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REVIEW: Martha Wainwright – Love Will Be Reborn Tour

Review by Markus Hamence – Performance date Tuesday 14 May 2024. The Gov, Adelaide, South Australia

Presented by The Prestige Presents and Gaynor Crawford Presents, Martha Wainwright played The Gov on Tuesday night (14/05/2024) with her Love Will Be reborn 2024 Tour and attending her concert is like being invited into a secret garden of songs where every bloom tells a poignant story. On her this tour, promoting the ‘Love Will Be Reborn’ album, Martha brings this garden to life on stages across the world, flourishing with the raw emotions and candid lyricism she’s known for.

The Venue Vibes

I love The Gov, whether it be blues, pop, rock, reggae or folk it always works. It was a close to seated full-house this evening for Martha and through the energy in the room you could tell each were die-hard Martha fans. Bang on-time Martha took the stage casually and humbly, but, the audience reaction to her was anything but, applause and cheers erupted! The audio was flawless. The lighting, minimal yet atmospheric, shifted with the mood of her songs, adding an almost tangible layer to her performance.

The Setlist – a Journey of Emotions

Martha’s setlist for the tour is a thoughtful blend of old and new, ensuring longtime fans and newcomers alike get a taste of her musical evolution. Kicking off with the title track from her recent album ‘Love Will Be Reborn’ set the tone for what was to follow – Martha’s unique and capturing voice and quirky and thoughtful lyrics filled the room. From the reflective ‘Factory’ to the powerful aforementioned track ‘Love Will Be Reborn’, each song is delivered with the same passion that was undoubtedly present during their writing. Noteworthy is her mesmerizing rendition of ‘Go, Leave’, written by her late mother, Kate McGarrigle, which never fails to leave the audience in awe. Her equally talented brother Rufus got a nod also with the brilliant cover of his song ‘Dinner At Eight’. It was thoroughly enjoyable seeing Martha’s connection with her family, both musically and in nature.

The Band

Kudos to the very accomplished band too. Pianist – Edwin de Goeij, bass player – Morgan Moore, drummer – Tommy Crane and saxophonist – Nicolas Deslis. These lads go with the flow and feed off of the energy Martha puts out. The connection they have with her is evident and they match heavenly with Martha’s exceptional style of performance.

Between the Songs

What sets Martha apart is not just her musical talent but her ability to connect with the audience between songs. The show is story-telling (whether by spoken words or song) and you get a glimpse into martha’s life, Martha holds nothing back, she is quite literally an open book (she reads passages from her recent autobiography, as introduction to various songs).Her stage banter ranges from quirky anecdotes about songwriting to heartfelt stories of her family, making you feel as if you’re catching up with an old friend who just happens to be a fantastic singer-songwriter. The explanations of her relationship with her father was emotional. Her stories of her mother in her late stage was sad yet beautiful and we even got wind of an upcoming call back home to her child’s headmaster later that night over a suspension from school which occurred only last week. I admire this approach, I feel like we all know her.

Highlights and Standouts

A highlight of the concert was undoubtedly the live performance of ‘Around The Bend’, which tells the story of her relationship with a down-and-out lady on the street outside her home. In this song, her voice soars and dips with a vulnerability that’s both empowering and haunting. The audience’s response to this number was palpable; you could feel the collective heartbeat of the venue sync with the rhythm of her guitar. Another was the more upbeat and pop perky ‘Radio Star’, fun.

The Encore – A Sweet Farewell

As the night draws to a close, Martha often chooses a take on Tom Waits’ ‘Take It With Me’ a fan-favorite that packs a punch every time. BUT, prior to that, a beautiful new “In progress” song ‘ I Chose My Children Over My Career’, stunning. It’s a powerful end to an evening that ranges from tender to fierce, leaving the audience energized yet emotionally sated.

Final Thoughts

Martha Wainwright’s ‘Love Will Be Reborn’ tour is a testament to her enduring talent and unique ability to blend folk and indie with her distinct brand of lyrical storytelling. For anyone who appreciates music that touches the soul, catching one of her shows is a must. Her performances are not just concerts; they’re experiences that remind us of the transformative power of music.

Come back soon please Martha. Regards, Markus xx

Markus Hamence and Martha Wainwright after the show, 2024.
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