Vera Blue @ The Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW Australia 29/07/2017 written by Brendan Lewis
I feel this show will be quite a challenge for me as an analytic writer, for electronic ‘pop’ music
isn’t my preferred genre. This has a lot to do with my scepticism towards how many of the
recorded sounds that you hear in pop music are actually performed, rather than simply played at
a live performance. So I’m intrigued, will my heart be warmed to the dark side? (pop music) or will
this show verify my scepticism?
“And, here, we, go!” The stunningly beautiful and talented Vera Blue confidently walks out onto
the stage to a packed out venue of fans. Of course the first course of this musical meal, is the
opening song off Vera Blue’s debut album ‘First Week’, demonstrating her incredible emotionally
powerful voice and lyrics. The opening song off the touring album is typically the most suitable
opening song for the evening, however this song doesn’t start off grand and exciting to get
people’s attention straight away as a performance like this requires. To combat this, an alternative
suspenseful energy building intro lead by drums, Vera’s powerful vocals, and some cool beatsynced
lights filled the gap adequately.
Moving straight onto the next two offerings, ‘Fingertips’ and ‘Give In’ separated only by a brief
hello to the crowd and an introduction of her band (drums, guitar and keyboard/programming)
from Vera, these two songs raised the audience’s energy nicely. Strangely enough though, the
audience’s energy was still very held back and relaxed despite Vera’s infectious vocals and catchy
The next flavoursome dish, loved hit “Regular Touch’ struck just the right note on everyone’s
musical palate with its uplifting bright melodies and dance beat, mixed together with confident,
let-your-hair-down lyrics. As well as this groovy hit went down with the audience and raised the
vibe more, the audience still seemed withdrawn and a little tepid towards dancing around rather
than just bopping timidly. I mean this music is the perfect style to get loose and dance around
“like nobody’s at home” (hence the songs quote) especially being a Saturday night. Could it be
that the insane price’s at the bar have forced a dull sobriety upon this 18+ year old crowd?
The next two songs simply followed suit of clear, accurate, incredible vocals mixed well to
emphasise Vera’s voice as the stand out aspect of the show. I can’t help but notice though the
sound synced light’s are without much differing colour from what I can tell, and the constant
flashing of the strobe lighting such as this, is enough to give even low-sighted people a massive
headache after a while. This may be contributing to the crowds un-enthusiasm to dance around,
as the lighting is not exactly enticing like Vera’s voice. Also, as effectively as Vera Blue moved
around the stage and utilised the space around her, which made me feel like I was watching a
tennis match at times and judging by the blurry movement I could see and looking at my photos,
she expressed her emotional lyrics well with hand/arm movement and body language. This said
however, Vera didn’t exactly dance around like she just won the lottery. So regarding the
audience, monkey don’t see, monkey don’t do maybe?
After Vera speaks very joyfully to her audience and humbly thanks them in true disbelief of her
headlining the Metro Theatre, my attention is quickly pulled back to the music with familiar track
‘Magazine’ with its anthem-like choruses of a celebrity life fantasy. This song with the help of
alternate drumming from the recorded song to give it a more ‘live’ feeling, and some incredible
soaring live vocal improvisations in the songs’ bridge by Vera, actually rose the audiences singing
voices slightly from a shy murmur to a soft harmony, and the casual dancing elevated from a
sleepy sway, to a slightly more “get that dam bug off my hip” dance.
The next song ‘Settle’ flowing into ‘Fractures’, gave just the right contrast the set needed, just like
a multi-course meal needs a contrast so you don’t get an over-load of the one flavour… my food
analogies may be fuelled by me writing this around dinner time. To give the audience a bit of
consistency within the contrast though, Vera initiates a clap along before igniting a massive fire in
the audiences energy by jumping off the stage during an instrumental section of the song, leaning
into the crowd throwing white roses to her beloved fans. This brilliant crowd pleasing performance
technique absolutely exploded the crowds excitement, but stood out from the rest of the
performance a little too much, as the show so far has been a little more relaxed than it should be.
You’d think after that energy explosion Vera would lead into a song to try and sustain that hype
wouldn’t you? Nope, Vera then proceeds into beautifully reminiscent track ‘We Used To’ followed
by ‘Pedestal/Cover Me’ which aren’t as high energy. Vera and her band did however build up the
bridge of ‘We Used To’ well, and made the crowd scream excitedly regardless.
Just like that climatic build up in that movie that should’ve started a little sooner, TAH-DAH! ‘Lady
Power’ (with the return of better lighting) which Vera of course dedicated it to all her ladies in the
crowd. As you could imagine, this decoration of feminine power went down nicely with the
audience dominated by said gender.
Oh thats right, Vera plays the guitar as well. The guitar played by Vera finally makes an
appearance (or at least a noticeable one) for ‘Hold’, before leading into the “final” song, the crowd
loved dance anthem with its candid lyrics of lustful desires, ‘Private’. This song was expected to
be the finisher and sufficiently got the crowd singing along more expectedly.
Yep, there’s an encore, ‘Breathe Life’ and finally and very appropriately, ‘Mended’ thus closing the
show on a nice note with Vera thanking the audience yet again, before separating herself from the
This show is very much like an elaborate meal for me. As much as I enjoyed it and the stand out
flavour being Vera’s vocals in this case, were exquisite and mixed well, there's just something
missing that’s hard to explain, a herb? a spice? a sauce? After much thought I think it’s that the
crowds energy let the show down a little, this I suspect is due to the un-stimulating lighting at a lot
of the times, and Vera not dancing around on stage to set as an example for the crowd. Another
factor I feel, is that Vera didn’t pick up an instrument herself much during the show, if she played
percussion along with her drummer at times as well as her guitar playing in sections, would be
beneficial I think. That said however, I did quite enjoy this show and Vera is definitely on the right
track to turning me to the dark side…