Vera Blue Live Review: The Magical Mercurial Tour on a Magical Mercurial Night
I had always heard about how incredible Vera Blue was live, however after catching her “Mercurial” tour at the Forum recently, I truly believe that she is an artist that you must not sleep on – her performance is one that needs to be experienced with your own eyes to really believe!
There’s a magical feeling about entering the Forum, an otherworldly buzz of excitement and enchanting aura that surrounds you, and this was only heightened by what we, as audience members, were yet to experience.
As the lights dimmed, the chatting fizzled and a wave of cheers arose, the silhouette of emerging RnB queen Becca Hatch steps out onto the stage and demands the attention of the audience through not only her silky-smooth beats, but her big baddie presence!
Bouncing off the dynamic spirit of DJ and hype girl Nicole Tania, Hatch finessed her way through each track on her discography with immaculate attitude, stunning talent, and utmost passion. Making her way through older tunes such as ‘2560’ and ‘Girl Like Me’, and pumping the crowd up with newer ones like, ‘Blessed’ and ‘Safety’.
Throughout the course of the set, Hatch revealed taking inspiration from lots of 90s dance music, genres specifically diving into those of house and disco: coining her energy as that of a “black Kylie”. So much so that upon spinning her latest single, ‘Without You’, Tania morphed it with a blend of Minogue’s ‘Spinning Around’, and naturally the crowd went wild! Specifically, a group of Becca Hatch superfans to the left-hand side of the stage – shout out to those gals for bringing the energy!
Energy: this seemed to be a running theme all throughout the night with Hatch requesting that the crowd “put their hearts up”, conducting frequent energy checks, and Vera Blue thanking the crowd for giving her set “energy” – more on that later.
Despite an almost water spillage threatening to cut Hatch’s set short, this near miss of a casualty only proved that nothing dared to put out the fire that was Becca Hatch. This opener was just one of many magic tricks that Vera Blue had up her sleeve.
As the emphasis of the night evolved from the supporting act to the headliner, I could not help but notice the demographic of individuals who filtered their way into the venue, and how they could not have been more visually diverse from one another. Middle aged women wearing long flowy dresses, face gems, side ponies and extravagantly large stone earrings, alternative men in their mid-twenties rocking a freshly shaven short back and sides, long beard, matched with funky specs, and young girls wearing rainbow jumpers with blue hair. Despite their aesthetic differences, one characteristic that each individual shared was their unbinding happiness which exuded upon meeting and mingling with those around them.
My observations were cut short when once again, the lights dimmed, the chatting fizzled and a wave of cheers began. A collective atmosphere of excitement continued as the sounds of Blue’s opening track ‘Lethal’ boomed so crisply.
When she ran out onto the stage in her extravagant pink puffy outfit, she truly embodied the magic of the Forum. Her presence was mesmerising, as she owned the space not only as a natural performer, but also as a vision. People were there to experience her in all her glory as she encapsulated the full attention of the crowd. Interestingly I noticed that there were hardly any phones up capturing the moment, a true testament to Blue’s ability to capture human attention instead.
An incredible energy exchange took place right in front of my very eyes as Blue was evidently having the best time onstage, and that same enthusiasm radiated all throughout the crowd. Attributed to a combination of insane vocal runs, fascinating visuals, and the most chaotic hair flicks – more on that later too, some audience members let themselves have a little boogie, whilst others were absolutely losing their minds. It’s amazing how Blue’s confidence and presence inexplicably granted fans a license within themselves to let their hair down and quite literally dance like no one was watching.
As the set continued, the angel woman continued creating such a safe space, reiterating “I love you guys, you’re so wonderful.” Establishing the most beautiful environment to perform more emotional tracks on her catalogue such as, ‘The Curse,’ from her recent album release, Mercurial. Blue revealed writing this tune with the “love of [her] life, Billie”, and it details the challenges presented to a relationship when one falls in love with their best friend. With her hand on her heart, she was freaking out throughout the duration of the number, to which later she coined this particular chorus as the loudest she’s ever heard the heard it being sung to her. “Thank you for giving it so much energy,” she expressed so much gratitude. Goosebumps.
This was just one of many special moments created throughout the course of the set. Being such a dynamic artist, the synth pop princess proved that her concerts are a space to unapologetically have fun and connect with others through a shared artistic experience. As the night continued, in 3 consecutive songs I witnessed Vera Blue take her earrings off, and uncontrollably whip her hair to the instrumental section in ‘Private’, then request “all the fellas say… lady, lady, lady, lady, powers”, before creating a space in ‘Mermaid Avenue’ for a couple to sway nose to nose, arm in arm, singing to one another – The depth was unreal.
As the concert neared completion, she seemingly pronounced ‘Red Rose’ as her final track of the night however she hadn’t performed some of her most popular hits yet, hence it felt as though she unwillingly participated in one of those fake-encore-styled encores before returning to the stage admitting, “I wasn’t finished and neither were you!”
She was right!
The magical night came to a euphoric close as she became one with the crowd belting out a stripped back version of ‘Hold’ off her 2017 album, Perennial – a real standout performance for me, before finishing on the collaboration with Aus music icon, Flume, ‘Rushing Back’ – to which the crowd went absolutely bonkers!
She concluded, expressing so much appreciation and love, and then disappeared backstage leaving the crowd to simmer in the electric post-concert buzz. Embodying the nature of the album that she was touring, Mercurial, this wonderful artist drew the audience on an emotional journey, and as I parted with the forum and navigated my way through the bustling Saturday night streets of Melbourne’s CBD, reality set back in as the heavy rain fell on me at one hundred miles an hour, reminding me that the dream was over. How lucky we had all been to be whisped away into the magical world of Vera Blue’s creativity, a true joy to experience, and an honour to be a part of, thank you Vera Blue!
Words: Anika Luna