as part of the act.

A track that caught many off guard was the stripped back vocal layering of St Philomene. An ode to a lost lucky charm comes by way of a vocal only looped track showing just how much talent hides inside this one gal. Even in the most vulnerable moments she doesn’t falter, not even in the slightest. 

Closing the night on the tour’s name sake, the crowd wasn’t done with her yet as they screamed and stomped for an encore, that thankfully Mac delivered with. Meg Mac is certainly an obsession that has swept the nation and after watching her storm a stage it becomes so clear why. With soaring vocals and a powerful presence, the lass belongs with a microphone in hand. You just cannot appreciate the talent on this girl until you see her live. Unfortunately the Never Be tour is over for now, but there is certainty that this won’t be the last of Meg Mac, she’s got more up her rolled up sleeves.


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