At Sam Fischer’s one-off headline gig at The Vanguard in Sydney’s Newtown, you really got the sense that he is going to remember this show.
In all likelihood, it will be the show he’ll refer to in decades to come as the moment he came full circle and knew this is what he was supposed to be doing, with years of rejection, upheaval and uncertainty finally behind him.
It was also the moment Fischer revealed his debut album, out later this year, would be called “I Love You, Please Don’t Hate Me”.
The gravity of the gig was absolutely not lost on Fischer, who confessed the show had been transformative for him.
“This is so fucking special. This is my first ever headline gig in Sydney,” he said to huge applause.
In between belting out hits and soon-to-be hits including “Hopeless Romantic”, “This City”, “Simple” and “High on You” – his collaboration with Amy Shark – he revealed the intense trauma and triumph he’s experienced in recent years.
“L.A. [Los Angeles] is a bitch man,” he told the crowd. “I’ve been signed and I’ve been dropped. I’ve been abused in the music industry… Turns out, through lots of therapy, I wasn’t the issue, so snaps to therapy.”
Despite the heaviness of the revelations and disclosures, the gig was truly joyful.
A highlight and crowd favourite – which almost saw Fischer lose his immaculate vocal control – was when he performed his song “What Other People Say”, which was a duet with U.S. superstar Demi Lovato.
It became like a game of charades as Fischer performed the song solo, and used various actions, inflections and gags to indicate he was now enacting Lovato’s parts.
Select fans were also treated to live photos and videos as Fisher took their phones on stage to record the moment, with one even getting their daily BeReal from the performer.
A more reserved and reflective moment came during his devastating and haunting performance of “You Don’t Call Me Anymore”.
The mood of everyone in the room, from record label and social media execs, to friends, family and fans, was captured by a guest in the crowd who was unfamiliar with Fischer, having come along as a plus one.
“How is this guy not bigger? Shouldn’t everyone know him?,” they posited.
When he is bigger and everyone does know him, Fischer’s gig at The Vanguard will be the one that those special few in the crowd will be able to say “I was there when…”
I Love You, Please Don’t Hate Me by Sam Fischer will be out later this year via Sony Music.