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Live Review: Miguel, Thandi Phoenix

19 July 2018 | 12:16 pm | Tobias Handke

"'Banana Clip' transforms into a funk odyssey, 'Sure Thing' morphs into a futuristic explosion of pop and 'Do You...' becomes a baby-making anthem that has one couple smooching like teens."

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Australia continues to produce amazing vocalists and Sydney newcomer Thandi Phoenix is no different. Backed by live drums and synths, Phoenix lets loose with a steady stream of vibrant electro-pop tunes, getting the already near-capacity crowd grooving along excitedly. New single My Way is a standout and a wonderful expression of Phoenix's unbelievable vocal tones.

Of the current crop of new wave R&B superstars, few are as innovative and compelling as Los Angeles product Miguel. When he appears the screams are deafening, akin to something you'd expect at a One Direction concert, with the singer-songwriter sliding up to his frilled mic stand as the soulful guitar lick for Criminal hits.

Looking more rock star than pop star — he's wearing sunglasses, a tight white tee and a black leather jacket — Miguel has the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand from the very moment he opens his mouth to sing. It's hard to articulate just how gorgeous he sounds, but if Prince and Marvin Gaye had a love child it would sound something like Miguel.

Of course, he has great support from his tremendous backing band, who help replicate his songs in the live arena. Banana Clip transforms into a funk odyssey, Sure Thing morphs into a futuristic explosion of pop and Do You... becomes a baby-making anthem that has one couple smooching like teens. 

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Midway through the performance Miguel takes things down a notch, teaming with his guitarist for the slower What's Normal Anyway. Stopping halfway through the song Miguel declares he feels too emotional, asking the crowd, "Should I continue?" As the crowd yell for more Miguel asks, "You want to talk about some sex shit?" The screaming begins once again. "Let's get into it," he says as the riff for Pussy Is Mine sends the females in attendance crazy. 

He and his band play an extended version of the track, with Miguel getting the crowd involved waving their arms and singing along. Nostalgia-inducing Waves follows as Miguel keeps the sexual energy palpable with Come Through And Chill, telling everyone, "I wanna fuck all night," with a sly smile.

When he's not looking directly at a bevy of beauties close to the stage while singing, Miguel jives and grooves his way across the stage. A born performer, he moves similar to Usher, even doing the splits at one point, much to the pleasure of one fan who appears on the verge of fainting.

A young lass is escorted out of the building by security for enjoying herself a little too much as Pineapple Skies hits. Caramelo Duro keeps the good vibes flowing before Sky Walker brings things to a climatic end, with the crowd losing their shit and dancing like their lives depend on it. 

There's the inevitable encore as Miguel and his band reappear for the energetic Kygo collaboration Remind Me To Forget and slow jam All I Want Is You. Before leaving, Miguel gets the lights turned on so he can see the crowd and addresses them one final time, telling everyone to "appreciate the moment" and "never take things for granted". As he wanders off stage to the adoring screams of his fans, it's obvious nobody in attendance will be forgetting this moment anytime soon.