Review: Matt Corby and Megan Bonnell @ The Phoenix – Toronto

Sometimes, it is better to come second.
At least, that rings true for Matt Corby. In 2007, Corby (then 16 year old) was the runner up in Australian Idol. Since then, he has released 5 EPs with multiplatinum singles ‘Resolution’ and ‘ Brother’. As for the winner, does the name Natalie Gauci ring a bell? No? Exactly.

Corby made his Toronto debut at Phoenix this past Friday night. Below are the observations from the evening.

Bonnell’s hair was on fleek

Opener Megan Bonnel was too mellow for a crowd that was ready to jump and shout and get it all out. The Toronto singer-songwriter has impressed me before in intimate venues such as The Drake. To her credit, she soldiered on performing for the alert ears in the front row. At some point, I also overheard a group of women discussing how to get Bonnell’s curls. I guess she made an impression, for both her songs and her hair.

Corby’s got soul

Matt’s 12 songs set was his entire discography: 5 EPs and few of new tracks from Telluric, debut full length being released in March. While more famous for his older singles ‘Resolution’ and ‘Brother’, Corby’s bluesy influences were more evident from new singles ‘Monday‘ and ‘Sooth Lady Wine’. That man ain’t just your atypical somber voice layered over guitar strums. Corby has way more soul than that!

Man of many instruments

Corby’s biggest X-factor (pardon my reality show pun) is the voice. He can maneuver through different ranges with unrealistic ease, while tugging at your heart strings and manipulating your emotions. But the musical brilliance extended to other instruments as well. He crushed a bluesy guitar solo for ‘What the Devil has made’ and rocked a jazz flute for ‘Trick of the Light’. Don’t even get me started on his looping capabilities during opener ‘Monday’.

Toronto, BEHAVE!

Given it was a Friday night combined with Corby’s heartthrob factor, there was a certain ‘Girls night out’ vibe at The Phoenix. That meant the crowd was mostly groups of semi-drunk girls wooing at the wrong moments. The consistent chatter during the non-single songs also took away from the intimacy of the evening. Toronto, you gotta learn to behave during the quieter shows!


Follow updates from Matt Corby here.

Review by Nilabjo Banerjee (@nilabjo)

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