Macy Gray's Perth show was an absolute trainwreck
When Grammy-award winner Macy Gray was on stage at the Astor Theatre performing for over a hundred fans who shelled out 78 dollars per ticket to see the raspy and soulful R&B singer do her thing, one thing was clear: She was not fit enough to be up there. A blind man could've seen that she shouldn't have been up there for as long as she was, which turned out to be 30-something minutes. God bless the few people who were dancing at the front, determined to squeeze some measure of fun out of the night.
If you've ever heard even one Macy Gray song, you know that she has talent for days and possesses one of the most distinctive singing voices ever. So whether this was a chemical issue, a physical issue, or something else entirely, I'm not sure. I don't know her life. But when she finally arrived on stage over an hour late – only offering up a slurred “How ya doin?” in lieu of showmanship or even a drop of charisma – and then proceeding to tinker with the laptop for what felt like forever, two questions left the possibility of a good time at a Macy Gray concert in the rearview mirror: How is this happening? Why isn't somebody stopping this?
Ostensibly, this was a live DJ set. “Macy Gray – Live DJ Set” it was billed as. Okay, so Macy Gray wants to DJ more than she wants to actually sing. That's a bit weird, but it's fair enough; it was advertised as such. The problem, is that she is an awful DJ. She opened with "You're the Voice" by John Farnham, a puzzling choice for an R&B show, and then took a hard left into that long organ solo in "Light My Fire" by The Doors. It seemed like such an unlikely confluence of provocatively bad choices that one might mistake it for a deliberately artless protest, perhaps in a futile attempt to rationalise just what the fuck was going on. To say there was zero flow doesn't quite do justice to how incompetent the DJ'ing was. But when the DJ who opened the show walked back on stage, operating the other laptop and glaring at Macy Gray like he wanted to throttle her, it was too obvious that this wasn't going according to plan.
Macy Gray sang about three songs in total. Her rendition of one of her own songs, "Beauty in the World", was okay. She seemed to be at her most - present, I guess? - during this song. So naturally it was the absolute standout of the evening. Her cover of "Sail" was so bad that AWOLNAITION will still be spinning when they're in their graves. I honestly couldn't tell you what her first song was because it was sung so incoherently.
Guys, there's just no getting around this: the "Macy Gray DJ Live Set" at the Astor Theatre was a top to bottom Hindenburg-esque disaster. Everyone walked away from it a little poorer. Fans wasted their time and money, Macy Gray humiliated herself, and the good folks at the Astor Theatre would have been better off ending it much earlier. Sure, they'd immediately face a knee-jerk wave of rage, but it was the only right play to make. It's true that watching such a colossal piece of shit concert makes this review easier to write, but I don't take a millimetre of pleasure or glee in watching someone so thoroughly fall apart before my eyes. This was sad.