Live Review: Angie McMahon – Sydney Opera House (12.05.24)

Angie McMahon

After releasing one of, if not, the best albums of 2023, Angie McMahon returned to Sydney to play the first stop on her Making It Through national tour. Selling out the Sydney Opera House in the process, McMahon greeted the Sydney crowd as old friends by welcoming them into her world and showcasing the stories that made up her most recent album Light, Dark, Light Again.

Entering the stage just after 9pm on a chilly Sunday evening, everything felt right in the concert hall as McMahon welcomed the crowd, acknowledged Country and set things in motion for what would prove to be 90 minutes of sadness, happiness, laughs, affirmations and bloody strong vocals. Opening the night with the solemn “Fireball Whiskey”, it was a calm and cautious beginning to a set that traversed both her albums and a couple surprise covers. Following up with the haunting and swirling “Saturn Returning” (the song my girlfriend said she’d likely cry to when discussing what we wanted to hear on our trip into the show), Angie and her band got everything off on the right foot, making you begin to realise we were about to witness something pretty special.

The dramatic and building “Fish” was next up, as the aura of the venue was very quickly matched entirely by what was happening on stage. Taking the time to note how daunting and scared she was about playing the venue, you wouldn’t have noticed it at all as everything sounded great. Commencing the song with a pre-amble about her depression and how sitting in the grass and looking at the birds managed to fix some of it, “Mother Nature” was angsty but appreciated. Touching on using in-ear monitors for the first time, the band moved into “Divine Fault Line”, with the harmonies of the pre-chorus taking the four minutes of the song to the next level. Noting the love and support she has received from her parents, “Soon”, from her debut album Salt, made a welcomed appearance, before the night really kicked it up a notch.

What proceeded “Soon” was probably the best four-song run of the night, with “Keeping Time” (commenced after a seamless transition of introducing the band), “Slow Mover” (a clear crowd favourite), “Letting Go” (the first song of the night to receive a standing ovation) and “I Am Already Enough” all getting a run and being received incredibly well. As the song I wanted to hear the most on the night, “I Am Already Enough”, with its infallible and sentiment enriched meaning, was a personal highlight and something I really hope everyone in the Opera House really connected with during the show.

Taking the time to play her recent Like A Version cover of Australian Crawl’s “Reckless”, followed by “Black Eye” and “Serotonin” (featuring a Nintendo DS on drums), Angie stayed on stage to play a solo version of Bob Dylan’s “Blown’ In The Wind” while the rest of the band took a well deserved, albeit brief break. Re-entering the stage for the closing four songs of the night, the racing, emphatic, supernova inducing “Exploding” was evidently one of the peaks of the night, as the crowd absolutely frothed it from start to finish, ending with a rousing round of applause.

Rounding out the night with the live debut of an unreleased track (“Just Like North”) and “Making It Through”, Angie thanked the crowd one last time before taking things back to 2019 and completely crushing every carb loving person’s favourite song “Pasta” (‘someone tagged me in a post earlier that simply said ‘getting ready for Angie McMahon’ and all it was was five bowls of pasta’).

For an artist who writes for the most part from sad experiences that foster opportunities for growth, the set was overwhelmingly heartwarming and ridiculously wholesome. As a fan who has followed her since before she released “Slow Mover”, this show was entirely fulfilling. If this is how I felt after the show, I have no doubt Angie McMahon knew she crushed this show and rightfully deserves her place as an artist to sell out the Sydney Opera House.


Angie McMahon continues her Making It Through tour over the coming weeks. For more information, head here.

This reviewer attended the show on Sunday 12 May.

Header image credit: Bridgette Winten