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Live Review: Dan Sultan

3 December 2015 | 11:59 am | Sara Tamim

"He ploughed through seamlessly, stunning the crowd with a song he wrote in Dublin, his everyman storytelling skills floating to the foreground."

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To celebrate his OpenLIVE compilation, Dan Sultan embarked on an intimate tour around Australia, including the cosy Newtown Social Club. The venue filled to the brim with eager music lovers preparing for Sultan's arrival. The set was full of guitar wonders and keyboard ballads and was acoustically simple, with Sultan himself the focal point and no other distractions to take away from his mesmerising persona.

He started his set with a new tune, his flawless voice identical to that heard on his studio recordings. His dynamic build in momentum created the illusion that a whole band was on stage. Sultan's voice was velvety smooth and tender, each vigorous change creating a joyous resolution.

As he finished off the song with a holy riff he informed the audience of his upcoming album, and that the song "might" be included in it. Then someone screamed, "Put it on!" Sultan wittily replied, "they normally say, take it off". The between-song banter throughout the set gathered plenty of laughs and cheers. He ploughed through seamlessly, stunning the crowd with a song he wrote in Dublin, his everyman storytelling skills floating to the foreground. On The Leffy co-written with Paul Kelly created emotional strife, especially through the lyrics, "I never thought I'd miss you until I missed you," leading to a few sniffles in the crowd.

The energy of the second set contrasted with the first, driven with force — even in the ballads the energy seemed intensified. The Same Man was a clear standout — the way he articulated the lyrics to match the sharp rhythms was breathtaking. The track was maturely composed and Sultan clearly has a knack for creating rhythmic gems and lyrical wonders. Way Of The Eagle's Rattlesnake (which he featured on) continued to push the momentum and climax with erratic strumming and guttural belting. It was seemingly suspenseful and awe-inspiring as the crowd erupted into ovation. As he flowed into Kimberley Calling his echoing vocal bounced off of the walls of the small venue, his brooding register captivating the silent crowd. He finished with a new tune which was angst-driven and repetitive. The catchy and hauntingly repetitive lyric, "It's just you and me baby, no one needs to know," meshed with the intense piano and his powerful stare created a breath-taking silence. Sultan drifted easily into his tune Old Fitzroy and brought his everyman storytelling to end with this humble and amazing folk-rock tune.

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