Photos by Prudence Upton
There’s nothing like a warm, familiar voice filling the cold space of a dark windy night.
The heavily backlit Mazzy Star did just that at the Sydney Opera House for the final nights of Vivid Live. Appearing as a glorious silhouette, frontwoman Hope Sandoval’s physical presence took a back seat to her incredibly impeccable voice, floating through the theatre like a memory or whisper from long ago.
At times I was at a campfire, others, walking remote streets home. I’ve been to very few gigs where the visual performance element was so minimal, so I slid back into my seat and embraced it. To be in the presence of a 90s icon still at the top of their game is a rare treat in itself. They say that smell is the most compelling element for memory, and that may be so, but on that night with the lights low and nostalgia in the air, I thank Hope Sandoval for propelling us back to the days of our youth with her music.
I am a massive sucker for country music and the guitar twang and seamless arrangements lent themselves gloriously to the performance, as I slid further down memory lane. Mazzy Star’s performance at the Opera House was their first in Australia, and in my humble opinion, superseded any of their studio recordings—and that’s saying something. Special mention to Gareth Liddiard who played solo support, I could listen to him all year.