As we walked down the twists and turns of the path to the lower end of Taronga Zoo I was hoping we’d get to glimpse some of the animals. My wish was granted when peering its head out of its enclosure, I spotted a giraffe. This was the first, and probably the only time, I’ve been so excited to see something of that height at a concert (5”2’ struggles).
I could hear Keelan Mak, the first act of the night, serenading the ever-growing crowd. The sun was just starting to set behind our iconic Sydney Harbour and it truly made for a breathtaking backdrop to the night. There was a small stage re-set beforeKesmar took to stage. His dreamy, deep synth-drench indie-pop was an absolute mood as the audience buzzed along and the night began to set in.
But there was no accounting for the cheer that came from the crowd when the stage lights flickered to life and the ethereal Vera Blue bounced on to the stage. Starting with Settle, she truly brought the night to life with a slick and refined performance. Vera’s voice is flawless live, and despite her energetic dancing she constantly hit every note with perfection.
The audience was a mix of everyone between families with young kids to older couples who were clearly here for date night. Regardless of where you fell in that spectrum, you couldn’t be disappointed.
Vera moved through old favourites from 2016’s Fingertips including Patterns and Hold, the latter she dedicated to all the aforementioned lovers, and even the coldest of hearts were warmed.
She flawlessly danced between her stripped-back, acoustic tracks to her more pop-soaked songs, and the audience was captured at every moment. Mended was a particularly magical track, the poignant song managing to keep even the resident wildlife quiet for a time. All The Pretty Girls became a karaoke opportunity for the crowd, and I was so there for it.
The set was just over an hour long, which was pretty impressive given the limitations that these kinds of outdoor events like Twilight at Taronga can sometimes have. With a focus on the music, there wasn’t a whole lot of time for interaction between Vera and the crowd, and she only stopped a couple of times to talk briefly, mostly to graciously thank the crowd.
She introduced her latest release, Like I Remember You with the fitting reminder that it was released in association with Green Peace. I think everyone appreciated that. And as it was International Women’s Day, Lady Powers became the anthem for the night. Tbh it was on point.
Despite the very relaxed picnic setting (which was honestly such a treat in itself), Vera had everyone up and dancing for her last track, Regular Touch. Although a personal favorite, I have no bias in saying that this was her peak for the night and her performance ended on a real high.
It was a wholesome night, and it left you feeling light and dreamy (probably helped by Vera’s angelic bedazzled dress, but whatevs). Vera Blue never fails to put on a spectacular, and the magic of seeing her perform in Taronga Zoo with the city lights behind her is something that will stay with me a lifetime – and it is opportunities like these where I am reminded how special it is to work in this industry.