Dami Im – My Life in Songs @ Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide 14/06/2019

Dami Im can be known as the X-Factor winner, Eurovision runner up and a self-proclaimed awkward introvert but the show Dami Im – My Life in Songs introduced us to a more personal side to the South Korean born musical talent. Walking onto the stage singing Mariah Carey’s Hero, the song she sung for X-Factor auditions, it was a magical moment to hear her powerful voice live in the intimate Dunstan Playhouse venue.

My Life in Songs is part storytelling and part concert. While we might know some of the story’s of how Im got her break, this show tells us more about the emotional and personal side of each moment of her rise to success. Breaking through the the X-Factor producers creation of Dami Im she is now a more confident, self-assured woman and artist. Telling her life story with warmth and humour Im’s stories are compelling. While its not sex, drugs and rock n roll, listening to how she grew up and what drove her to be the best she could be was more relatable on a human level to everyone in the audience.

The story of how she recorded herself singing then being horrified on how bad she sounded to spending hours and hours on becoming a better singer shows Im’s determination to overcome obstacles and push herself beyond her capabilities. When chosen to represent Australia in the Eurovison song contest she was driven to win and while she came second that was a win in Australia’s eyes. Before she sang her smash Eurovison hit Sounds of Silence, Julia Zemrio who was in the audience ran up to the stage to tell her version of events.

Zemiro was the SBS Eurovison compare that year and told the audience her story that if Im was to win, being the Australian media representative, she had to race from her commentary box down to the stage to be the first to interview Im. As the scores were changing so frequently Zemiro was back and forth trying to get ready at a minute’s notice to race down to the winner’s stage. An interesting story that even Im was surprised to only learn tonight. Just before Zemiro walked back to her seat she added “And we all know you were robbed!” which the audience erupted into a rousing applause.

A classically trained pianist Im is also comfortable in any genre showcasing her talents in Jazz, Pop, Rock and even K-Pop. We got a cool funky version of Psy’s Gangnam Style and a rockier version of Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out of My Head as well as the powerful and emotional version of Purple Rain. Im’s original songs are just as worthy like her 2014 hit Superlove, Little John, Dreamer and the heart wrenching Crying Under Water which is about a friend’s suicide. Each song was connected to her story’s time line and whether it was a ballad or a country ditty like Dolly Parton’s Jolene, Im’s voice was powerful and full of emotion that you felt yourself getting lost in the music.

Dami Im has always been a darling of Australian music since winning X-Factor and tonight’s show gave us more insight to the charm and sweetness of this fierce lioness. As she sang “I know what I want and I know who I am” Dami Im – My Life in Songs certainly told us who Dami Im is; a confident, talented powerhouse vocal with more musical success to come.

Live Review by Anastasia Lambis

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