THE former Albury singer couldn’t have wished for a better homecoming — there was glorious sunshine, an appreciative audience and plenty of good wine at All Saints Estate’s Day on the Green.
A sell-out crowd of about 7000 people attended Saturday’s event eager to see Lisa Mitchell perform on home soil.
It was a fitting celebration of the event’s 10th anniversary, with Mitchell joining former Hunters and Collectors frontman Mark Seymour and his band The Undertow, and headline act Paul Kelly and Neil Finn, two of Australia’s most iconic song writers.
But it was also a chance for some in the crowd to reflect on just how far Mitchell had come since she first auditioned for Australian Idol in 2006.
Her father Angus said Mitchell had matured over more than six years in the music industry.
“She’s just the same girl she always was,” he said.
“She just really loves her music and this tour with Paul Kelly and Neil Finn has been fantastic for her — they’ve been such nice people, so helpful and really supportive.
“They’re great singer-songwriters and she’s seen how to cope with being in the music scene — it’s really been a great experience for her.
“She’s 22 now, she’s released her second album and she’s really relaxed and become much more confident in performing.”
Another member of the crowd also remembered Mitchell’s early days.
“I often tell people I discovered her before Idol,” Wodonga’s Amy Warnock, 28, said.
At her second Day on the Green, Ms Warnock said she first saw Mitchell perform just before she auditioned for Idol during an International Women’s Day event in Albury, along with Killing Heidi’s Ella Hooper.
“She was always going to make a career out of music,” she said.
“She was very young but very talented, so I asked her if she would play at my birthday the next month and she did.”
Six years on from her appearance on Australian Idol as a shy 16-year-old, Mitchell’s career has just blossomed.
Her first album Wonder went platinum and in October she released her second album Bless This Mess.
“It’s a bit of a novelty now to say she played in my backyard while watching her up on the big stage here,” Ms Warnock said.
“I wonder if I can convince her to play at my 30th next year.”
Of course Mitchell was just the first course in a feast of Australian music.
“We’ve come to see them all,” Wendy Hocking from Chiltern said.
She and her group were excited to hear some of the classics, from Paul Kelly’s Dumb Things to the Hunters and Collectors’ Throw Your Arms Around Me.