Morgan Evans, James Johnston @ Hindley Street Music Hall, Adelaide 17/9/2023

Get used to hearing the name Morgan Evans because his upward trajectory doesn’t look like ending anytime soon. Up until his Adelaide show I hadn’t really heard much about Morgan Evan to be honest but I was blown away by his sheer talent, his kit bag bustling with great songs and the show he put on with support James Johnston. Pure class! Hindley Street Music Hall was packed out and if it wasn’t sold out it would have been incredibly close and kudos to Adelaide music lovers who were in force and well early to get the best vantage point.

Rising stars James Johnston looks set for a big career and really did relish the opportunity of playing in front of a big crowd. Plenty of swagger and great tunes forging his own path having been on X Factor and Australian Idol. With a new album, Raised Like That, out in less than a couple of weeks it was a great chance to hear songs such as RAISED LIKE THAT, COUNTRY BOYS and SAME SONGS from it. Other highlights for me included SMALL TOWN and WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD.

The excitement leading up to Morgan Evans set was fever pitch and once he took to the stage the crowd went wild. The crowd knew all the words and Evans music has clearly captured hearts and minds opening with Young Again. It might of have been a Sunday night but the crowd were intent on making it feel like a Saturday. The good time vibes continued with Country Outta My Girl and Kiss Somebody. Morgan took a moment to recall the last show here in 2019 at a pub called The Gov thanking them for spreading the good word with even more people turning out on this tour.

I Do was fab but it was moments such as Waltzing Matilda that were memorable uniting the crowd for one mass sing-a-long. The connection and the relatability of his songs are strong with the likes of Love Is Real and Over For You standing out. Say What You Want is a great song as was Dance With Me. James Johnston returned to join Morgan on All Right Here. Morgan spoke about being in the moment and that he definitely was even saying that touring Australia was a lot more than just playing Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane on the East Coast but it was important for him to return to Adelaide and Perth,

Things That We Drink To morphed in to Coldplay’s Fix You with Morgan asking fans to light up the place with their mobile phone flash lights. It was quite the spectacle. Sing Along Drink Along, Hey Little Mama and Day Drunk splitting in to Young, Wild & Wild and John Farnham’s You’re the Voice topped off the main set perfectly.

Returning for an encore the first song was Peter Allen’s poignant anthem I Still Call Australia Home which was followed by Morgan thanking Adelaide for “riding this roller coaster of emotions tonight and hope you take away the feeling of hope”. As the show drew to a close on On My Own Again there was plenty to like about what was experienced on reflection.

Live Review By Rob Lyon

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