Dunstan Playhouse, Sat 18 Jun.
Ms. Lisa Fischer walks on stage and even before she sings a note her warm and engaging spirit is evident, as she chuckles about the cheesy song that has been playing to remind people to turn off their mobile phones. Lisa’s connection with her audience has begun, and she never lets go of this throughout the performance.
The opening song begins with a whisper, but soon we are witness to an impressive display of what the voice can do, soaring one moment, diving deep the next, dripping with emotion then light as a feather. Using two microphones, one a standing mic and one hand held, she moves deftly between them to get different sonic effects.
Joining her on stage are three superb musicians – Jean-Christophe Maillard on guitars and keyboards, Thierry Arpino on drums and Aidan Carroll on bass. Each is given ample opportunity to demonstrate his individual virtuosity, but as a band they provide a perfect foil for their singer, always allowing her complete control. They are clearly having a lot of fun.
The songs have been exquisitely arranged. A song that starts out as the instantly recognisable Jumping Jack Flash is soon going on a musical journey through the Middle East and beyond. As musical director JC Maillard has cleverly injected so many different styles of music into these songs it is tempting to suggest that this band would create a storm at WOMADelaide.
When Lisa needs to remind you she can rock out, there are songs like Led Zeppelin’s Rock And Roll calling on the power in her voice. When she wants to inject a little fun there is the swagger of Robert Palmer’s Addicted To Love. She can squeeze the emotion out of How Can I Ease The Pain then lead the audience through a playful call and response riffing on the word ‘freedom’.
As an encore she returns to the Rolling Stones for an absolutely haunting rendition of Wild Horses. Again, the arrangement by Grand Baton is mesmerising.
Tonight has been a masterclass in musical technique and emotional exploration. These are people at the top of their game. All power to Ms. Lisa Fischer And Grand Baton.
Ms. Lisa Fischer And Grand Baton continues at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, at various times until Sun 19 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Image courtesy of Edward Gadjel
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