Sky Ferreira ★★★★
Rising Festival, Forum, June 4

Bathed in a rainbow of coloured lights and wearing sunglasses til past midnight, indie pop star Sky Ferreira left everything on the stage of Melbourne’s Forum on Tuesday night. Many in the eager and encouraging crowd had been waiting to see her since her last Melbourne outing a decade ago. She left them wanting for nothing.

Sky Ferreira performs at Forum Melbourne on June 4, 2024.

Sky Ferreira performs at Forum Melbourne on June 4, 2024.Credit: Brodie Lancaster

She tore through tracks from her landmark 2013 debut, Night Time, My Time, along with some gems from her earlier catalogue and some select and affecting covers.

The scorching ‌Nobody Asked Me (If I Was Okay) finds its twin, later in the set, with a cover of Suzanne Vega’s Luka. The songs are in conversation with one another, as are the 20-year-old MySpace star who wrote the former and the 31-year-old standing before us belting out, “I guess I’d like to be alone … just don’t ask me how I am”.

Sky Ferreira’s 2022 performance at the 50th Roskilde Festival in Denmark.

Sky Ferreira’s 2022 performance at the 50th Roskilde Festival in Denmark.Credit: Rune Hellestad- Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

The headlines that surrounded her Sydney show earlier this week felt overblown – as did the claims of the TikTokers declaring walkouts when she arrived later than advertised. So let me get the facts out of the way first: she stepped on stage of Melbourne’s Forum at 10.12pm – about half an hour past her scheduled set time. The final notes from her closing track, the propulsive Everything is Embarrassing, rang out almost two hours later. Hardly a half-hearted affair. And when you’ve waited a decade to hear her live, what’s another half an hour?

In an era of perfectly primped, poised and press-trained pop stars, Ferreira is an anomaly. She always has been. When access and information is prized, the way Ferreira shrinks from the spotlight tends to baffle and bemuse.

She delivers fascinating and honest insights in interviews, but on stage, something about the combination of lights, a microphone and thousands of eyes on her seem to zap her of confidence.

She apologises between songs, mutters something that sounds like, “I feel like I’m mumbling …”, and lets the ends of her sentences wander off like lost children as she confesses that singing makes you “look stupid … I feel stupid”.