Review by Matthew Hocter
Live music has been absent from our lives for what seems like such a long time now, that when we finally get the opportunity to indulge in it, all sense of rationale exits our system. That rationale, in this case, can sometimes be described as quality, individuality and creativity. Luckily, when two musical forces like Paul Grabowsky and Lior collide, the outcome is nothing short of spectacular.
As Grabowsky took to the piano and Lior to his microphone, a stunning reworked rendition of “A lift in the morning fog” from the singer's fourth album opened the show. The standard had been set. The tone in Lior’s voice was crisp and clear, perfectly complemented by Grabowsky’s legendary piano skills.
As the sun began to set over the open-air venue that is The Summerhouse, it was Lior’s fourth song, “Grey Ocean” that delivered an intensity and drama that was not only hauntingly beautiful in its delivery, but again showcased the perfection of this collaboration between Grabowsky and Lior.
A cover of Joe Hayes and Jack Rhodes “Satisfied Mind,” made famous by the late Country music legend Porter Wagoner, gave Lior a chance to switch things up slightly and move into blues territory coupling this with some guitar skills. As each artist had their moment flying solo, Grabowsky dived deep into an improvisational piece that culminated in Lior’s “Angel.”
With so many stunning musical moments throughout the night, highlighting just how incredibly gifted each artist is, the return to live music was clearly welcomed, and never more apparent than seeing a sold-out venue. Grabowsky is a legend within the Australian music scene, this much is not only obvious, but also true. And even though Lior was a last-minute fill-in for Ngaiire who was unable to attend, the singer did not falter once and further cemented his status as one of Australia’s finest voices.
Lior’s song writing skills demonstrate what a true wordsmith can create when gifted with the ability to move words so effortlessly into song. There is an emotional depth to much of his work that is lacking in so much of what we consume, that forces the listener to not just listen, but absorb what is being given to them. Add Grabowsky into the mix and the reimagining of Lior’s work takes on a whole new meaning.
Tonight was a true masterclass in musicality.