Kevin Morby arrives on stage to perform at The Workshop, the Adelaide Festival’s latest music space. The start was delayed due to the play The Doctor running overtime next door. He plays Sundowner solo, the first of three unreleased songs played in a row and it sets the lyrical tone for the start of the night. Mortality, life and death are high on Kevin’s subject matter. In this song he imagines himself dying and God is not letting him into heaven so he hopes then not to die and sings Don’t Let The Sun Run From Me. It is a beautiful song and Kevin is a very poetical lyricist. Bassist Cyrus and drummer Nick join Kevin for the rest of the set and Valley and Campfire are played next and I hope Kevin releases the first three songs one day as they were wonderful. He sounds like a combination of Kurt Vile, Angus Stone and Bob Dylan.
The next three songs are from his 2019 album Oh My God and on the song OMG Rock N Roll he laments “If I die too young/ if the locusts come/Well I don’t give a fucking shit,” borrowing the fuzzy smooth style of the Velvet Underground before the song morphs into Beautiful Strangers with very similar lyrics.
He played City Music from same titled 2017 Album and it has a cascading Chinese style and a great riff and is one of my favourites of the night. The set ended with killer cuts Cut Me Down and Dorothy from 2016 album Singing Saw. Kevin came back after the encore to play what he considered to be his favourite song of all time, a cover of Townes Van Zandt’s No Place To Fall. After letting the music speak for itself prior to the encore Kevin became quite talkative and stated that he was very happy to be in Adelaide and apologised for the late cancelling of his and fellow act Waxahatchee sets at a festival in Adelaide 2018. There were sandstorms and many flights from Melbourne were cancelled that day.
The final song of the night was Harlem River from 2013 and was his best in my opinion. I have heard this song several times as it was used in a Target advertisement last year. It has a slow groove with wonderful poetic lyrics and is a great ending to the night.
Adelaide Festival Review By Richard De Pizzol