Solange's subtle, artful, celebratory soul brought magic to the Sydney Opera House

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Solange's performance piece proves to be a restorative experience

There’s only so much I can tell you about Solange’s first show at the Sydney Opera House as a part of Vivid LIVE on Friday night.

I can tell you that she was flawless; her voice, dance moves and thoughtful, heartfelt and engaging presence worked in perfect tandem - polished, but real. That she wandered into the crowd, singing and dancing for (and at) individual audience members while the packed house lost their minds at her every move.

I can tell you that her backing singers and band were note perfect and as important a part of the show’s choreography as the singer herself.

I can tell you that a massive horn section was used judiciously, adding colour but never taking the spotlight away from their leader. And that she played many of the highlights from her 2016 masterpiece A Seat At The Table (Cranes in the Sky’, ‘F.U.B.U’, ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’) as well as some of her finest earlier gems - (’T.O.N.Y.’, ‘Losing You’).

I can tell you that the finale, a simple but epic final piece of choreography involving literally dozens of participants, was an unexpected crescendo that Solange mercifully didn’t try and best with an encore.

And I can tell you that it was an artful, subtle, considered and perfectly executed piece of live art.

But I can’t tell you why, in a week where so many people seemed fed up with the universe, everyone left the theatre beaming. Why people literally danced, clapped and sang in the foyers after the show, hollering with unbridled joy at what they’d witnessed and how it made them feel.

I can’t sufficiently explain why this show - a show Knowles perfectly summed up as a performance piece, rather than an attempt to entertain - gave us life. Why it felt as restorative as it did celebratory.

All I know is that there was magic in that room. Go and get some for yourself if you can.

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