Joanna Newsom @ The Famous Spiegeltent Sydney Festival


What a day! Woke up this morning to have a look at my Joanna Newsom concert tickets to see what time the concert is, and behold, it was yesterday! D’Oh. I had bought tickets for the 26th and its the 27th!!!! IDIOT! I called Ticketek. Tickets are sold out, but there was a kiosk in Martin Place that sold tickets for the Sydney Festival concert. So I took the car and drove down, only to find that even the extra tickets were out. I called moshtix, office closed. I went to Fish Records only to be told once more that the tickets are sold out.

But luckily idiocy is sometimes paired with stubbornness. Elaine and I went down to try to beg someone to give us tickets. The kiosk was closed so we went to The Famous Spiegeltent to see if there is anyone at the box office. Got there at 4:30 but they were due to open at 6:30. Two people were waiting for Joanna Newsom tickets too. So we waited and waited and finally, at 6:00, the box office opened, and guess what? EXTRA TICKETS ARE ON SALE!!! woohooo!! Quickly bought two tickets and stood in the queue to get in.

As we were waiting, Joanna passed by to enter the tent. What a beautiful young girl. She had an ethereal lightness that could only by described by Tolkien. She soon went into The Famous Spiegeltent. As we were waiting the sound check started. I was so happy when i heard the tune of “Sprout and the Bean” streaming out.

We were 4th in line in a queue of 350!!! So we had any seat to choose from. Obviously we went to the front row, 4th seat right of center. Joanna would be sitting right in front of us! Man was that lucky! I would have paid twice for the ticket to be sitting there. Her harp was waiting on stage, so we sneakily took a photo of it . It was a beautiful wooden harp, light in colour and engraved with simple designs.

Now to move on to the real topic. Joanna Newsom LIVE. She walked onto the stage with a glass of red wine, smiling and wearing a cute and relaxed red dress. She seemed to be very shy and quiet. She didnt talk too much during her performance, except for mentioning that she had had too much champagne when she was on a boat they day before watching the Australia Day festivities. The room thundered with clapping. It seemed that the room was full of fans, but every single one of them seemed to be different from the next. People of all ages and looks were getting ready to be amazed! And they were amazed!

The songs were in this order if i remember correctly:

  1. Bridges and Balloons
  2. Sprout and the Bean
  3. Emily
  4. This side of the blue
  5. Only Skin
  6. The book of right on
  7. Ca’ the Yowes (Scottish song)
  8. Sawdust and Diamonds
  9. Sadie
  10. Clam Crab Cockle Cowrie

So hey, she sang every single song i badly wanted to hear. She might have read my blog :)

My God what a night!!! Her voice live was even more touching and encompassing than in her albums. I wish I had recorded that concert! The way she grabbed that harp that resonated so close to her body made it sound like the music was coming out of her. I can’t get over it! I think this was the best concert Elaine and I have been to! (Followed closely by Roger Waters)

When she walked out, the tent kept on clapping and stomping their feet for around 5 minutes, hoping for her to come back for an encore. Nothing would have stopped them, except the stupid announcer saying that that was all they had for us… I’m not sure why she didnt come back out for an encore. It was either that she was too tired, or because the second act was behind time and she could not have fit in another song. In any case, I am still aching for an encore.

Next time she comes, I’m going to every single concert she is performing.

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