Thursday, April 23, 2009

Adalita Solo (Magic Dirt)

Gotta stop wanting all your attention!

Adalita (Magic Dirt) Solo.
The Retreat Hotel, Brunswick.
Sunday 19th April, 2009.

I thought I had outgrown acting like a teenage schoolgirl at a JT concert when I meet muso's. But tonight I was to rekindle that flame, to keep those embarrassing fires burning bright. Tonight, I spoke to Adalita.

It has been quite a while since I saw Magic Dirt, back at their 10th Anniversary gig at The Tote. That kicked arse! Each time they tour I think I should go but don't get around to it, always thinking, well they'll play again someday. Not really too intelligent, I have missed out on seeing bands with that sort of behaviour. So when I saw that Adalita was doing a solo residency at the Retreat in April, I had to atleast get to one of the gigs. Tonight was the last. I wish I had been to all three. Completely breathtaking.

Adalita, a microphone, her Gibson SG and a little distortion all in front of red velvet curtains. A mirror ball above two rows of tables leading to where she was standing. A room that quickly filled at the sound of her voice. Some friends, some fans, some like me, in frenzied anticipation that this was going to be bigger than the resurrection, a new religion may be born on this night. To be honest, afterwards, it's pretty much how I felt.

It was a great insight into Magic Dirt's singer, stripped back and raw. The band could've easily backed each song and one punter in front of me even stated she should have had them there but the sound would have lost its intensity, emotion, its depth and passion.

I was listening to Signs Of Satanic Youth in the car on the way there. I remember going into my local record store everyday waiting for that to be released. It will be in tomorrow... I thought it would never come. Part of Adalita's appeal was her sound - both with her guitar and vocally. Not the typical singing style a lot of bands put out, but I loved it. She has come a long way since then and it was amazing being able to hear so much more of her voice without the rest of the sound covering over her with more layers of distortion and pounding drums. Her vocals are deep and enchanting, a soft touch and heart felt gaze to a longing shout out from her emotions, bleeding up there in front of us, for her, for us, giving us more than what she is used to.

At times she seemed humbled by the applause. Smiles adorned her face with casual thankyous. A shout out to a friend. Explaining to us that Magic Dirt are just taking a break and will be back later in the year. Letting us know that she will be doing more solo gigs later on down the track and recording an album. There was applause. That's what we all needed to hear. I feel that tonight we saw the strongest and most powerful side to Adalita. Letting more of herself be shown, we were drawn closer and got drunk on just how personal this set was. You were hypnotised by her proximity to your heart. Forgetting there were others present, my heart missed a beat and I had to lean back against the bar to keep from completely falling into the sound.

Absolutely dynamite set. It was by far one of the greatest gigs I have been to. When a musician opens themselves right up to an audience like that, it is so personal you are just drawn into their world.

Afterwards I went and spoke to her. She had put her guitar down in its case and was just starting on her pedals when I stumbled into a conversation by way of asking for her setlist taped to the foldback speaker. It turned out to be song lyrics and she pulled her setlist out and gave it to me. I thanked her for the set (and in my head - for rockin my world). I apologised for interuppting her just as she had finished but didn't want to do the groupie thing while she was hanging with her friends. I would've felt obliged to get a photo with all of them! Then as I power-walked off, heart racing, nervous kid-in-a-lolly-shop-smile adorning my face I realised something... that teenage schoolgirl groupie in me was still alive and just as flustered!

Keep an eye out for future solo gigs and the album to come later.
Check out the Magic Dirt site for updates.

Mid 90's BDO photo.

Adalita's setlist.

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