There is something about Clare Bowen that inspires devotion.
It could be her wildly authentic and unapologetic sense of self; or her cheeky grin, geeky laugh and beautiful elfin face; or it could simply be the sheer size of her glowing heart. And this is all before she even opens her mouth to sing.
Once she does, all that fades into the background and her soaring angelic vocals shine their way into your soul. At The Triffid (31 May), Bowen played the final show of her solo tour of Australia surrounded by family on stage and performing to family in the crowd.
On one side, she had her big, little brother Timothy James Bowen (who was also the support act) and on the other, her fiancé – singer-songwriter Brandon Robert Young. From start to finish, she charmed the crowd with her adorable banter, her inclusiveness, her gratitude and her vulnerability. By the final song, everyone was on the roller coaster with her.
Dressed in a sparkling, strapless dress with a sequinned headband, Bowen looked like a cross between Thumbelina and a princess. Her eyes were huge, her smile wide and her lungs belted out tunes like someone three times her size; and it was all wrapped up in humour, grace and goodness
She played a mix of songs from the four seasons of ‘Nashville’ plus a few of her own, her brother’s and Brandon’s creations. Considering the journey she has been on in the last couple of years, the songs are tellingly real, heartfelt and deep.
From hitting the heights as an actor in a popular television series to finding out her brother had cancer to a marriage proposal at the Grand Ole Opry, Bowen has experienced dizzying highs and devastating lows and it all came out through her music. She continuously thanked the fans (who were as rowdy and supportive a crowd as The Triffid has seen) and shared stories, moments and memories from her personal life to weave the night together.
Clare Bowen at The Triffid
From the moment she walked out on stage, the crowd was with her wholeheartedly. Singing along to songs, calling out words of support and encouragement and finally, to a huge wave of applause at the end of the final song, Bowen has fans who look like staying the distance, regardless if ‘Nashville’ goes on.
The most magical thing about Clare is how she becomes the music - her body vibrates, she becomes swallowed up by the sound and the emotion - and it was transfixing to watch. After hearing her, you remember what it means to be alive. It means to feel and to love, and that is a gift that she gives joyfully and with reverence. Like a true artist.