Buckley: A State of Grace
Martha Wainwright, Willy Mason, Camille O’Sullivan, Gary Lucas, Steve Kilbey, Cold Specks, Gods And Monsters
27 September 2015
Almost 20 years to the day Jeff Buckley performed at the Enmore Theatre, A State Of Grace paid tribute to the legacy he and his father, Tim, left behind. And while the two voices the audience longed to hear did not appear onstage, their stand-ins were of impressive pedigree.
Six singers rotated throughout the set, each bringing one unique performance quality they shared with the Buckleys. Martha Wainwright orchestrated the power of ‘Lover, You Should’ve Come Over’, while Willy Mason spoke straight to the soul in a solo rendition of ‘Satisfied Mind’. Breathless from an electric performance of ‘Cruel’ (and nailing the signature Jeff Buckley wail), Camille O’Sullivan shared her musical love affair with the younger Buckley before transitioning into an intimate and vulnerable rendition of ‘Lilac Wine’.
The New York guitarist instrumental in Jeff Buckley’s early musical career, Gary Lucas, shared personal anecdotes and addressed controversies from his time with the “finest collaborator” he met by chance. Backed by the five-piece Gods And Monsters, the performers – rounded out by Steve Kilbey and Cold Specks – selected the crowd-pleasers from Tim Buckley’s nine studio albums, and Jeff Buckley’s only studio album.
The quality of the songwriting itself – which is what this celebration was all about – held the setlist together. Unfortunately, perhaps expecting too much from the songs we know too well, ‘Grace’ fell into chaos, and some of the cast didn’t match the emotional intensity their other songs demanded.
In contrast, the standout performances of the night were those that were stripped back to minimal instrumentation, and captured the spirit of the lyrics. Cascading into a hauntingly beautiful a capella version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’, Cold Specks’ unique interpretation shadowed what Jeff Buckley had created in his iconic cover.
Originally published thebrag.com.au