Adelaide Festival

Adelaide Festival Review: George Maple

George Maple presents a moody, atmospheric musical performance, powered by jaw-dropping vocals, plenty of smoke and mind-melting projections, at the 2021 Adelaide Festival.

In one of the most vocally and visually seductive performances that the Adelaide Festival may have ever seen, George Maple thrills her Adelaide audience.
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Presented by Adelaide Festival

Reviewed 12 March 2021

George Maple presents a moody, atmospheric musical performance, powered by jaw-dropping vocals, plenty of smoke and mind-melting projections, at the 2021 Adelaide Festival.

George Maple (a.k.a Jess Higgs), accompanied on stage by two talented back-up dancers, thrills the audience with hits like Buried, Fade and What So Not in what is a vocally and visually epic show. Maple’s variety of moody, techno tunes are blended with an overactive smoke machine and dramatic light design, which work in her favour, upping the mood from exciting to mind-meltingly mesmerising. This mood is enhanced by the digital projections that fill the screen behind the performers with cuts from Maple’s out-of-the-box, magazine editorial-like music video clips and trippy digital creations.  

Despite not chatting with the audience as frequently as other musical performers tend to do, when she does, her speaking voice is as silky and seductive as when she sings. Her communication with the audience is substituted with poetic monologues between various songs; a welcomed inclusion that presents the audience with a poetry-slam-like, artistic addition.

Maple dominates the stage in thigh-high, shiny leather boots paired with a black long-sleeve leotard, slicked back blonde hair and chunky, glittering choker and bracelets – she looks lethal, and it’s clear to see why she has graced spreads in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. These glamorous jewel accessories are emphasised against Maple’s all-black look as she slowly twists and winds her arms and hands around her body in snake-like moves – the jewels glittering fiercely in the stage lights.

Highlights of the show include The Hill, which provides a more vulnerable moment with the audience through Maple’s raw, poetic lyrics paired with a gentler voice, which feels much more subtle compared to her other songs – an enjoyable contrast within the performance. Towards the end Maple truly highlights her vocal talent, hitting high notes that will surely ring in the audience’s ear for another week. Following this more gentle and raw tune is the up-beat Talk Talk which gets everyone grooving in their seats, and some are even unable to resist the urge to stand up and dance.

The Australian singer powerfully closes the show with the well-known Hero, which is made all the more dramatic with excessive smoke combined with bright, blood-red lighting, creating silhouettes of the singer and her dancers against the dominating projection of a spinning sun. She leaves the audience wanting more, but there is no encore for the cheering Adelaide audience – Hero is the crowd’s send off.

George Maple’s incredibly smooth vocals combine with sultry dance moves and artistic and trippy digital projections, to give the Adelaide audience one of the sexiest performances the Adelaide Festival stage has ever seen.

Reviewed by Georgina Smerd

Rating out of 5: 4

One Night Only – Season Ended

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