Live Review: Meg Mac @ Melbourne Recital Centre

28 April 2023 | 11:34 am | Michael Prebeg

“I made a whole album and ended up throwing it in the bin. So, to be on the 'Matter Of Time' tour here in Melbourne tonight is so special."

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Ayesha Madon calls for us to shake our asses in our chairs as she catches our attention with her extroverted personality and playful, upbeat tunes. With a musical theatre background, she’s no stranger to performing, however, this is her first ever live tour run, and she shows huge potential to become a household name.

Madon serves up ridiculously good vocal runs comparable to the likes of Ariana Grande, with smooth vocals and effortless whistle notes that hit soaring octaves. She bounces across the stage with undeniably catchy bops with an R&B/pop vibe, including Outside The Party and Goldfish.

Sometimes getting carried away with a stand-up comedy routine, she interacts with the audience with plenty of eccentric banter to keep us engaged. Madon confesses she fell in love during the pandemic and shares a song about falling in and out of love called Justin Timberlake but clarifies she didn’t actually date him, although she wishes. For fans of Hannah Montana, she performs a heartfelt acoustic cover of Miley Cyrus’ The Climb with an impressive vocal delivery. 

A ticking clock echoes throughout the recital centre as Meg Mac emerges on a high podium in the centre of the stage in a black sequinned cape. The air fills with smoke and a purple light with a strobe effect as she belts out the title track of her latest album Matter Of Time.

Two backup singers join in by her side, including her little sister Hannah and long-time friend Danielle, as the show continues with older crowd favourites Turning and Every Lie. Mac removes her cape to reveal a shimmering silver dress that glistens under the incredible lighting display. 

“I made a whole album and ended up throwing it in the bin. So, to be on the Matter Of Time tour here in Melbourne tonight is so special," she reveals. Mac continues with her favourite song from her latest album, Something In The Water. The heartfelt song captures the raw honesty and emotion of knowing something wasn’t right at the time she made the decision to start over, and this song is one she’s proud to share.

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Her booming, soulful vocals blow the audience away. Mac is one of those artists that sounds exactly like her recorded music, if not better live. She takes a moment to share a beautiful acoustic duet with her sister for a song called Don’t You Cry. The special moment celebrates the two performing together since they were kids and now continuing to share the stage on tour. Melbourne is their second home, with memories and connections to the VCA next door.

Mac reveals she’s been using Instagram stories and polls to share and make decisions about her life and about what songs she should play at her live shows. She tells us she asked the audience before the show which triple j Like A Version they wanted her to perform tonight and due to overwhelming demand the crowd voted Let It Happen by Tame Impala. She gives the song a soulful boost with an incredible vocal delivery.

“I always get sad when I release a new album as I have to start saying goodbye to songs because I can’t fit them all in my set,” she tells us. One song that her Instagram followers requested to hear is an old favourite, Brooklyn Apartment. She dusts off the keys for the song inspired by the lives of the people around her at the time and dedicates it to anyone who has a birthday today.

A song they’ve only played twice as a band, and the last song on the new album, Head on The Pillow, is a song about drama circling around her when all she wanted to do was escape the world and forget it was happening.

She dedicates the deeply emotional track (Letter) to her fans, who she hopes got all the letters she’d spent hours handwriting and kissing every single one of them. “I wrote this song when I should’ve really written a letter to an old friend or someone not in my life anymore. Instead of doing that, I wrote a song about how I should write this letter, and now I’m writing you letters and everyone's letters, except the one person that I should be writing the letter to.”

Clapping strikes up in the room to ring in her beloved cover of Bill Withers’ Grandma’s Hands, followed closely by Never Be, as the audience continues clapping along for the final chorus. She attempts an encore but confesses she gets embarrassed about it, so returns quickly to finish starting with the first song she ever recorded and released called Known Better, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year since it was first played on triple j. To bring the show to a close, she ends with fan favourite Roll Up Your Sleeves, and Ayesha Madon joins her back on stage for a big singalong finale.