Last night was our first event for Sydney Festival 2013. It was one of the free weekend concerts they stage in downtown park The Domain. It’s always a great excuse to pack a picnic and stake a grassy spot with friends while hearing some great tunes. That’s just what we did.
It was busy by the time we arrived in the early evening and we had to get our earlier-arrived friends to come get us to get in an area reasonably close to the front. I’m always pleased to see so many people come out and take advantage of these free music shows.
The opening accompaniment to our sausage and cheese and wine was Sydney group Slowpoke Rodriguez. They played very mellow, groovy jazz. It was good background music.
The main event were three performers who could each do a fantastic show on their own: Angélique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright. These ladies met on the jazz/R&B/soul/world music circuits and found they really enjoyed performing together. So last night we got all three.
And they were great. They sang songs that influenced them, including many soul and R&B classic, Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”, Bob Dylan’s “Gotta serve Somebody” and a few of their own. They were soulful, enthusiastic, and charming. Their voices covered the whole range. Some songs were done solo, some as duets, some with all three.
It was perfect music for a gorgeous Saturday night in the park with a few thousand other festival fans. And it was a great start to the festival.