What an incredible few years Matt Corby has had. Returning from self-imposed post-Idol exile, he has patiently drip-fed songs over 4 years and five EPs to build up a huge fan base and more importantly, a huge amount of respect.
This process seems to have left Corby confident enough to be himself and not pander to crowds. With little fanfare and even less acknowledgement given to the crowd, the show kicked off with a very atmospheric ‘Lighthome’ featuring Corby on guitar before he jumped over to the keyboard for an equally mellow rendition of ‘Made Of Stone’. Despite the fact this was the main act, much of the crowd continued to talk through these first two songs and the following, ‘Lay You Down’.
Corby, the now-consummate professional, continued on nevertheless into the hauntingly beautiful duet ‘Big Eyes’. This was the moment he truly connected with the crowd and everyone felt it, the audience falling silent as their soaring vocals entwined to create a truly harmonic, spiritual moment. Having drawn the intensity down, it was an even starker contrast when Corby transitioned into an incredible version of the new single, ‘Resolution’. Showing off his voice’s amazing range and raw emotion, the crowd was overwhelmed by this particular track, which led to a huge increase in the amount of calling out happening (largely from young teenage girls). Despite surely having to be used to this, Corby was clearly less than impressed, imploring the crowd to “Get it the fuck out of your system, say all the shit you’re going to say.” Unfortunately the crowd didn’t quite follow his directive, but it was amusing watching the number of young girls (who must have thought he was joking) pissing off their idol.
There were some unexpected gems later in the set, with a cover of David Crosby’s CSNY song ‘Almost Cut My Hair’ offering a perfect opportunity for Corby to show his sublime guitar skills and his bluesier side. Whilst new track ‘Trick Of The Light’ brought a more upbeat tempo to the setlist and saw the band enjoying themselves a lot on stage.
Ultimately though, the audience was not at Thebarton Theatre to be surprised, they knew what they wanted and it was certainly delivered. ‘Brother’, ‘Lonely Boy’ (Corby’s now-famous Black Keys cover) and ‘Soul’s A Fire’ drew huge cheers from the crowd whilst the relaxed encore of ‘Untitled’ and ‘My False’ brought the show to a serene end.
Having seen Matt Corby work his way around the festival circuit in recent years, I knew this show would be enjoyable but I had no idea of the atmosphere he was capable of creating. A darkened room, a quality sound mix and a stellar band combined to create the perfect atmosphere and to perfectly showcase Corby’s songwriting and Jeff Buckley-esque vocals. For many present tonight, this was not just a concert, it was a spiritual experience and whilst he turned his back on Idol a long time ago, Matt Corby certainly has a few more fans idolising him after this show.