Gig Review: Albert Hammond Jr | The Corner | Melbourne | 25.7.18

Thursday, July 26, 2018

(Photo - Kristy Smolcic)

Singer-songwriter, producer and guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. epitomises everything you could possibly want from a live show and so much more. If you’re expecting to see Hammond Jr. standing around idling whilst playing the guitar, you’re mistaken — be prepared to see a true entertainer who pours every ounce of his being to ensure that everyone from the front to the back is having the best night of their lives.

Hammond Jr. made his way on-stage wearing a gold-ish suit to a rousing reception from the audience, launching straight into ‘Holiday’ from his debut solo album Yours To Keep (which was released in 2006). From the moment the show commenced, it was apparent that Hammond Jr. was in-store for an exciting and exuberant performance — the crowd couldn’t help but feel absorbed by his buzzing energy.

Hammond Jr’s setlist was a masterful mix of all his four albums — including Yours to Keep, ¿Cómo Te Llama?, Momentary Masters and his most recent release Francis Trouble. Each song was organised in a way that maintained the vibrancy in the room, leaving little time for a reprieve.

(Photo - Kristy Smolcic)
Engaging with a crowd is something Hammond Jr. knows how to do extremely well. Throughout the entire show, he interacted with fans in an inviting fashion. Before launching into ‘Strangers’ from his latest album, he shared a tidbit that he had a mini freak-out after a pre-show nap, awakening to convince himself that he missed a flight. During ‘Side Boob’ from Momentary Masters, Hammond Jr. launched himself into the crowd with his microphone and cord and performed the track amongst the frenzied crowd, who were in disbelief that he was in reaching distance. After the track, he crawled his way back onto the stage, tangled up in his microphone cord. That wasn’t the only time he connected with the crowd, throughout every song, Hammond Jr. was successful in making fans feel like they were at his own house party — whether it was him jumping in the pit, crawling all over the stage, dancing, climbing on the drum-kit, or swinging off of the overhead lights. Despite his frequent and feverish on-stage movements, his vocals remained refined and polished.

Before departing the stage for the first time, he slowed it down with ‘Blue Skies’ from his debut album. With him and just his guitar, be showcased his impressive vocals for all to hear. He then turned the dial up again with ‘In Transit’.

For his encore, he emerged from the side-of-stage door, sending concert-goers into shock and made his way back onto the stage through the mosh pit, with fans either eagerly reaching out to touch him or standing back stunned about how he was so close to them. He finished up his set with ‘Postal Blowfish’, ‘Tea For Two’ and ‘Muted Beatings’

Albert Hammond Jr. is a true performer — he set Corner Hotel alight with his invigorating on-stage energy and his love for performing was truly infectious for everyone who was lucky to witness him in action.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic