Saturday, January 26, 2013

Live Concert Review: The Waterboys mesmerised fans with their first ever Sydney concert at State Theatre

To many casual music fans, The Waterboys are just another "One Hit Wonder" 80s pop band with their beautiful "The Whole of the Moon" hit in the 80s.

To the more serious fans, and of course to the hardcore fans of Mike Scott, their only remaining founding member & the creative genius behind their wonderful collection of 10 albums, 2013 is their 30th anniversary.

And it's amazing how Mike Scott & the band are only now touring Australia for the very first time. They played their first ever Sydney concert at the magnificent State Theatre on Wed night.

As a huge hardcore fan I bought a single ticket & tagged along. Alongside the rest of the audience I was treated to a brilliant & in fact gutsy performance.

Here is why the Waterboys gave Sydney one of the best live concerts of the last few years:

Waterboys have over the years produced a luscious collection of songs & many fan favourites. Mike Scott is heavily influenced by Irish folk music & at his best is a brilliant pop/folk songwriter. Their latest album which was released in 2011 is called: "An appointment with Mr Yeats". It is Mike Scott's penned music to the Irish Poet W.B. Yeats poems, a life long favourite of Mike Scott's.

Whilst writing music to poems is never an easy task, Mike Scott has again done a superb job with his heavily influenced Irish folk music melodies & the album by itself is great. It is theatrical & at times even feels like a concept album. ie not an easy project to perform live.

Therefore, for an indie band touring Australia for the very first time, the safest bet would be to woo their adoring fans by playing favourites & to throw in a few of the better songs from their latest album (as the legendary band The Eagles found out in 2011 when they opened their Sydney concert with 3-4 songs from their new album & the audience looked stiff bored until they started playing their classics)

But, no! Not Mike Scott & the Waterboys! As advertised, Mike Scott & his capable band members started without any support acts & for the first 90 minutes performed the entire "An appointment with Mr Yeats" album.

Mike Scott's theatrical singing, the band's beautiful playing & Scott's obvious passion for the poems of Mr Yeats gently brought the audience initially into submission shortly after to shear adoration!

The Waterboys did sing a few of their most popular classics in the encore, including their two best known songs "The whole of the Moon" and the uniquely irreplaceable "Fisherman's Blues". But those were simply the icing on the cake!

Unlike many other concerts I have been to, I did not walk out lamenting the fact that they did not perform at least 7-8 of my favourite songs! I left knowing that I had watched a once in a life time concert & only regretting that I would not be going to their saturday night performance at the Opera House

Ps: With my sincere thanks to Mark C who spotted me sitting by myself & generously offered me to take his spare ticket right in front of the stage.