Meg Mac at The Cambridge Hotel on September 23rd 2017
Have you ever heard a song on the radio and thought to yourself how much you would love to hear it performed live? Most people have, and most people generally have the same one thought as to how they think that live show would go.
‘Are they going to be any good at singing and performing live?’
A question that is only ever answered when that first song plays and the artist begins singing, it’s all there in that moment, the make or break of a live show.
If you’ve ever found yourself asking the same question about Aussie singer-writer Meg Mac, I can tell you that answer is a loud and resounding oh my goodness yes.
Meg Mac had really stolen the show before it had even begun, selling out to a full house at The Cambridge Hotel. And a full house it was, with Meg set to play at 9.30pm I arrived around half hour before, I grabbed a drink and headed into the already buzzing main room. After a fairly cold winter this was the first kind of summer-feeling Saturday night in a while, you could feel the body warmth in the room and the vibe that accompanies a nice summer night out in town.
I have been to a few sold out gigs at The Cambridge, so I’ve learnt how packed that main room can get and that basically once you’ve found a spot, that’s your spot and if you happen to need a drink or a bathroom trip then you must make that sacrifice. The clock strikes to 9.30pm and so begins the classic wait for the artist to appear. Constant glances up to the stage, people still shuffling so they get a good view and last-minute drink runs. A few moments went by and there she was, ever so casually Meg walks on stage to an applause and cheers of excitement.
Her performance is impeccable. Coming back to the start where I mention the difference between an artist’s record or a live show, Meg Mac has absolutely mastered the art of singing live and achieving every note and every pitch that she has put into her recorded songs. With a performance so clean cut and on point, you would think you could see the structure in the show, that it’s choregraphed and that they are almost following a ‘to-do’ list in a way, but you couldn’t, the show flowed freely and was very laid back.
One thing that’s now apparent to me is her fan base. Not only was it a sold out show but I swear that a good 95% of people in that room sung along to every song, ‘Brooklyn Apartment’, ‘Maybe it’s My First Time’ and her earlier hits like ‘Grandma’s Hands’ and ‘Never Be’. The crowd was there singing loud and proud, right along with Meg Mac, although the pause towards the end of Low Blows seemed to catch everybody out, but of course not Meg.
We were honoured with a little something different this time, something special. Meg introduced a song she had written about a lost necklace, and announced that she was going to record the song then and there, live.
She started this song not like any of her other songs. This time using her voice and other sounds on a loop, building up the layers and she begins to sing. The song was notably different from her others, but I was loving this fresh feel from Meg, she had executed it perfectly with the crowd just staring toward the stage intrigued by what they were hearing.
After a captivating set Meg Mac had come to the end of her show, thanking the crowd before she whisked off stage. There was a definite call for an encore for this one, it was so obviously coming due to the fact that she hadn’t yet performed one of her biggest hits.
Meg Mac reappeared onstage to perform her encore, leaving us at the end with ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’, the loudest song yet sung by the crowd, word for word.
The show was over and the audience cheered and applauded as Meg Mac left the stage. A perfect performance in a sold-out gig is just about as good as it gets, and hey, it’s always a plus when you don’t have to travel all the way to Sydney to get to experience that.