On a cool spring evening, precisely on Halloween, after a five-year absence, British sensation Sam Smith made a triumphant return to Melbourne.The atmosphere was electric, with the audience bathed in the eerie glow of red horns. The stage was set for an experience that transcended the boundaries of a typical concert, divided into three acts: love, beauty, and sex.
As the lights in the arena dimmed, the crowd waited with bated breath for Act 1: 'love'. The stage seemed to emanate warmth as Smith emerged from behind a breathtaking set piece.
A colossal golden goddess, sensuously reclining across the stage, demanded attention with her curves on full display. This seductive sculpture doubled as an interactive canvas, where Smith and the accompanying instrumentalists created a masterpiece, and dancers wove their magic alongside.
Draped in a bedazzled corset, white button-up shirt, and a short, black tie, Smith was a vision of celestial grace. Opening the show with 'Stay With Me', the audience roared in delight, realising they were about to experience an iconic song. Voices united as the crowd sang every word, transforming the arena into an ocean of shared emotion and connection.
Sam began with the heartbreaking ballads that had originally captured the world's heart, including 'I'm Not The Only One', 'Like I Can', and 'Too Good At Goodbyes'. These performances served as a poignant reminder of the emotional depth and vulnerability that has always been the cornerstone of Sam's music.
However, this tour was about more than revisiting the past. Smith had a powerful message to convey – one of freedom and self-expression.
Emerging in a white blouse, singing 'Perfect' and 'How Do You Sleep?', Sam's presence was suffused with a sense of liberation, an invitation to break free from life's constraints.
Six years ago, Smith penned 'Dancing With A Stranger', a song that originated from a place of heartbreak. Sharing the inspiration behind the song, the artist poured their heart into the performance, and the audience could feel the raw emotion in every note.
Act 2, 'beauty', saw the backup singers take centre stage, showcasing their remarkable vocal abilities. Smith encouraged the audience to participate by illuminating the arena with their flashlights, creating a mesmeriasing moment of unity. With LaDonna Young, Sam sang in harmonious unison, highlighting the breathtaking power of their voices.
Then adorned in a silver sequin gown, (which Smith humorously noted was "really f...ing heavy") the artist performed 'Kissing You'. The performance was a whirlwind of emotions, a reminder of the breathtaking beauty found in vulnerability and authenticity.
In the final act, 'sex', Smith donned an intriguing Halloween-inspired ensemble. Draped in a white sheet, crowned with thorns and bathed in seductive orange light, they delivered a tantalising performance of 'Gloria'.
The moment was audacious and unforgettable as Smith disrobed, revealing themselves in nothing but fishnets, thigh-high heels, and bedazzled nipple pasties, alluringly bathed in a captivating green light.
The show reached its climax as Smith closed with their hit song 'Unholy', an anthem of self-acceptance and embracing one's true self, leaving the audience electrified and empowered.
The Gloria tour was more than just a concert; it was a transformative experience, an odyssey through love, beauty, and unapologetic liberation.
Sam Smith's emotional depth, vulnerability, and extraordinary vocal talent were showcased in all their glory. This unforgettable performance left the audience not only entertained but profoundly moved, reminding us of all the profound power of music to unite, inspire, and liberate.
Sam Smith's return to Melbourne was an extraordinary night, a journey of self-discovery and empowerment that left an indelible mark on all in attendance.