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This was the Festival of Voices event that I was most looking forward to and I was not disappointed in the slightest.  “Blown away” does not even begin to describe how good Asta was in her acoustic set at Voicebox tonight.  Hobart‘s City Hall has been converted to an intimate performance space called “Voicebox” for the duration of the festival and I can only imagine how intimate it must have felt for Asta on stage, performing to not only friends and family, but a room full of new home-town fans who have come to love the powerful, soul-filled voice of the young female soloist.

This was the first time I had seen Asta perform live and her persona on stage was similar to that which I imagined it to be.  Cool, calm, collected with just the hint of awe and amazement at the reception she has received in the music world over the last 12 months, it was refreshing to be witness to an artist performing who was clearly thrilled to be putting on a show for a captive audience.  Asta remarked, “silly little me thinking everyone in the world was nice”, before her performance of “Escape” providing a context and a character that I just knew was there from listening to this song numerous times prior to tonight.  Not much needed to be said, but everything that was said just made me grin a little bit more and love the songs more than I did previously.

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One of the highlights of the show tonight was a song I had never heard before entitled “Oyster Shell”.  Asta played this one on an acoustic guitar that she informed us was made for her by her father, the song written about him.  This was one of those songs that struck a chord with me the first time I heard it, the lyrics were beautiful, real and relevant; I could imagine a younger (if that is possible) version of the artist depicted through her lyrics.

The show finished with her current single “I Need Answers”, which has been on high rotation in my home for the last three months, followed by “Joey”, which I had not heard previously but was the first song that she recorded in a studio.  Once finished, the stamping of feet and screaming from a Tassie crowd for a Tassie girl drew her back on stage to give us one final rendition of “My Heart is On Fire”, the first time we heard this in the show the ballad started as a softer acoustic; the second time Asta came out and belted out the song that resonated with the whole of Australia to catapult the young singer from winner of Triple J Unearthed High 2012, to #50 in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2012.

I just can not wait to hear more and for the release of a debut album.  Play again for us soon.

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