Imagine your an American on vacation in South America and you hear that this band called Green Day is playing in a small pub to a crowd of about 200 people. That would be pretty fucking sweet, no? Well that's the type of thing Inky and I were witness to last night on 2nd Street in Philadelphia. We saw Missy Higgins play to a small, intimate room for a paltry 15 bucks. She is used to playing to crowds of thousands in big outdoor ampitheaters with tickets fetching $80 or $90. Her ardent fans are used to that too, and so last night was that much more enjoyable for some of the Aussies in the crowd.
Inky and I shared a table with an Aussie couple who said they saw Missy last year in their home town of Adeliade and were really far from the stage. Last night the four of us were no more than 20 feet from her, and we all got quite a treat. Missy is an amazing performer, weather she is in an acoustic setting like last night's show, or with a full band like when we saw her last year. She has an amazingly vibrant energy that comes across as 100% genuine and makes her shows more of an experience. She sings with feeling and heart, even though she sings these songs every night. Many other artists have a propensity to phone it in with the big hits. Not Missy, she seems at her best playing Scar, Steer, The Special Two and Ten Days, all of which she did last night.
She also has a wonderfully authentic personality, that defies being characterized as "music industry type." As Inky and I were having our dinner downstairs at Serrano, Missy just strolled in with a Whole Foods bag over her shoulder. Some people approached her to talk to her and she was very nice to them, never seeming fake. Inky and I didn't bother her, because we just don't want to be like that, but I'm sure if we had she would have been very nice to us, just like she was when we met her after her show in Atlantic City back in '05.
Her personality also comes flowing out in her interactions with the crowd while she is on stage. She takes time between each song to joke around and tell the back story's of some of her songs, like many artists do. But, she also seems to be having fun up there, almost in a childlike manner, which is reinforced by her youthful looks and impossibly tiny body. Last night she mentioned the American accent a few times, and then went ahead and sung her song "Don't Ever" using her finely crafted American. "don't eva say you'll try" became "Don't ever say" and we all got a great laugh out of it.
Inky and I go back and forth on weather we even want Missy to hit it big in the US. Part of me wishes that more American music fans would be exposed to her truly amazing gifts. The other part of me wants to horde her, and keep her just for the Ex-pat Aussies and those of us Yanks in the know. Then I hear "Big Girls Don't Cry" or "Umbrella" and I realize that I may have to share Missy for the good of music in America.
4. Ten Days
5. Going North
6. Where I Stood
7. Don’t Ever (sung in an American accent)
8. The Wrong Girl
10. This is How it Goes
11. Forgive Me
12. All For Believing
14. Special Two
17. Warm Whispers
18. The Sound of White