It’s a bit embarrassing to say that I must have been the only one in Adelaide who didn’t know that George Ezra was in town. As fate would have it, I found myself at Thebarton Theatre ready to watch an artist whose songs I knew but didn’t know it was him that sang them until now. The most amazing thing about music is when you have little or no idea about an artist and then get blown away when you see them live. That pretty much describes my experience with George Ezra.
Before Ezra graced the stage, we were fortunate to see the hip swaying, energetic Eves Karydas showcasing us songs from her recent album Summerskin. Backed with a keyboardist and drummer to give a more live vibe she started with saying “Hi I’m Eves. I love Adelaide!” then breaking out her hit There For You. Karydas likes to get real and personal with her lyrics which was evident on songs like Honest and Couch while song Wildest Ones gave off the sultry and moody vibe.
Don’t underestimate this bundle of energy. Karydis can also turn up the beat like the thumping drums on Balance and surprising us all with a faster up tempo version of Kylie Minogue’s Cant Get You Outta My Head. At one point Karydas stopped a song as a young girl in crowd succumbed to the heat in the venue and she wanted to make sure she was ok before ending her set with her popular hit and crowd favourite Further Than The Planes Fly.
The crowd erupted the moment George Ezra took the stage. The energy was electric and once he started the first song Don’t Matter Now the crowd sang along with such a frenzy, I was reminded of the 5SOS show six months earlier. Same energy and excitement but with a mixed crowd of young and old.
Ezra warned the crowd “We’re going to play some old songs” and they all cheered before he finished “and we’re going to play some new songs!” to hear another almighty roar from one of the most enthusiastic audience I’ve seen in a while at a show. Belting out hits like Get Away, Barcelona and Pretty Shining People where he didn’t need much encouraging to get the audience to sing along. He asked “Are you warmed up yet Adelaide?” and it was safe to say “yes they were” as the heat in Thebarton Theatre was beyond swelter. The heat didn’t damper the show as the crowd were pumped from the very first song and all the way through to the end.
Next up was Listen to the Man, the dramatic Savior followed by the loud thumping rock anthem Did You Hear the Rains. All hands were up high clapping and it was a sight to see. In between some of the songs we were given an insight to how the songs came about. It seems Ezra has done plenty of travelling in his time which inspires his songwriting and it was fun to hear how they came to life.
When the first beats of Paradise were played the crowd gave another roar then it settled down for the slower paced and broody Song 6 and once again loudly chanting “Give me a minute to hold my girl” for the song Hold My Girl. I’m sure there were plenty of girls in the crowd wishing they were that girl! There wasn’t a song the crowd didn’t like. The atmosphere was electric and Ezra knows how to mesmerise his audience.
When it came to the last few songs the notch was lifted plenty a high. Ezra invited us to again sing along (I think he knew it was going to happen anyways) and the crowd clapped loudly and chanted “What you waiting for” with such booming enthusiasm for the song Blame It On Me. We were given a little story about how his hit song Budapest was written which was a story that included three Swedish girls, alcohol and the Eurovision song contest.
When he came back on stage for the encore Ezra yelled out “Make some noise Adelaide”. I think we made noise throughout the concert and it was brilliant! He thanked us for coming as he understood how hot it was and it was nice to know how much he appreciated that. Ending with the catchy Cassy O and of course the big smash Shotgun, by this stage everyone in the venue was up on their feet. Even those in seats. It really was electric. No other way to describe it. George Ezra and his band then finished by clapping to the audience for at least five minutes. Showing gratitude and pride that we had such a fun time. Really, we couldn’t have been any happier at that moment.
Live Review By Anastasia Lambis