Live Review: Grace: The Songs Of Jeff Buckley

15 February 2016 | 2:58 pm | Tash Loh

"The show wrapped up like a tiny present you want to keep in your pocket and carry with you..."

A well-placed collection of fairy lights, Chinese lanterns, rad music and classy Saturday-night drinking can only mean one thing: Adelaide Fringe season is here.

Louis Donnarumma and co gave us a taste of what the Fringe is all about with their stunningly sophisticated Jeff Buckley tribute show. The first of his three-show run, it was an instant hit, with Donnarumma's true Buckley-fandom shining through at every moment.

Donnarumma and his band managed to put on a show appealing to all levels of Buckley fans, playing a set that ranged from his more well-known hits to performing Buckley's cover of Everyday People released late last year. The reception in the crowd was nothing but positive, and the vibes were extremely chilled.

Lilac Wine showed off Donnarumma's crooning vocals as his voice soared towards the haunting heights of the legend's own vocal cords. Bassist Anthony Costanzo playfully mouthed along to the words as the rest of the band were totally entranced in the music they were playing, proving they were a bunch of lads who enjoyed listening to the music as much as they enjoyed playing it.

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Known affectionately throughout Adelaide for his busking skills and his previous successful Fringe show in 2014, Donnarumma's live show proved his worth as more than just a street musician. A nicely dramatic touch was the planes flying low overhead at regular intervals, a low-rumbling backdrop as So Real led us into the break.

The second set of the night was welcomed by Buckley's cover of Hallelujah that somehow manages to tap into the feels every time. Donnarumma's hauntingly beautiful rendition led to almost the same stillness achieved by Buckley, a haze falling over the room as the world became a dreamscape. He did it justice by playing with the kind of grace and elegance far beyond his years as a performer.

Lover, You Should've Come Over and Just Like A Woman showed off the musical chemistry between the band. This wasn't just a cover show, this was a real tribute curated by someone who appreciated the art and relevance of Jeff Buckley's music.

Finishing off with Last Goodbye and an encore of I Want Someone Badly, the show wrapped up like a tiny present you want to keep in your pocket and carry with you for the days when you want to dive headfirst into nostalgia.