Matt Corby @ Festival Hall (with Bree Tranter and Bear’s Den) – 18 Oct ’13

Having missed Bree Tranter’s opening set on the evening except for one song, it was great seeing her as part of the band accompanying Matt Corby for the evening, but not before Bear’s Den. With the warm greeting to the crowd, the banjo strums and harmonies of Agape impressed for their first show in Melbourne. In acknowledging the unfamiliarity of the crowd with the band, time was taken to introduce tracks from the Agape EP amongst The Waters, Pompeii and Hard Life.

We knew what we were in for on the night. With a predominantly female audience watching the stage illuminating a solo Matt Corby only by a single spotlight it was no surprise that the opening lines during the first song of the night, Light Home, were met with the shrilling cheers, but not unwarranted.

Song after song Matt continued to impress with the rich timbre and formidable vocal prowess filling every corner and creating a commanding presence, with no need to do anything but perform albeit for sharing a few minimal words. The poetic tales shared throughout the night in Made of Stone, Runaway and Song For… exuded all the honest and raw emotion that was needed whether performed solo, with band in tow or in duet with Bree Tranter on Big Eyes.

The stage was overtaken by the ferocity of three of the band drumming throughout Resolution, with all joining for a triumphant end before the epic Brother made its way into the set a little earlier than expected. Having previously heard Matt Corby take on The Black Keys, hearing Lonely Boy live was even more impressive live.

Just when things seemed to be concluding in a similar fashion to the opening with Matt on stage alone, the band returned for the final number of the encore My False, lifting the sombreness for a joyful end to the night.

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