29 July, Enmore Theatre
Prior to the 2 June release of Camacho, speculation from both fans and critics was rife regarding the relevance, importance and execution of Murray’s latest and certainly most bold album to date.
While some saw it as an eager attempt to secure a foothold in a scene that in recent years has seen a shift away from organic instrumentation in favour of electronic production, others saw it how Murray intended – as an undaunted reinvention in an industry concerned with one hit wonders, EDM and transient pop.
Having gone through my teenage years listening to Feeler and See The Sun, Murray’s music has always been a part of my life; with Camacho being no different, upon its release, I fervently had it on repeat.
However, upon my return from Splendour In The Grass not one week ago, I was unsure whether my thirst for live music had been over-satiated to a point of apathy. Prior to Saturday night, I had never seen Murray live, yet my enthusiasm certainly seemed incomplete; in spite of this I showed up on the evening with a hardy resolve in tow.
Suffused with a soft, cobalt light the theatre was awash with faces new and old; all furnished with an unwavering adoration – all eager to see Murray perform.
As he took to the stage he was met with boisterous applause, crowds gathering at the foot of the microphone; to this my date remarked, “I bet this is what a Bieber concert will look like in 20 years.” I didn’t disagree.
Sparing no time, Murray propelled into his set, opening with Only One, a single from his latest album, and a sure crowd pleaser. Working through a line-up composed mostly of tracks from Camacho Murray’s presence both musically and physically was unfaultable; though fast approaching his second decade of melodic endeavor his live show exhibits no signs of age. In accompaniment, a vigorous lead guitarist and sturdy band bolstered Murray throughout every track – with brief intermissions given to each musician for solo work of their own.
Demonstrating that there are two sides to his music Murray periodically slowed the show for tracks like Connected and So Beautiful – ballads that both garnered widespread audience involvement. In spite of these, and to no ones surprise the most extensive sing-a-long was Better Days; in which, during parts, Murray barely sang at all.
Toward the end of the hour and a half set, a truly palpable energy was circulating the room. Murray’s uniquely positive yet concurrently melancholic soft rock is far too infectious to remain disengaged from.
If live sets are anything to judge albums by, Camacho certainly proved that it is far from a ‘listen to at home album’ only. The sharp, modern loops and beats used throughout the studio version translated flawlessly in person with no better single demonstrating this than the penultimate song of the evening – Take Me Down.
To finish on a high, Murray briefly thanked the crowd, the organisers and his entourage before jamming the ever catchy riff of Always A Winner.