LIVE REVIEW: Meg Mac at the Rosemount
Born in Sydney, based in Melbourne and a product of WAAPA, indie soul songstress Meg Mac is admired around Australia, with shows selling out across the country. In fact, after initially announcing a single Friday evening performance at the Rosemount for her debut studio album Low Blows tour, she ended up selling out FIVE consecutive shows! We were lucky enough to catch the first of these on Wednesday night.
The evening kicked off with indie duo Georgia Fair, best known for ‘Picture Frames’, otherwise recognised as the song from the Masters advertisement. They were followed by local alt-rockers The Money War, who performed a terrific set, merging old school rock with new school pop.
Then it was time for the woman herself to take centre stage. Waltzing out in a white suit with flared legs, Meg Mac kicked things off with one of her first songs from her 2014 EP, ‘Turning.’ Her powerful vocals then turned to the Low Blows album opener ‘Grace Gold’, before the atmosphere really started picking up with the audience clapping along to another one of her 2014 releases, ‘Known Better.’
The next song she performed proved a surprise standout, thanks largely to the gorgeous harmonising and backing vocals of Danielle O’Sullivan and Meg’s younger sister Hannah McInerney, who were incredible throughout the evening. ‘Kindness’ was followed by her first released track from way back in 2013, the higher energy rock ballad ‘Every Lie.’
Aptly, she then performed her October song in October, ‘Cages’, which appears to be being good to her so far! This was followed by the sing-a-long ballad ‘Brooklyn Apartment’, written when she was recording music in the US, and imagining the lives of her apartment neighbours.
She then took a much deserved seat, but no rest, jumping on the keyboard to sing about the time she realised life wasn’t as shiny as bright as she thought it was going to be in the emotionally charged ‘Shiny Bright.’ This was followed by the yet-to-be-released track ‘Saint Philomene.’ She recorded it live, using a loop pedal and singing in French!
Then even though she didn’t wanna get so low, she had to, with the soulful fifth track from the Low Blows album. Next up was arguably the standout track of the night, a formidable cover of American soul legend Bill Wither’s ‘Grandma’s Hands.’
The captivated audience danced, sang and clapped along with the loved album songs ‘Maybe It’s My First Time’, ‘Low Blows’ and the cowboy-esque ‘Ride It’, before concluding with her 2015 single ‘Never Be.’ But everyone could sense an encore was imminent, and she didn’t disappoint, returning to the stage for two more songs.
Once they got the keyboard working, she performed a powerful solo rendition of Sly and the Family Stone’s 70s classic ‘If You Want Me To Stay’… I’ll be around. Finally, a truly amazing and empowering night concluded with her 2014 hit ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’, with a simple but endearing message to end the evening on; everything is going to be alright.
Meg Mac really is a special talent. Her anthemic, soulful tunes, somewhat shy but low-key feisty demeanour and commanding vocals with a slight country twang distinguish her as one of Australia’s best artists. At just 27 years of age, it will be exciting to watch her continue to develop as a musician and see what she comes out with next!