17. See Missy Higgins play live

9 06 2012

Poor quality photo to contrast the high quality music.


Next month it will have been seven years since I first heard The Sound of White in a car we’d borrowed in Sydney. For seven years I’ve patiently waited for her to tour the UK (OK, she did in 2006. But I was in Sicily fearing I was going to be burnt alive by bushfires). Eventually I gave up and moved to Australia. Not really for this sole reason (it definitely wasn’t mentioned on my Statement of Intent), but it was hardly a downside. So whilst I may have looked up flights to the US for her tours before, tonight’s gig only required an hour long flight to Sydney and oh, how everything was worth it.

Missy’s 20-song long set was stunning.

From the opening notes of Secret to the rapturous applause at the end of Steer, I could’ve been anywhere in the world. Whilst The York Theatre in The Seymour Centre was a perfect venue with its 700-odd capacity and semi-circle of seating, the venue didn’t matter to me. For me, it was all about that voice.

There might have been an absence of my all-time-favourite-song Sugarcane, but every song seemed to have the crowd whooping (sometimes too enthusiastically in the more poignant moments of songs) and each performance added something different to the studio versions I’ve heard oh so many times before.

Ably supported by her five-piece band (including support act and The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle Co-Producer Butterfly Boucher), Higgins ploughed through the numbers whilst managing to make it look like she was loving every second of it. Either she truly has rediscovered her true love for music, or she’s simply an immense performer.

Whether it was the cacophony of animal sounds (aided by guest vocalist Jane Tyrrell from The Herd) that added atmosphere to Watering Hole or the revival of an old eighties keytar on Unashamed Desire, every song was arranged to highlight the best it had to offer. Her solo interlude of a heartbreaking Forgive Me and the ever-dramatic Nightminds were particularly memorable but when the band returned for my new favourite Everyone’s Waiting it just added another dynamic.

I’m trying not to make this an essay so I’ll just quickly sum up a few other highlights: Cooling of the Embers was emotional, the inclusion of The River was a very pleasant surprise, Missy had first played Ten Days in the same venue to a crowd that inadvertently included the song’s subject, This Is How It Goes and Scar had everyone dancing and singing along and those long notes on Warm Whispers are even more incredible than on the XM Session recording I own.

It’s safe to say I’m no longer in the running for Missy Higgins’ biggest fan never to have seen her live. Now, if she could just play Sugarcane on Saturday in Melbourne, I think I’d consider this entire list complete.

At least I only have seven days to wait until I see her perform live again.

(A less gushy review will be appearing on Timber and Steel in the coming days.)


  • Secret
  • River
  • Set Me On Fire
  • Hello Hello
  • 100 Round the Bends
  • Ten Days
  • Where I Stood
  • Cooling of the Embers
  • Don’t Ever
  • Watering Hole
  • Forgive Me
  • Nightminds
  • Everyone’s Waiting
  • This is How it Goes
  • Unashamed Desire
  • Peachy
  • The Special Two
  • Warm Whispers
  • Scar
  • Steer



2 responses

10 06 2012

She played sugarcane in sydney! It was also one of my faves and I read ur blog before the concert and wasn’t expecting it 🙂

10 06 2012

I just saw the setlist from last night – little bit gutted to have missed out on Sugarcane.

How was it performed live?

I’ve seen she’s been changing the middle of the setlist most nights so here’s hoping Sugarcane makes and appearance on Saturday in Melbourne!

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