Floating on to stage like a sparkly, golden-hued gypsy fairy, Clare Bowen dazzled the Brisbane audience at The Tivoli Theatre (3 October) with her cosmic-imbued voice, cheeky grin and gorgeous, glowing heart.
The magic of her outfit aside, Clare needs nothing other than her voice to bring you to your knees or send you soaring to dizzying heights. And her joy at finally touring her debut album was palpable - as she bounced and buzzed about the stage like a sweetly-human Tinkerbell.
Her album was more than five years in the making, and over that time she has honed and perfected her performances.
Image © Lachlan Douglas
Aided of course by the strenuous learning ground of her 'Nashville' days, she stood proudly on stage gently chiding overly-enthusiastic audience members and dancing between her band members.
Supported by her kind-faced brother Timothy Bowen and the beautiful Imogen Clark, Clare's show was filled with everything you might expect from an artist who's solidifying her style and honing her storytelling.Click here to read our recent interview with Clare.
The focus was on the music, the stage was stripped bare and the lighting was simple spotlights. She stood surrounded by her band of merry men: her husband Brandon Robert Young, her brother, a keyboardist, drummer and another two musicians on guitars.
Opening with 'My Song', a huge hit from 'Nashville', the crowd roared their approval and she smiled. Moving through a selection of new songs from her album, interspersed with hits from the TV show, Clare embodied the music.
Standing on stage, she was vibrating with sound, channelling an energy that seems otherworldly, hearing a language that only she can understand but can communicate to others effortlessly.
There is a thought that happens when you watch a true musician - you think that you could do it just like that as well. And then of course, you try to sing and it sounds nothing like her.
There were numerous chatty conversations telling the audience about each song. There were heartfelt pleas for everyone to understand that they're not alone. And there was an offbeat silliness that made the show feel like you were in her lounge room at home, seeing the real version of Clare.
Image © Lachlan Douglas
Between songs, there were sweet kisses from her husband showing their love in action and quick looks between her and her parents who were sitting upstairs.
As she neared the end of her set, she performed a country music compilation that had the crowd moving and asked before starting: "Who loves country music?" (insert cheers from crowd). She replied: "Wonderful, so let's sing some more songs that nobody knows."
Comedian, elfin pixie performer, peaceful activist, poet, lover and animal rescuer - Clare is a unique creature that is achingly transparent about who she is and isn't afraid to let the world see.
Her voice can take you to places you didn't even know how to imagine, fill you with a white-hot hope and allow you to grieve softly when your heart hurts. Her talent and truth-telling allow you to step into the full expression of the human experience and she does it covered in gold dust, with bare feet and a shimmering beauty.
See her if you want to feel fully alive.