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Sam Smith teased details of their new album Wednesday, during an intimate private concert in South Australia.
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On a balmy summer evening in Adelaide, the singer played an hour-long acoustic set sponsored by the South Australia Tourism Commission. The gig came in advance of Smith’s new album, Gloria, due out later this month, and also served to promote Smith’s 2023 Australian tour, which kicks off in Adelaide in October.
In front of 300 guests, which included local influencers, media personalities and Australian celebrities like former Bachelor contestants and soccer star Josh Cavallo, Smith ran through a list of their greatest hits, including “Too Good at Goodbyes,” “How Do You Sleep?” and “Dancing With a Stranger” (with the audience dutifully singing Normani’s verse). Smith also covered Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” and delivered a haunting rendition of Des’ree’s “Kissing You,” made famous from the 1996 Romeo and Juliet soundtrack.
Introducing their 2022 single, “Love Me More,” Smith wrote that they wanted to release the empowerment anthem as the lead single from Gloria as a way to bridge the gap between their old music and new music. “I’ve had three albums of headache and self indulgence,” Smith told the crowd, “and while every day is still a struggle sometimes, I’m feeling a little bit happier now.”
— Tim Chan (@mrtimchan) January 11, 2023
The rapt audience began cheering as Smith ended on a high note: “Now,” they said, “we’re ready to make some slutty music.”
With that, the singer launched into a moody rendition of “Unholy,” their global number-one hit, which is still atop the charts in Australia.
Smith’s concert was held in front of the d’Arenberg Cube, a rubik-like gallery and event space located at the d’Arenberg vineyards, in Adelaide’s famous McLaren Vale wine region. Presented by South Australia Tourism, the event also featured local restaurants, cafes and winemakers, serving up the region’s famous shiraz and chardonnay varietals.
In addition to d’Arenberg vineyards, McLaren Vale is home to notable wineries like Samuel’s Gorge, Brash Higgins (run by New York-sommelier-turned-Aussie-winemaker, Brad Hickey) and Bekkers Wine, a small and beautifully-kept property run by husband-and-wife team Toby and Emmanuelle Bekkers.
This was Smith’s first time back in Australia since before the pandemic, and their first visit to South Australia since 2015. In addition to performing at the Cube, Smith was pictured getting up close and personal with the inhabitants of Adelaide’s Cleland Wildlife Park, and checking out the city’s dining and nightlife scene.
“I didn’t realize how beautiful it was here,” Smith said, as the sun set behind the Cube and lights illuminated the seemingly unending rows of vines behind them. “I’m so excited to explore South Australia and check out the stunning beaches and wineries,” they added. “I can’t wait to welcome fans to South Australia to share in my new music and enjoy the destination with me.”
As the concert ended and Smith took a final bow, there were whispers in the crowd of an after-party with the singer backstage. Smith didn’t exactly offer an open invite but seemed to share in the sentiment: “This was such a fabulous night,” they said. “I can’t wait to have a drink.”
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