Award winning whiskey smooth songwriter Mel Parsons has earnt an impressive following since releasing her first album “Over my Shoulder” in 2009. No stranger to touring worldwide over the past 13+ years, this home crowd show at the majestic Isaac Theatre Royal delivered a solid, rousing and well-paced performance with a touch of intimacy, humour and heart grabbing reality bombs.
The night began by showcasing her new album “Slow Burn” to an attentive and loyal crowd. Mel’s smoky vocals were expertly supported by her band featuring Jed Parsons on drums/back-up vocals, Josh Logan on lead guitar, piano & BV’s and Thomas Isbister providing bass and BV’s. The group was comfortable, connected and humbly brilliant.
Mel then enthusiastically introduced guest musician “Deep Water Creek “ (a.k.a Matthew Smith) to perform his new single “Bucket Spider” with Thomas Isbister. It was clear to see why she described herself as “obsessed with his voice” as Smith delivered husky vocals over playful guitar riffs and a driving double bass which served as a surprising and delicious palette cleanser, helping transition the show to the next level.
A new outfit, shift of gears and a change of dynamic bought a palpable energy which built to a galloping pace in “Bottom of the Street”. Mel weaved past hits from previous albums ‘Drylands’ and ‘Glass Heart’ along with new material seamlessly with her masterful band, sprinkled with humour and humility, creating a warm and electric vibe.
The start of the second set kicked off with a familiar favourite “Far Away” with enthusiastic crowd participation amongst flawless harmonies. As the show flowed through different tempo’s, the crowd was taken on a journey from the haunting “Tunnel Vision” to an unreleased track with special guests and seasoned masters Lauren Mitchell (of Terrible Sons) and Naomi Hnat on cello.
As Mel introduced her guests, she opened up to the reality of being a hard working creative mother of 4 as she listed off her children’s ages (1-9) and expressed her gratitude for a hometown gig. “Tiny Days” hit this working mother’s heart heavily with lyrics “Everyone’s crying, everyone’s bone tired, but I know these are the days that we were planning for, these tiny little days”. The mix of raw honesty with brilliant accompaniment induced goose bumps and damp eyes, giving a greater appreciation of just how hard Mel works to create art, juggle her family’s needs and meet the expectations of her fans.
Appropriately placed “Don’t Wait” delivered an uplifting message through the genetically blessed harmonic wizardry of Jed and Mel, complimented perfectly by the cello and double bass. The tempo then shifted with a personal favourite “Carry on” as the performance lifted and swayed on a journey through tight rhythm and simmering vocals.
The set finished with a track off ‘Slow Burn’ “Darkness”, highlighting Josh Logan’s ludicrous skill on lead guitar and versatility, transitioning into intimate piano and vocal encore performance of “Just ‘Cause You Don’t Want Me”. The night finished with the fun tongue-in-cheek “Tired of Being You” which cemented Mel’s reputation as a humble, raw, dynamic musical treasure and super-human mother.
Mel Parson’s unmissable Slow Burn tour continues with added dates:
Kerikeri – Friday 18 Nov – Turner Centre – BOOK TICKETS
Devonport – Saturday 19th Nov – The Vic Theatre BOOK TICKETS
Hamilton – Sunday 20th Nov – Nivara Lounge (new date) BOOK TICKETS
Nelson – Thursday 24 Nov – Theatre Royal – BOOK TICKETS
New Plymouth – Friday 25 Nov – 4th Wall Theatre – BOOK TICKETS
Dunedin – Saturday 26 Nov – Port Chalmers Town Hall – BOOK TICKETS
Queenstown – Friday 9th Dec – Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall – BOOK TICKETS
Wanaka – Saturday 10th Dec – Luggate Hall – BOOK TICKETS
Oamaru – Sunday 11th Dec – Grainstore Gallery – BOOK TICKETS