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Didirri treated fans to a magical performance at The Corner Hotel

For the second of his back-to-back shows at the venue.

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Image source: 
David Harris

Live shows have the power to make or break a musician. When you’re on stage, there’s nowhere to hide. No recording booth, no do-overs, no editing your sound – it’s just raw, real and unfiltered music.
 
Some of the most amazing recorded artists fall short when it’s time to take the stage, while others flourish wondrously, giving a depth and dimension to their work that you just can’t capture in a studio. This is true of Melbourne’s Didirri, who brought nothing short of magic to his second show at The Corner Hotel on Sunday November 11. 
 
After a sold-out Saturday night, this show was a lot more relaxed. The venue was still surprisingly packed for an end of weekend gig, but not in a way that felt manic or crowded. As with all of the shows on his tour so far, the night was opened by Merpire, a Sydney native who now resides in Melbourne. Synthy and sweet, Merpire’s music is dreamlike pop; quirky songs with haunting vocals.
 
She was followed by Emerson Snowe, who many might know as Jarrod Mahon from Brisbane four-piece The Creases. Snowe looks like an '80s rock star with his long black mullet and smudged eye makeup but his music is far from showy guitars and thrashing drums. It’s stripped back, indie music, not too dissimilar to the more toned-down works of The Kooks or Alex Turner’s solo stuff. There was a moment in Snowe’s last track ‘If I Die, Then I Die’ where he stopped playing his guitar and held the room’s attention with only his strong vocals. It was a bold finish, and just one of the night’s many captivating moments.
 
Didirri and his band made no huge spectacle with their opening. It was as humble and modest as the singer himself, and quite refreshing in an industry so often built on showmanship. The 23-year-old was looking ever the rock star though, with his signature long hair cascading down his silk shirt as he played.
 
Despite the un-flashiness of their first track, Didirri and his band had the audience enthralled from the get-go. Every instrument was tuned to perfection, and every strum of guitar, throbbing of bass and beating of drums felt perfectly in sync, showcasing the sheer talent of the musicians on stage.
 
The lead guitarist, Daniel O’Keefe was particularly impressive, playing like a man possessed. He almost stole the spotlight in the first few tracks, especially ‘Randy Scouse Git’, which featured a massive instrumental breakdown.
 
Didirri introduced his next track, ‘Bird Sounds’, with the story of how he first fell in love with his current girlfriend. It was one of many Didirri tales of the night, which created this intimate connection between him and the audience. He deprecated himself for going off on tangents, but everyone in the room was hanging onto his every word, embracing the singer’s decision to be vulnerable with us.
 
Tracks ‘Blind You’ and ‘Worth The Wait’ followed, with Didirri vanishing off stage midway through the latter, only to reappear on the smaller left-hand podium near the merch desk. Here he sat at a keyboard, and broke into a magical rendition of ‘Starry, Starry Night’, before resuming his position back on the main stage.
 
He played two solo tracks, including ‘Not For You’ which he wrote in LA, and then the band rejoined him for the final few songs. The mood was sombre as he played ‘Formaldehyde’ and ‘Jude,’ but lifted again for the final tune, ‘I Can’t Get Last Night Out Of My Head’. It was how many of us would've felt Monday morning, still mesmerised by his performance.
 
There was something magical about Didirri. It’s hard to put your finger on, but something about his utter honesty and willingness to open up to a room full of people really sets him apart from other performers. It was a true pleasure to experience such a level of connection between artist and audience, and Didirri should be incredibly proud of himself for effortlessly achieving that.
 
Highlight: There was a beautiful moment at the end of ‘Jude’ where he finished singing and everyone held their silence for a few seconds, before breaking into applause. Didirri was visibly touched by the reaction, and it was heart-warming to see.
 
Lowlight: A handful of people who kept talking throughout the entire show. It just felt rude, especially in the quiet moments.
 
Crowd Favourite: ‘I Can’t Get Last Night Out Of My Head’.