Show date: April 21, 2017
Armed with looks to kill and, more importantly, a voice that thrills, Dan Sultan has got the goods. The Williamstown-born, Fitzroy-raised musician has worked tirelessly to become a true live force around our fine country, consistently packing out venues with his band. On this special occasion, though, it was all about the man in solo mode – intimate and raw.
Whistles and cheers echoed through the cozy venue as Sultan made his way to the stage; the man’s entire first set consisted of tasty new material including Hold It, as he sat behind a keyboard. Considering his formidable stage presence and charm by the truckload, Sultan’s humble and gracious manner of engaging with the audience was enjoyable to say the least. He playfully responded to a front row punter’s calls to “play a banger” with humorous results. Another enthusiastic dude echoed an identical comment minutes later, to which Sultan reminded him “the moment has passed.”
Following the half-time break, Sultan switched to his main weapon – the electric guitar – as he crooned Under Your Skin, The Same Man and Kimberley Calling, all from his exceptional 2014 release Blackbird. These songs showcased his versatility and top-shelf musicianship, as he attacked his microphone in effortless switches between long held howls and well-executed growls, complemented by impressive axe-stabbing on a Fender guitar his mother bought him – one that has featured in a “few punk bands” in its two-decade existence.
Ending the night with his early gem Old Fitzroy, the performance proved stripped-back Sultan promises to please every time.