Playing your first overseas headline show must be incredibly nerve wracking for any musician. The fear that tickets won’t sell as you had hoped they would, or that the crowd who do go won’t fully appreciate or respond to the show, must be prevalent in the mind of the booker. These fears are probably only exacerbated when you only have a few singles and an EP available to the world so far. However, when two of these singles manage to garner massive worldwide radio play and praise from all sides, I think you can be fairly confident that any live shows you announce will do alright. This was the case when Australian singer/songwriter Dean Lewis arrived to play The Button Factory on Wednesday, 19 September 2019.
When Lewis released his debut single Waves in 2016 it signified the emergence of one of the most impressive singer/songwriters on the go at the moment. It resulted in a level of hype starting to grow around the Australian, and this hype was further built on by the release of his 2018 single, Be Alright. The success of Be Alright meant that Lewis was arriving in Ireland on the back of a wave of hype off the single.
From the moment Dean Lewis arrived out onto the stage and launched into his opening number, Half a Man, it was clear that the night was going to be special. By the time we had reached the second chorus, the audience had already began singing back every word, something that was greeted with a smile by the man on stage. This connection between performer and audience continued throughout the show and the respectful silence from the crowd during the performances made for a beautiful experience.
Throughout the show, Lewis alternated between performing solo on piano and with his guest guitarist “Big Al”, adding a new element to the show and keeping the performance fresh. It was an incredibly accomplished and assured performance for the first night of the UK and Irish Tour, and anyone who has the pleasure of seeing him on the rest of the tour is in for a treat.
No post could be written on this show without paying reference to the support act on the night, fellow Australian Jack Gray. Gray was the perfect warm up act for Lewis with his collection of beautifully put together songs on piano and acoustic guitar helping to whet the appetite for what was to come later. Watch this space.
Across the night Lewis looked truly moved by the reaction of the audience, it was thoroughly deserved. Come back soon, sir.
Last January this blog wrote a short piece on the career of Lewis, you can read it here.