Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend Ash Grunwald on Sunday but sent Danielle Stevens – Perth’s emerging Marketer, Graphic Designer and music lover along in my place to give us the rundown. Here’s what she had to say!
Michael Triscari kicked off with a keen and casual stage entrance, ready to perform before the lights even dimmed. Complete with his trucker hat on, he sat down and played smooth acoustic tunes to warm the crowd with. His opening song Dream made a quick impression. Triscari’s persona really shone through when he changed to electric guitar, offering upbeat notes of splendour. The sound was almost meditational, with deep connecting words that placed themselves in the innermost part of the heart’s centre. Triscari shared stories and inspirations about his life which added a relaxed vibe to the set. “It’s very intimate tonight,” he noted with a pleasured smile.
All of the singer/songwriter’s mellow, raw and honest sounds unified in harmony with each other. Sunshine and Be True to Yourself were among the crowd favourites, with heads bopping and fingers wildly tapping. Fisherman was an attention-grabber for the last number, classing itself as a beautiful upbeat tune. “Thanks so much for having me”, were the sincere words addressed to the mass audience as he finished.
Whistles were piercing as Ash Grunwald casually waltzed on stage next. “Ooooh, hello everybody”, he energetically burst out with accompanying Margaret River drummer Lee Cummings. Ash Grunwald’s first song Preacher Blues was smooth, a complex but beautiful mess of strings to open the show.
He knew how to work his fans with jokes and fun banter. Laughter stirred amongst the dirty blues filled air. Rich vocals combined with meaty rhythms were coupled together perfectly with the timed drumming beats. It was the utlimate Sunday sesh. The audience swayed and bounced their heads, setting sail on the musical journey Grunwald quickly put them on. But things got wilder the moment he announced his latest single Hammer, with fans coming alive. The soul raging song was a ‘must play’ from the set and got everyone belting out the lyrics, almost tearing out their own vocals chords with cheers.
Once the tempo changed, the floor really began to move from an earth-shattering stomping from fans. A vast sea of adrenaline filled the venue as Grunwald and Cummings thrashed things into overdrive. “This is what I did back in the old solo days”, chuckled the singer. The two went head-to-head with their instrumental talents for a ripping performance. With not much more than a quick breath, Grunwald plunged into Shake that Thing next and everyone went wild, matching their own dance styles to the song. Second Guess followed and didn’t fail to disappoint his thoroughly engaged audience.
The intense, quality sounds produced, along with Grunwald’s signature vocal wobble brought out just the right amount of buzz from the crowd. In fact, there were several occasions where his soul-strutting music took many to new heights, as they closed their eyes to appreciate it.
Mojo, a track off the Fish Out of Water album, offered meaty blues oomph. The singer joked to fans saying he ‘decided to add it to the setlist’, much to the audience’s appreciation and their desire for more fine strumming. Dolphin Song was just as thrilling, showcasing complex vocals at a million miles an hour. The crowd were in true ecstatic overdrive.
A fan shared their gratitude towards Grunwald by handing him a whisky, which he willingly raised to the audience before taking a hard earned swig. With intense excitement, he responded to a request for Going Out West. And what a request it was. The song packed a punch, cutting deep grooves into an invisible record that spun at lightning speed like a washing machine.
Hot Mumma Vibes carried through with the same faultless delivery – an awesome, second to none unleashing of a dirty blues beast. Oh, it was HOT! A truly perfect song to rock out too and by this point, the venue was steaming almost as much as the stage smoke. The roof of the Fly By Night Club felt like it was going to tear apart!
A cover of Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine was lovingly performed and encouraged the crowd into a magic, instantaneous harmony. The echoes back from fans offered a sense of nostalgia and the dance floor got a beating from the intense roar of clapping and stomping. The electrifying power was huge. Grunwald acknowledged Cummings and Triscari for their brilliance, before thanking the crowd for their support. But fans were hungry for more. A stampede of feet and yelling ‘encore’ got one last tune out of the star. Just be Yourself was a fantastic finish to a truly unforgettable show.
Ash Grunwald delivered a performance which can only be described as jewellery to the ears. The talented musician took people outside the venue, onto a supreme and energising journey. It was the ultimate Sunday night for the singer/songwriter to finish the final leg of the tour with his exclusive Perth show. Fans were highly impressed and it was clear they were already eager for him to return. Encore Ash!
Words and Images by Danielle Stevens.