Towards the end of his set at the Trinity Sessions, Steve Poltz commented that no two of his gigs are ever the same, and you can see why. His performance a delightful journey that takes unexpected turns – even surprising the performer. But Poltz is such a natural on the stage that it all just seems right.
Poltz is is a born story-teller. At times it seems like he talks as much as he plays – which is all just part of the appeal. The Trinity gig ran almost an hour longer than planned – but it didn’t matter, as performer and audience were having such a great time of it.
The real charm of the show is that Poltz genuinely cares about his audience. There were improvised songs dedicated to members of the audience, including a touching instrumental dedicated to a cancer survivor in the front row and a hilarious looped jam to another fan later in the show. At other moments Poltz ran into the audience and had us singing along.
The Church of the Trinity was a wonderful space for a gig of this kind, providing excellent atmospherics and fine acoustics. Poltz clearly enjoyed the location, reminding him of his childhood days as an altar boy. It also suited the love and joy that exudes in his performance.
Poltz is terrific songwriter, treating us to many tracks from a new soon-to-be-released album along with some older favourites. There were highlights aplenty, including ‘Folksinger’, a new song asking God to swap us Donald Trump for Leonard Cohen (or Carrie Fisher or Tom Petty or Muhammad Ali etc), and a superb cover of Bob Dylan’s “Not Dark Yet” (a song that Poltz had only just taught himself to play). Seeing him play live and solo, you also realise how accomplished Poltz is on the guitar.
This is the nineteenth time Steve Poltz has toured Australia. During the gig he promised he would be back for a twentieth time and throw a great big party. That’s one party not to be missed.
The Trinity Sessions is presenting one more show this Fringe season, with details here.
Reviewed by Matthew Trainor