Friday, October 17, 2008

Patti Smith at the Sydney Opera House

Sydney Harbour is one of my favourite subjects to paint, & I have painted the opera house from many aspects in a range of its differing moods. The sails of the yachts on the harbour are mere appetisers for those that crown the Opera House.



It is a great icon to paint, as it yells Sydney whilst contrasting its luminous light against the deep ultramarine blue of the harbour.
A few days ago I changed my usual viewpoint & went inside to see another icon - Patti Smith play in the concert hall.
Over the years I have heard Patti's music. It was OK but apart from a few songs it never really grabbed me. So I wondered about the legendary status & went along to see who the press have entitled"godmother of punk" - with my expectations subdued.

BUT I quickly found out this was because I hadn't seen her perform live before. Patti the legend was there and she blew the roof off the opera house. It was a magnificent live performance full of energy, character, emotion & passion.
At times Patti wandered into meet the audience, & on others she left the stage to dance with them whilst her superbly musically endowed band played on. The audience just loved it.
What I saw was one of those few artists who can elevate their live performances into an artform. A recording can't capture anything like the electricity she generates on stage. My expectations were very pleasantly blown sky high.
Bernard Zuels review in the Sydney Morning Herald says it all & can be seen here

Click here to view transcripts and podcasts of her interview on the ABC 7.30 report

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