There were high expectations going into the Kate Miller-Heidke show at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, after her recent performance at the Eurovision Song Contest.
This show did not disappoint, and included a radiant rendition of 'Zero Gravity', which probably topped her performance at Eurovision. Kate joked about how she had been made fun of for her costume, and the challenge of performing on giant stilts. Despite various comments on her involvement in the Israel contest, 'Zero Gravity' holds up as a dazzling piece of music that accurately captures the experience of rising out of depression, which she went through following the recent birth of her first child.
Kate’s vocals were as technically brilliant and emotive as ever. Her powerful operatic voice, combined with enthusiasm and talent from each of her accompanying musicians, made for an excellent show. There was an impressive use of lighting that added to the effect of each song, particularly in ‘You’ve Underestimated Me Dude’. Like many of her songs the lyrics to this are dripping with wit and sass.
The show was a mix of older crowd favourites, such as ‘Caught In The Crowd’ and ‘Can’t Shake It’, and some of her newer compositions from ‘Muriel’s Wedding the Musical’, and ‘The Rabbits’ – a five-star rated children’s musical she has written based on a John Marsden book.
She performed a stirring duet from 'The Rabbits' with fellow singer Jessica Hitchcock. Kate seems at home on a stage with a piano, accompanied by a band. Her unique style and satirical sense of humour added to the entertaining and fun vibes.
Kate was under a lot of pressure going into the Eurovision contest, with calls for artists to drop out due to it being held in Israel. Much of this came from the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, that aims to hold Israel accountable for its human rights abuses toward the Palestinian people. She decided to perform at Eurovision, stating that it would be in the spirit of the contest, using music to break down barriers between people, and made a comment calling boycott advocates ‘extremists,’ that angered Twitter followers.
Despite comments that sparked Twitter rage, Kate has no doubt overall made a positive difference with her music, which touches on themes of school bullying, feminism, and recently colonisation with her musical ‘The Rabbits’ in a humanistic way. Kate works well with the other musicians she performs with, as they have a fun interaction and create some wonderful harmonies.
She has a refined musical expression and soaring vocals that did not disappoint. It seems that her voice has grown and become stronger over time, and she has developed an effortless stage presence.