[Live] Grace Jones

Grace Jones, Stereogamous
2 June 2015

Beneath a full moon, Carriageworks hosted the third and final Grace Jones performance for Vivid Sydney 2015. Fans trickled in from the cold to be welcomed by the energy of opening act Stereogamous. A black sheer curtain separated the DJ duo from the audience, so only the hazy silhouettes of Jonny Seymour and Paul Mac laughed and danced behind the decks, grooving to their own funky tunes.

The cloaked priestess Grace Jones walked up to a rise on the stage above her six-piece band. Lifting her hands to reveal a black corset and white tribal paint, the dance party commenced with ‘Nightclubbing’ as Jones’ voice cast its spell from behind a gold skull mask.

Her place as a pop culture icon is unquestionable. From her incredible presence alone, it’s evident how the 67-year-old Jamaican performer has become an inspiration and muse to artists of every medium throughout her career. From the moment she set foot onstage, there was nowhere else to look. Stalking across the stage to ‘I’ve Seen That Face Before’, Jones gave everyone a perfect Instagram shot of one of her dramatic poses.

From falling in love with ‘My Jamaican Guy’, to the relationship drama of ‘Private Life’, Jones told the story of love lost and gained to the soundtrack of heavy bass and disco anthems. Reminiscing on her love affair with Australia, she fell into Edith Piaf’s ‘La Vie En Rose’. At some points the high-energy reggae dancehall tracks were only held together by Jones’ charisma, as everything else nearly descended into chaos when a male pole dancer was invited to the stage, and Jones’ two backing singers waved flags of her face in the background.

The set highlights include a powerful rock performance of ‘Williams’ Blood’, an overexcited singalong to Roxy Music’s ‘Love Is The Drug’ and some of Jones’ own backstage banter. Changing costumes between every song, she entertained her audience with anecdotes and a spontaneous you-can’t-save-me version of ‘Amazing Grace’.

Later, Jones announced, “Just pretend you’re in New York,” as bubbles filled the stage for ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’. Inviting her audience to sing louder for her last night in Sydney, she didn’t care if you didn’t know the words – she just didn’t want to see your phone.   Jones’ signature hula hoop dancing to ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ will forever be entrancing and impressive. Returning for an encore of ‘Hurricane’ with a bellowing black cape, she brought her entire team onstage for a bow, before one last swoop of the Carriageworks stage for her final night at Vivid.

Tanydd Jaquet

Originally published on thebrag.com


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