Published on theMusic.com.au, May 2018
Pic by Dana Weeks
Ohio-born acoustic artist Joshua Radin was quick to make Rosemount Hotel his own as he eased into his unique brand of “whisker rock” like someone getting acquainted with old friends.
The troubadour’s voice was as smooth as the whiskey soda he was sipping throughout the set; every charming imperfection and emotion was amplified as punters stood in silence and hung off every word. It was only when the venue’s front door opened that distant traffic noises and murmurs from the beer garden broke that spell.
Radin’s calm, calculated tone between songs was enchanting, as he recalled past heartbreaks and regret with painful honesty, before diving headfirst into songs that had a real emotional connection. He wasn’t holding back and it paid off big time for those in attendance.
Melodies on fan favourite such as Winter and You’ve Got Growin’ Up To Do had a more free-flowing nature to them, and by slowing everything down slightly, even happier songs such as I’d Rather Be With You and Vegetable Car had heartbreaking undertones.
He also showcased an impressive vocal diversity, jumping from his trademark whisper to soaring melodies throughout the set, but it wasn’t until opening act Cary Brothers joined Radin onstage for an upbeat cover of Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, Its All Right did the headline act really give it his all, stepping back from the microphone and belting out the last chorus with grit, proving he could easily front a rock band.
When Radin is on stage, everyone’s made to feel like part of something; a sentiment echoed with the clapping and stomping along to the chorus Belong – one of many highlights from a memorable set.
Watching Joshua Radin play to a relatively small crowd is a perplexing experience, given the sheer charm and raw talent that he extrudes, and while it would be nice to see him fronting arenas like he deserves, there’s some special about enjoying one of the world’s best-kept secrets in a such an intimate atmosphere.