Live Review: Meg Mac @ Enmore Theatre – 22.09.2017
The Enmore Theatre in Sydney came alive last night as Meg Mac graced the stage in her hometown to a sold out show. As 9:30pm grew near, the all standing audience edged closer and closer to the stage yet seemed to leave respectful room for everyone to dance. This was Mac’s eleventh show touring her debut album ‘Low Blows’ out of a whopping total of twenty-five dates for Australia up until December 2nd where she plays Enmore again. Out of these twenty-five shows, only three are not currently sold out.
The band came on stage first, followed by her two back up singers as the buzz of the crowd matched the low hum of the introduction to Turning, the second track off her 2014 self-titled EP. Then Meg Mac stepped out in all her monochromatic glory. Slowly walking towards her microphone stand, Mac wears her signature felt, wide-brimmed hat, red lipstick and a black, floor length velvet cape to match. Underneath she wears black pants, and a bow tie necklace tied into the collar of her white shirt with ‘MM’ embroidered on the wide sleeves. She looked like she’d come straight out of Vogue and it was amazing.
Mac did not disappoint as she played every song off her EP, her 2015 single Never Be, as well as every song off her debut album except for Morning, the one and a half minute track that concludes it. A standout song had to be Brooklyn Apartment (It’s Louder Than The TV And The Radio) which she opened up beforehand saying she wrote it while performing in New York in her Brooklyn AirBnB where she could hear all the people living around her and began to imagine their lives and make up their stories. This is the second last track of the album and it definitely has some powerful lyrics to it including a line which Mac said recently on her instagram story is her favourite line to sing, ‘Screaming baby, oh screaming baby, I don’t want it, I wish someone good could take it’. In Meg Mac’s songs she is definitely no stranger to thick and rich harmonies and this song had some beautifully strong ones. Her backing singers, Danielle O’Sullivan and Mac’s sister Hannah McInerney, were more in sync than Justin Timberlake and Lance Bass. All three of their voices combined in this song and every other song melted together like chocolate.
The intensity in which Meg Mac performs is so captivating you can’t seem to break the connection she has with you. Her face holds such a strong presence in emoting the song yet when she stops and says hello she’s this sweet and humble human being. In Shiny Bright, a rather heartfelt song that only has her vocals, piano, and some occasional cymbal rolls Mac looked out across the audience with such emotion that everyone was almost silent. Almost. There’s always that one guy who yells during the quietest part. Performing it live, her band added some extra but minimal accompaniment included some soft, soaring guitar and low bass notes to build up the last chorus. Mac held the same raw emotion through the A’capella introduction to Cages, which she says everyone calls her ‘October song’ due to the repeating lyrics, ‘October, please be good to me.’ Once kicked off this song was so intense and beautiful as she sang with this powerful anger that was contagious and we all wanted to be stomping and singing it with her, with our own velvet capes swirling with every outstretched fist.
And of course, the song that the audience went absolutely crazy for was Grandma’s Hands, one of the most popular songs from her EP; a Bill Wither’s cover that flips the original on its head with a bassy, electronic feel. The band members began by clapping in a rhythmical pattern before Mac sang the first line of the song in which the crowd screamed like they never screamed before. All of a sudden the slow swaying crowd burst into this jumping, grooving mess that probably would have looked pretty funny from the stage. Mac has been performing this song for so long she knows how to nail it and of course she did. The climax of the song with her jumping up the octave in the chorus was out of this world as she bent over to belt the highest notes. With the combination of the vibe of the audience and Meg Mac’s emotive performance, this song was insane.
Mac announced her last song as Never Be, but of course it wasn’t. Coming back on stage she sat down at the keyboard by herself and began to play a cover of If You Want Me To Stay by Sly and the Family Stone. It was slow, with simple chords to accompany it, almost unrecognisable from the original but it was just so beautiful as she dove into every meaning of the lyrics. After this she officially concluded with her first hit Roll Up Your Sleeves, the song that thankfully introduced us to the incredible voice and talent of Meg Mac.
If you’re lucky enough to have grabbed a ticket to one of Meg Mac’s shows you will not regret it. She puts in 100% every time and you can see the hard work and dedication she puts into her music.