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Missy Higgins brought pure magic to the Palais

Covering a broad spectrum of her musical career, not a single fan was left disappointed or frustrated with what was played.

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Harry Rae

Naturally, it was Gordi and company that took the frontline first, performing a nice variety of songs from releases like Reservoir, including ‘Heaven I Know’. It was also during this set that we learned just how much influence Higgins had on Gordi’s music, and how humbled she was to be performing alongside her; both a lovely thank-you and a great way to fill the dead space between songs.

Her set was measured and consistent. Not one track was performed better or worse than the other, with each one done to such a high standard that it was hard to look away. Laced with breathy vocals, powerful string work and a stellar backing of instrumentals, Gordi’s performance served as both an incredible warm-up for the rest of the night, and a self-carried set in its own right – it would be very easy to picture Gordi and her fellowship of musicians performing their own headliner show here.

After what seemed like an incredibly short interlude, Missy Higgins took the stage to perform ‘Any Day Now’ all on her lonesome, a great start to a great set. After this the backing band took their places and the set bloomed into an exercise in album-hopping, anecdote-sharing fun, swinging from her newest release Solastalgia, to older ones like On A Clear Night and The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle and right back again.

In between nearly every song, the silence was filled by the stories that inspired these songs. Some were inspired by her children (she’s got a second child on the way FYI), some by the current political climate and fatalistic thoughts on the end of the world, and some more on pure, untainted love. What made an already great performance even better was just how human Higgins presented herself to be and how switched on she was to the current issues around her to such a large crowd, who ate up every word and every note.

Songs like ‘Futon Couch’, ‘Song for Sammy’ and ‘Cemetery’ were only enhanced by the atmosphere. One highlight was a reprisal of ‘The Sound of White’, featuring Gordi as an equal vocalist, in a magical combination that went down a treat for everyone involved. Covering a broad spectrum of her musical career, not a single fan was left disappointed or frustrated with what was played; it was a purely blissful night. Such a rare thing these days, but so welcome.

Highlight: Finding out that Missy was soldiering though the entire performance while six months pregnant while the band vowed to call her “Pissy Higgins” if she needed to duck off for the toilet.

Lowlight: None to speak of.

Crowd Favourite: From Gordi; ‘Can We Work It Out?’ and from Missy Higgins, the refusal of an encore, and rather just an extended set that included hits ‘Scar’ and ‘Steer’. The whole theatre was cheering for that one.