Living in Melbourne has some strong benefits. As mentioned previously, one of them is the overload of opportunities we have to go to my favourite sporting events. Another is being able to indulge my preference for live music. Perhaps it is the atmosphere (as with the sporting events) but I’ve always thought that live shows are so much better than recordings. Recently, I was able to finally go to a Brooke Fraser gig. Last time Brooke was here, we missed out on tickets. The first show sold out before we had a chance to buy them, then they put on a second show which we couldn’t go to due to prior commitments. Then, just before the first show, someone offered me a ticket that they didn’t need any more but my brother was visiting from out of town by that stage and I had to turn it down! So when we heard she was coming again, we made sure we bought the tickets as soon as possible!
Consequently, we made our way to The Forum on a cold Sunday night to partake in the Brutal Romantic tour. Fans of Brooke would obviously have noticed a departure from the style of her previous albums which were a lot more acoustic and earthy. The Brutal Romantic album was a completely different tone with more synthesised sounds, allowing Brooke’s vocals to explore new territory. We were expecting nothing less when she opened the set with Psychosocial, the first track on the album. All my favourite tracks from the album were played with Brooke jumping between instruments and telling us random, amusing stories that may or may not have been associated with the songs. We were pretty content with the set as it was. Then they added a few tracks from the back catalogue that had been revamped to match the sound of the newer songs which took it to another level again! Once again, I was lamenting my lack of zoom lens (it’s on my to-buy list before I go to New Zealand, never fear!) but since we were quite close to the front I managed some half decent pictures.
The icing on the cake was getting to go back stage to meet Brooke after the show. Those of us who were subscribers to her app were offered the opportunity to meet her simply by RSVP-ing before the event. There was probably about 12 people who had taken up that offer and we were marched through to the back stage area after the rest of the crowd had been ushered outside. Brooke chatted and posed for photos with each of us one by one. I was at the back of the line, so I probably got a few extra moments than the rest. We talked about a few random things, whether or not I’d had my dress made for me. The dress I was wearing does garner a lot of appreciation. I bought it off the rack at COS in Melbourne’s CBD but it fits perfectly and everyone feels the need to comment on it whenever I wear it. I’ve even had students request that I wear it to work (weird?). We got a few photos since her tour manager was excited I’d handed her a real camera instead of an iPhone so she snapped away while we chatted. I’ve always loved Brooke’s music and I was glad to find out she was as lovely in person as I had imagined.