Francesca Gonzales Single Launch Review
When you’re dealt the cards of a silky high vibrato from Kid Heron, and then a filthy flood of a saxophone from Dhana Bhutan, it’s of no question how the opening sets at the Evelyn that night set the mood of the evening very early and easily. Both acts had the audience of the Evelyn that night set in a mist of fine talent that the audience breathed in, and had you nudging your mate in the stomach for a kind of “are you hearing this?!” kind of thing.
As the lights dimmed everyone scurried from the bar with their $2.50 pots to join the crowd for the highly anticipated Francesca Gonzales. The loose woozy synth sounds drove us in to a favoured track ‘Anywhere Boy’ as the dreamy vocals from Gonzo sunk us deep into her words.
While Gonzales moved through her set into her next song, the rich emotions were surfaced from the first note. The ballad ‘All I Could Do Was Cry’ had me feeling like a little kid who just flicked on the TV to watch Carols by Candlelight for the first time. It takes quite a voice to bring an entire room to a hush. It’d been a while since I had seen and personally felt raw and genuine emotion in a song and the young Ms Gonzales broke that record for me… as well as everyone else in the room that night. If you thought the vocals of Francesca couldn’t get anymore mesmeric, try adding a harmonising clarinet. That ‘outta play some games with your heart, tickle the strings and all.
Before playing ‘Better Person’ Gonzo devoted a quick apology to her roommates for drinking their beers and being sleepy. A darling performance of ‘Better Person’ as a vow to be a better person. Does it get any more poetic than that? ‘Memories’ added an electronic element to the performance. Hovering with swirling synths and a bouncing bass line aside Gonzales’ seductive legato-laden voice. As we were taken further through the song, Gonzo’s lyrics were constructing what gradually revealed itself as a cry out of previous absorbed love. With Francesca Gonzales, a state of silky haze is a common sensation. The performance of ‘Baby Give It Up’ was smoulderingly direct, dreamy yet demanding all at the same time. The voice of Francesca Gonzo flirted through the ears of the audience at the Evelyn that night. Teasing at the mere hum of a melody, to belting of the most demanding performance of a single woman’s diaphragm.
Just when you thought it was over. Gonzales takes the Evelyn by storm. Gonzales takes the audience at the Evelyn back to 2003 when we were first stunned by Yolanda Adams’ performance of ‘I Believe’ in the film Honey, to the second time which was at the Evelyn Hotel band room that night. Bringing up to stage a collection of people to create a choir. As the performers and newly appointed choir had taken their place, a sultry saxophone initiated the song and then Francesca, with her oozy indulgent vocals took over to steal our attention.
The voice of young Gonzo is not just of quality talent, but a weapon. Oh Francesca. Baby, you gave it up.