Emerging Darwin singer-songwriter Crystal Robins was given the honour of opening for Australian music legend Wendy Matthews at the Darwin Entertainment Centre (DEC) last night, taking the opportunity in both hands and running with it to produce a sublime solo performance that could well be career-defining.
The DEC’s Playhouse is a very big room and the stage can seem the size of a football field for any solo artist performing on it. With flawless guitar work, vocal effects and loop pedal, Crystal easily filled the space and made it her own for the entirety of her set, an appreciative audience letting her know that she had definitely entertained them. If she was nervous, she didn’t show it – indeed, Crystal displayed a level of professionalism that was not only obvious to punters but lauded by Ms Matthews herself, who was having a discreet listen backstage during the set.
It has been a busy and exciting few months for Crystal leading up to this event, made possible by her participation in the DEC’s musical performance development workshop ‘ESCULATE‘ where she was mentored by none other than Toni Childs, who now calls Australia home.
Crystal is one of those performers who manage to balance lyrical depth with musical virtuosity so that neither aspect outshines the other. Her words flow like water between her arpeggiated melodies, merging to form a river of deep reflection, her vocal power the tide that rises and falls over the song’s course. The increasing professionalism she displays is a salient feature of her performances. She is simply a pleasure to see live, from the first confident strum of her acoustic guitar to her final bow before exiting the stage.
Below are more images of Crystal’s DEC performance last night. A big thank you to the DEC for allowing us stage access, and in particular to Danny Christie for his invaluable assistance on the night.