Updated: Apr 24
With COVID restrictions easing and Australia's music scene beginning to open up, live shows have become more important than ever for keeping the spirit of music alive. On Wednesday, 21 April 2021, Melbourne's rising singer-songwriter, San Joseph, graced the stage in Marrickville's The Great Club to a packed out crowd of music lovers desperate for the musician's silky voice and the promise of hearing unreleased material.
Joseph opened his set with 'Swing By', a strumming guitar anthem with sick beats. Even though it was only the first song, Joseph had already held the crowd in the palm of his hand. After continuing to entrance the audience with his second track, Joseph launched into an incredible cover of Harry Styles's 'Watermelon Sugar'. It was an excellent song choice as both Styles and Joseph have a similar youthful rustic tone to their voices.
Joseph has an undeniable charisma which made even the quiet moments of his set entertaining. "I'm going to move over here so please stick with me for the journey," Joseph said as he moved away from his guitar to grace the piano. The album version of his piano ballad is sure to be enthralling.
'The Girl Next Door' brought Joseph's guitar skills back as he passionately declared 'I fell in love with the girl next door / she's not the girl that she was before.' Sometimes, male singers hitting high notes can be a hit or miss. Joseph will never have to worry about this. 'The Girl Next Door' highlighted Joseph's ability to move between his mid and upper registers in a way that is all skill. Joseph won't ever need autotune (unless, of course, he chooses to do so out of artistic expression).
Despite his charisma, a bit of Joseph's nerves came through at the beginning of his set. As Mariah Carey once said "it takes a lot to get up ... on a stage and [perform] ... I don't care if you've been doing this for however long. It's not easy." However, it was great to see Joseph warm up during his "first gig as San Joseph in Sydney", and find his groove as he launched into 'How To Miss You'. It started off quietly as Joseph crooned 'the morning's awfully quiet / I'm hearing birds sing / I'm used to hearing myself think.' The musician's energy was kicked up a notch as he let his guitar chords take him away. Crouched on the floor of the stage, his fingers flew across his guitar's strings as the acoustics resonated throughout the room.
After joking with the crowd that his marketing manager doesn't respect him for dipping below 7000 followers on Instagram, Joseph closed out his set with a cover of Tate McCrae's 'You Broke Me First', his own 'Everything In The Room' and 'Blink Twice' (co-written with his friend Dylan Nash). Each song served as a reminder of Joseph's talent as a musician, and his skill as a lyricist who examines love and life with the keen eye of a seasoned artist. All the while, the crowd remained captivated by the guy-next-door relatability of Joseph. Yes, it was a show featuring a promising up-and-coming artist. But, it could also have been a late night hang out with your musical friend.
Though his set was short, Joseph used all the time he had to leave a lasting impression. With guitar skills like Ed Sheeran, along with a voice and lyricism that encapsulates the millennial experience, it's clear to see that Joseph's future in the Australian music industry will shine as bright as the spotlight on him that night.