Macy Gray came out to a purple haze of smoke and lighting and grasped onto the mic stand looking blunted as fuck as she commenced giving Brisbane’s Tivoli audience a highly memorable night. Jamming in and out of hooks and letting the band ride out the funky riffs and bass lines, never was the audience out of the picture, even though she got her groove on as if she were alone in the shower, in an evening with a modern chanteuse of R&B soul or ‘sexy diva’ as she referred to herself tonight.
MACY GRAY Live @ The Tivoli, BNE – Saturday 14th March, 2015
Words by Rip Nicholson
Images courtesy of Amanda Starkey
For Street Press Australia & Rip2Shredz Press.
Gray opened beautifully to Why Didn’t You Call Me, from her 1999 debut album, On How Life Is, much to the crowd’s delight, a tight cluster of over-30s who had come out to witness the neo-soul glow of Macy Gray’s gift in the flesh. She introduced her band, worked them perfectly on strings and was as engaging as any consummate performer could be exepected in performance, her raspy vocals immaculate to the pitch that’s made her music so famous and, through conversation, segued into every song. She broke into a story about calling over her band this morning from LA to be here, making us feel like they came all that way just for us, saying her guitarist had Googled ‘why come to Brisbane’ and said men in Brisbane are “tall, buff and sexy”, the women “having the best vaginas in the world”, and off she went giggling into Glad You’re Here before leaving the drummer to roll a ten-minute interval into a non-stop solo.
Macy returned to once more lean off her mic stand and belted out Ghetto Love and other goldies from her catalogue before the band eased us into Radiohead’s Creep, Macy and her audience bellowing out a beautiful rendition. She swapped her pink feather boa for fox tails around her shoulders to set up her new single, Stoned, from 2014’s The Way LP by explaining her favourite relationship. Then she channelled her “sexy side” as a disco ball dropped down for Sexual Revolution, a Rod Stewart cover before heading back on track for I Try and then a birthday song to her guitarist, with 50 Cent’s In Da Club to close the set. Her encore came, as demanded, and the sexy diva showed The Way off in several new grooves, a well-serviced audience showing their appreciation for two hours of one of this generation’s darlings of modern soul.