Support act 3.5/5 stars
The support act Ben Wright Smith were fantastic musicians and brought an entrancing energy to the room. Ben is a great songwriter and fantastic acoustic player. The Lead guitarist was engaging however, the pair could have used a full band for the style to lift the performance, but overall they were a good supporting act. Ben brought a little humour and charm to the performance, counting in one of their songs with a 1 2 f u shouted off mic to his lead guitarist. Overall, Ben Wright Smith was a humble support act that warmed the crowd for what was to follow.
Main act 5/5 stars
Pete’s set was absolutely flawless and you were hard pressed to fault a single thing. Front of house sound was crystal clear and the mix made the already fantastic session band sound phenomenal. The acoustic guitar and drum sounds were the best I’ve ever heard in a live venue. I was particularly impressed with how the band chose to replicate the production on Pete’s new album live. Rather than take the easy the route and play the programming via prerecorded tracks, it is a testament to the band’s skill that they had the ability to play their respective instruments and incorporate triggered samples in seamlessly. Pete joked about having the best musicians that money can buy, and that’s certainly true with his drummer and bassist really locking in with each other, his keys player adding the perfect amount of extra melodic interest and the lead guitarist topping off the list of fantastic talent Pete had accompanying him. The session players chosen for the tour are without a doubt some of the best in the country and worth every penny Pete spent to secure them, as they really made Pete’s Music shine. The harmonies across the band were spectacular with the entire band singing backing vocals on some of Pete’s newer songs. The band’s harmonised moments were perfectly executed and lifted the various choruses they chose to sing. The BV’s across the 5 voices felt effortless. I’ve never seen a live session band with such impressive cohesion and beauty.
Pete’s energy and interaction with the crowd were great. He is a fantastic entertainer. Even his quieter acoustic moments of the show had a powerful energy that left space for a pin drop and the audience in awe. For his more known songs like ‘Opportunity’ and ‘So Beautiful’ there wasn’t a member of the crowd who wasn’t singing along. The energy in the room in moments when the crowd sang in unison was something so truly special, that even Pete stood back in awe of the sold out venue belting his songs back to him, jokingly adding that they didn’t need him on stage to play!
The set was structured really well and switching between the acoustic and electric moments was done without a hiccup. The show started and finished on a high and I enjoyed how he incorporated his back catalogue into the set. You could tell it was a very special moment for long time fans to hear those songs that built Pete to the success he is today.
Pete came back out for an encore to a resounding cheer opening with the song fan’s had been waiting the entire night to hear: ‘Opportunity’ and closing with a new song from the record ‘Heartbeats’.
You could tell the show was special as old and new fans of Pete Murray sang side by side across the decades, much like the longevity of his successful career.