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1927 IN CONCERT AT THE ASTOR THEATRE – REVIEW

Photo Credit: Sheldon Ang

1927 in Concert, Astor Theatre, Nov 21 2020 Photos by: Sheldon Ang

If I could play, I’d play up a storm for you, A raging sea of passion, That you never knew, Every whispered sound, Would touch your heart, And maybe for a moment, I could be your favourite star, If I could do anything at all, If I could, I’d give you more, If I could do anything at all, I’d do it for you…

Like the perfect melody of a timeless concerto, beautifully crafted sentences bloom into lush lyricism and intimacy, immortalised as the ballad of our lifetime. For lovers who have entwined their souls with another, such lyrics heighten the butterfly’s in their stomach, and depending on one’s interpretation, they also deepen the scars of a broken heart…

For some among the capacity crowd tonight, they’ve been waiting for over thirty years to listen to the lyrical seduction of If I Could from the stage. Eric Weideman, the lead vocalist and sole original member of the iconic 1927, takes us onto the hot tub time machine and into 1988, as the crowd sing and dance under the nostalgic rain pouring from the roof of the Astor Theatre.

Note for note, Weideman – who now resides in Perth, nails every zealous moment, delivering the message with the intensity of someone who has wandered through the feathery sensation and the insecurities of loving someone excessively. The crowd of all ages appoint themselves as backup singers that became the biggest karaoke session for the night. 

The evening was sparked by Chris Murphy. While most support acts have been more of the  obligatory fillers to ramp up the crowd and keep the beer taps flowing, the singer songwriter who rose to national fame in 2006 after being placed fourth in Australian Idol was more than a teaser before the main act, as the crowd participated well into his set. 

Thirty minutes after the foreplay, 1927 graced the stage under the cover of darkness, and commenced the set list with Stop the World from the 2015 album Generation i, followed by Paper Aeroplane – their latest single and also the title of a three-track extended play, released in October 2019 – which also comprises of Shine and Lullaby for the Wandering Soul. Their latest releases were warmly embraced by the Perth crowd, thanks to the 1927 DNA that inhibits in those tracks.

That’s When I Think of You is the debut single by 1927, and for tonight it was the first sign of the looming nostalgic storm. Recorded for the 1988 debut album Ish – which peaked at number 1 on the ARIA Charts in 1989, this rock ballad remains as one of 1927’s most popular songs, even eclipsing If I could in the number of streams on Spotify.

Despite being blown away throughout the night, many had come to witness the “Big Four”. Compulsory Hero is one of the greatest songs ever produce, becoming the anthem for those who have journeyed through the jagged battles of life. Like a conductor of emotions, Weideman performed with heightened honesty and sincerity, drawing tears from some fans; perhaps it was a moment of solidarity and truth, considering how lucky we are to be Australians in the current climate

You’ll Never Know blew the roof of the iconic venue as the song picked up the tempo of the night again. The “Hero” bit is always challenging especially after thirty years of wear and tear of the vocal cords, but it wasn’t the case for Weideman, as he still managed to stretch his range as he did back in the late ‘80s.

Eric Weideman may be the only original member of 1927, but the crowd seemed to be oblivious over the constant of life, and after four albums spanning three decades, the spirit of 1927 from the 80’s still emanated from the stage.    

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