Sam Sparro – Webster Hall – November 30, 2012
Sam Sparro may not be a household name in the States yet, but this gent from Down
Under already has big-name fans in Adele, Ellie Goulding and Katy Perry. With his summer release, Return to Paradise, inspired by soul and funk from the late ’70s and
early ’80s, Sparro kicked off his Moon and the Stars tour at Webster Hall on Friday night. A saxophone announced the man of the hour’s entrance as Sparro sauntered onstage in billowing, pleated pants and a military coat. Beginning with “We Could Fly,” he delighted the crowd with his dance moves, even breaking out a vintage Roger Rabbit. And when fans uproariously cheered “The Shallow End,” Sparro could only ask, “Are you going to keep this up all night?” Needless to say, they did, turning Webster Hall into a scene from Queer as Folk’s Babylon club.
To thrill the audience further, Sparro performed fan-favorite “Sally,” from his self-titled album, and strapped on his keytar for “Let the Love In.” Encouraged to sing along, the audience chimed, “You belong to me” during “Happiness.” Cooling down and reflecting on love and hate, Sparro’s soulful falsetto was in full force, crooning “Shades of Grey.” The tail end of the set proved to be a treasure trove of delights from his two albums: “Sick,” “Paradise People,” “I Wish I Never Met You” and “Black and Gold.” For the latter, two overcome fans invaded the stage to dance to the UK dance hit. The evening culminated with an amazing cover of Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Woman” accompanied by “Vogue”-style dancers for good measure. —Sharlene Chiu