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MUSIC REVIEW: Angie McMahon at The Forum

Photographs by Laura May Grogan

Angie McMahon spread tenderness and joy at her sold-out Forum show, her focus on mindful presence was an invitation for the audience to settle in and take a big collective breath in and out. The crowd was awash with that kind of soft, secret smile you get when you’re sharing a private feeling in a public space.

From the moment Angie stepped on stage, the atmosphere was charged with a palpable sense of intimacy and connection. The set, much like her latest album Dark, Light, Light Again, was a beautiful mix of vulnerability and rock and roll. The audience, swept up in the raw emotion and infectious energy, jumped and boogied with the tour-tight band. Yet, there were also moments of profound stillness where we placed our hands on our chests, mirroring the calm and humble presence Angie exuded.

Throughout the night, the Forum transformed into a tapestry of shared moments. Mums’ took selfies with their adult children, lovers raised intertwined hands during crescendos, and friends sang straight into each other’s faces. The sense of community was strong, each person finding a piece of themselves in the music and the collective experience.

Angie herself seemed to have the most fun of anyone. Her smile never wavered as she performed, comfortably dressed in a silky shirt and shorts combo. Between songs, she shared personal anecdotes, reminding us of the last time she played at the Forum when she was sick in the green room, depressed and anxious. Her very presence showed us that tenderness and humility win out. “Shedding heavy stuff at rock bottom means you can climb back out. I didn’t come up with that, by the way,” she quipped, eliciting warm laughter and nods of understanding from the crowd.

Her music, best described in three words: vulnerable, generous, resilient, felt like an open invitation to embrace imperfection. Her lyrics, like “it’s okay, make mistakes,” resonated deeply, offering solace and encouragement.

In her songwriting, Angie walks the fine line between specificity and universality, sharing tiny moments that connect with big feelings. Her voice, gentle and confident, especially shone through when she chatted with the crowd, reflecting the strength in vulnerability woven through her whole album. Watching her on stage, it was evident she was having a blast—comfy, collected, and seasoned. It was lovely to see someone so confident in their own skin, singing about the journey of getting there.

Angie McMahon’s Forum show wasn’t just a concert; it was a collective exhale, a reminder of the beauty in shared human experiences, and a testament to the power of music to bring people together. Her Making It Through tour is aptly named, as her music and presence offer a guiding light through the complexities of life.

Laura May Grogan

Laura May Grogan has been making photographs of people for over 15 years.
Born in Melbourne with a wandering heart, she’s worked in assignment in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the UK, the USA and her former adopted home of Mexico.
She’s happiest of when her commercial and art practices converge and she’s able to show a sitter a beautiful version of themselves, in a pocket of gentle light, feeling proud of who they are.
You can checkout Laura’s website here.

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