“..I feel like we’re in the gospel church of Matt Corby and we’re his congregation listening eagerly to his words of praise.”
As we step into the arena, we’re blind for a second as our eyes adjust to the darkness but the rich, soulful voice of Eliott beckons us further in. She sits alone onstage in front of a piano, playing an intimate show for the early birds of the evening. Her voice is so sweet and pure, reverberating through the massive space up the the high ceilings.
“Over and over, forever and ever,” she coos to us before switching it up and gracefully plucking the strings of an electric guitar for a few songs. I make a mental note to add her sweet, sultry ballads to any future break-up playlist I might need. As she steps off-stage, we’re all left in an awe-struck stupor, not quite knowing how to recover from seeing such an incredible talent.
Changing the mood up completely with Blessed, he tells us that they “just came from Sydney, and we’re ready to rock- so let’s get it,” before launching into an upbeat, guitar heavy track.
Dressed in tartan pants, a ripped denim vest and sporting a white electric guitar, Blessed’s look feels very 90’s Brit-pop but his music is something else entirely. A combination of Kid Cudi, Jimi Hendrix and old school Kanye West is as close as I can get to describing it, but it’s infectious and the crowd is growing in excitement.
Launching into some of his more well known tracks like My World and Superfly we start to get a real feel for his chameleon-esque talent and before we know it, they’ve wrapped up and gone leaving us wanting more.
Opening with No Ordinary Life introduces the crowd to a new whimsical, Willy Wonka era of Matt Corby and the crowd is a sea of blissed out faces staring up at him. His husky rumbling tones mixed with the psychedelic piano is mesmerising.
Barefoot and bearded, wearing a paisley shirt loose over jeans, he is the apple of every eye in the crowd but he is humble as ever, focussed on the music despite his heart-throb status.
Moving quickly onto another track off the new album Rainbow Valley is All That I See. “All that I see are beautiful faces, smiling at me from the darkest of places,” he croons softly. A syncopated bass line is introduced taking the song on a funkier more jazz influenced route and there’s a whole lot of stank face from the band as they jam out.
The tight seven-piece band can do everything, with most switching between instruments mid song. Matt himself swaps between piano and synth, drums and guitar and their sweet harmonies create this cinematic soundscape experience.
Without stopping for a beat they fly through songs, and we hear more tracks from the new album like New Day Coming and Get With the Times. As easily as he swaps instruments, Matt changes from his famous deep baritone to a sweet, pure soprano.
A familiar guitar melody starts up and the ears of everyone in the arena prick up. “Sleep now, under my skin, make sure you’ll try to conjure the wind and ease my mind,” he sings sweetly before the drums kick in along with the famous cooees. The song’s slow build makes the guttural chorus feel all the more powerful and it really showcases his vocal gymnastics and the control he has.
My friend whispers to me as the band start to sing the angelic harmonies of Monday: “it’s very church-y isn’t it?”. She’s totally right- I feel like we’re in the gospel church of Matt Corby and we’re his congregation listening eagerly to his words of praise. The vocals are so heavenly, that as an audience we would probably do anything this man asked us to at this point.
They play a crowd favourite, Resolution before ending on one of my personal favourites, Souls A Fire. It’s from very early in his catalogue, but it’s an absolute banger. The distortion is really dirty and the vocals are incredibly raw. It feels very Hendrix influenced with his now signature psychedelic rock feel.