There’s only one word to describe a Xavier Rudd show: organic. The barefoot maestro has returned with a new album, Koonyum Sun and a new band, Izintaba.
The first thing that is apparent is his positiveness, despite what has been a rough period in his life (he recently split with his wife). It seems the power of his own music is helping heal his heart and soul. The inclusion of the band add depth and colour to the songs and revitalize older tracks like ‘Messages’ and ‘Let It Be’. The new album has also affected his live performance. Xavier is like a hyperactive child on stage dancing around with reckless abandon. During the intro for ‘Time To Smile’ he invited some people from the audience to dance with him plus friends and family members creating a beautiful moment sharing love and harmony with the packed Enmore crowd.
The new band share Xavier’s passion for the music. I don’t think the smile ever came off bassist Tio Moloantoa’s face. The positive energy created on stage bled through to the audience. We sang, we danced and two hours flew by in a blink of an eye. The appreciative Xavier Rudd thanked the Sydney crowd at the end of almost every song and he and Izintaba ended the night paying tribute to native South Africans and thanking the original inhabitants of our land.
It’s good to see Xavier Rudd back enjoying music and performing again. His previous album Darker Shades Of Blue was a more sombre, darker affair which reflected that point in his life, and he has clearly moved on from that phase (in fact he didn’t play a single track off the album). Seeing Xavier Rudd live is a beautiful musical experience and I suggest everyone should experience it.