REVIEW + PICS: Mark Ronson + Friends | Hordern Pavilion, Sydney

Written By Meshell Webb on 07/31/2015

There were two types of people present on Tuesday night at the Horden Pavilion – those who had been to Splendour in the Grass and those who hadn’t. The divide was clear as day, with the former having glazed over eyeballs and the latter flouncing about with Captain Morgans cans in each hand. Here at the interns we fell into the category of “just arrived home and can barely move our limbs” but there’s not a thing in this world that would make us willingly miss the legend himself, Mark Ronson.

It’s difficult to write anything eloquent about the Uptown Special live show because it kind of leaves you speechless. With a plethora of special guests constantly bounding on and off stage, a killer horn section and enough visual delights to keep your head swimming, there really isn’t time to stop and think. It’s immediately apparent however that Ronson’s impeccable taste and genius floods straight into his performances and not just his production. The set covered all the big numbers of Uptown Special and also the favourites from Ronson’s back catalogue too.

It was heart-warming to see a bunch of incredibly talented Aussie musicians taking up some serious stage time, with the crowd going absolutely bat-shit insane upon Kevin Parker’s arrival. Leaving Los Feliz was the clear highlight of the evening where Ronson, Parker and Callinan (Kirin J) combined star power for a crazy guitar-off. Callinan ultimately stole the moment with his effortless onstage swagger and general bad-assery and it was all too easy to see why Ronson wanted him to play on the album so badly.

Special mention must also be made to the ever charismatic Andrew Wyatt (of Miike Snow fame) who delivered his vocals smooth as honey, much to the delight of the “woo” girls to my left.

In a tender moment Ronson dedicated their performance of Valerie to the late Amy Winehouse whilst also explaining that it just didn’t feel right to get anybody else to sing the song so opting instead to play out Winehouse’s original vocal recordings, it felt like a perfect ending but of course things weren’t over until the whole crowd was screaming along to current smash hit and unstoppable juggernaut, Uptown Funk. And when we could no longer funk things up, each guest and band member took to the front of the stage for a final bow while no doubt every audience member was thinking the same thing, “#Squadgoals”.

Photos By Brayden Smith