A packed house at Mercury Lounge waited with baited breath for Australia’s Meg Mac to take the stage this past Monday night. The audience, already electrified with anticipation, was silenced as thunderous applause rippled throughout the room. The young songstress made her way to the stage and glided into position. A smile crossed her ruby red lips as her tentative voice addressed the fans. “Hi, I’m Meg Mac,” she said delicately and then proceeded to blow the roof off the joint.
Hot off her recent tour with D’Angelo, Meg Mac’s first solo show in NYC was an unmitigated success. Her vocal power, emanating from someplace deep within her soul, belies her small stature and girl-next-door banter in-between songs. Over the course of the evening’s performance, Meg Mac transformed herself from a shrinking violet to a golden goddess as she called upon the muses to channel through her a call to embrace the beauty in life as well as the heartbreak. The crowd, with hands raised high in the air in praise of her soaring vocals, were spellbound by the simplicity of someone performing for them without any inhibitions or reservations.
Songs like, “Turning” and “Every Lie” laid bare the singer’s emotions for all to see. As she closed her eyes when the music swelled, so did her fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the world seen behind her eyelids. Meg told P&W in an interview in June that “sometimes you don’t realize it when you’re writing but then you realize you just said how you really feel about something.” Music is cathartic for the girl from Down Under who feels most creative and at peace when sitting at the piano in her parent’s house in Sydney; a no-frills environment that has allowed the singer to evolve into a force to be reckoned with. She dismissed the band at one point mid-show so she could share an intimate moment with her fans via a looping machine and her velvet voice. It was as straightforward a message as she could present to any doubters remaining in the room: she’s the real deal, so you better listen.
The final tune was a rousing version of “Roll Up Your Sleeves” which Meg confessed to the audience is the first song she ever wrote. Clearly one of her favorites, she belted each phrase with such conviction that those listening began to push forward towards the stage hoping to bleed every drop of emotion from her notes before the show came to an end. Which it did, less than an hour after it began, leaving the crowd stunned in a hushed silence and roaming the room in dazed groups as if they couldn’t quite believe they had just experienced near perfection for a measly fifteen bucks.
Article: Hannah Soule
Photos: Omar Kasrawi + Hannah Soule