Norah Jones: Sydney show review
Last night saw the queen of adult contemporary Norah Jones play her first show in Australia in over seven years. It was a long time ago that we were all introduced to Jones, I presume you were in a similar way to which I was – via my parents, and the audience at the State Theatre reflected that. Oldies and young folk alike gathered to hear one of the industry’s finest voices, choc tops in hand – thanks to the State Theatre’s famous roaming ice cream service.
Opening up for Norah and her band, from Nashville, Tennessee, was Corey Chisel. Sounding somewhat like a young Jeff Bridges and looking a lot like Sydney’s own Jack Carty (checkered shirt, jeans, guitar, hat…) Chisel wowed the older crowd with his country twang and sweet southern charm, whilst simultaneously boring me and my guest into near slumber. Perhaps the theatre environment was a little too stagnant for a performance that might have been better suited to a festival celebrating the farmer’s harvest – but either way, Chisel did well to hold his own and delivered a solid open.
After a quick set change (enter paper cranes and fairy lights – pretty generic, really), Jones took to the stage. Joined by an organist, bass man, drummer and a white flare sporting lead guitarist from the 1970s, Norah warmed up the crowd with a few tracks from her latest record Little Broken Hearts. Opening with ‘Good Morning’ and ‘Say Goodbye’, it was pretty clear from the get go that the majority of people hadn’t kept up to scratch with the music Jones had released post 2002’s 26-million-copy selling Come Away With Me.
Working backwards from her latest release Jones played popular songs from older works including ‘Black’ from the Danger Mouse, Alessandro Alessandroni and Jack White collaboration Rome and other hits from The Fall and Not Too Late. With minimal banter in between songs the set focused mainly on how sublime Norah’s voice is, letting her familiar hits speak for her instead.
After a few more tunes from the new album, Jones brought the show home with tracks from Feels Like Home and Come Away With Me. Crowd favourites ‘Sunrise’ and Hank Williams cover ‘Cold Cold Heart’ evoked a blanketing sigh of delight from the entire audience.
Norah plays tonight and tomorrow night at the State Theatre before heading on to Melbourne on the 21st of Feb.