[Live Review] YUSUF (Sydney)

Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Monday December 4, 2017 :

Lights down, and we are welcomed to the streets that Yusuf grew up on. Well, a set that looks like it.

Yusuf enters the stage with his lead guitarist and goes straight into ‘Moonshadow’. This is the first Cat Stevens song I’d ever heard about 15 years ago thanks to my beautiful nan, R I Possible. Once I cleared what I can only assume was sweat from my eyes, my cheers merged with the rest of the crowd.

Yusuf is not only a musician but an artist, and his strange yet fun drawings were displayed through out the show.

Not one to keep it simple, Yusuf and band blasted through hits old and new, with some of his classic numbers being reworked. ‘(Remember the days of the) Old Schoolyard’ transformed into a reggae jam, while ‘Another Saturday Night’ emerged as a ’50s rock style. The reworked ‘Matthew and Son’ brought a heaviness and energy to a song that is 50 years old.

Continuing on with his story telling, the London street background drops down to reveal a beautifully built set that replicates Cat’s old attic. He played us a Beatles song from his record player and charmed us with that British wit. Speaking of the Beatles, his rendition of ‘Here Comes The Sun’ after his story of being saved by God was beyond beautiful.

Yusuf was not afraid to divulge his life story from struggling artist to ruining his body with drugs to almost drowning and finding god.

From deep cuts to new tunes, Yusuf covered it all and then some. The hits are as relevant and fresh today as they were when they were released. Yusuf spoke of love and peace and acceptance, and for those two hours we were all one enjoying these songs that have not only shaped us but shaped the world.

Reviewer : Sean Degan
Photograph : Supplied

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