Last Saturday night I had the pleasure of seeing the An Evening With Michael Bolton concert at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne. I’ve wanted to see him live in concert for a very long time now. I was raised on his music and having missed my chance twice before of seeing him live, I wasn’t going to miss out a third time. I dragged my Mum along – aka the reason for my love for his music – with me and this is how the night went.
Please note, I am going off memory so some details may be slightly off.
Firstly, I want to compliment Australian band 1927 on being a fabulous opener! In some regards, I think they were almost even better than Michael himself – which is blasphemy, I know, considering how much of a fan I am. But the band really did a great job at being charismatic and really involving the crowd. I’d say they would be a great band to see live in a little pub venue and I would definitely go and see them play in the future. I only remember one joke about from the lead singer saying how he was losing his hair – and then the guitarist (or maybe bass) responding that he isn’t. Boom tish. He was bald! I’d also glad that they sang the two songs I know (I was born in the 80s, give me a break!) If I Could ... and That’s When I Think of You because that was a real highlight – especially the singalong.
If you want to find out more, visit: http://www.1927.net.au
So let’s get to Michael. I was surprised by the crowd. There were a lot more younger people in the crowd than I thought there would be. Naturally, most of the people there were middle aged women. There were a lot of couples too – but even though you may think that the males were there simply to accompany their ladies; the men seemed to enjoy it just as much as the women. Such a different crowd to when I saw Tom Jones last year.
- Go The Distance (introduction recording)
- How Am I Supposed To Live Without You
- Sitting on the Dock of the Bay
- Said I Loved You … But I Lied
- Time, Love, Tenderness
- To Love Somebody
- When A Man Loves A Woman
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (duet)
- The Prayer (duet)
- To Make You Feel My Love (duet)
- Medley by Amanda Brown – That’s What Love is all About, Missing You Now and When I’m Back On My Feet Again
- You Are So Beautiful (instrumental)
- How Can We Be Lovers
- Soul Provider
- Can I Touch You There? (encore)
There was a lot of excitement in the room, especially when the recordings began to play. I’m unsure what the first song was but Go The Distance got a big uproar. Then Michael entered the room and things got a lot more crazy from there. He encouraged us to make as much noise as we wanted as that would really help the show. He also told us to sing along if we wanted and, even though the theatre didn’t allow photos, he told us too … but he joked to try and take them in his best light.
He mentioned Otis Reading before Sitting on the Dock of the Bay and Adele before the To Make You Feel My Love duet with Amanda Brown from the US series of The Voice, which was followed by The Prayer and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough with Amanda as well.
After the three duets, Michael left Amanda to sing a medley of three of his songs. She did a really amazing job but, this was after a lengthy instrumental by the band, and straight afterwards there was another long instrumental from the band. The audience started to get a little antsy. I could see many people looking around bored. Someone from the audience yelled out, “We want Michael!”, the crowd agreed, and I seriously thought there was going to be an uproar or riot in the theatre from Michael’s lack of stage time thus far (especially considering he was only meant to be on stage for an hour ten, so if you add in two instrumentals and a medley, that takes away about 10-15 minutes of Michael time – luckily Michael went around 10-15 minutes in the end).
After the second instrumental though, Michael came into the crowd and sang When A Man Loves A Woman, which I think made everyone forgive him. A woman went up to him and put her arms around him – the security guard quickly carried her away. The crowd swarmed though and he happily shock people’s hands as he sang. After the song, he proceeded back to the stage – but I think everyone appreciated him coming into the audience if only for a brief song.
If you’ve seen any of his DVDs or seen him perform live before, you would know that he likes to make jokes about his age. I’m not going to repeat any of those because I’m sure you could find them online. He did tell a story about how someone early on in his career recommended he write songs for other people. He said that that was one of the best decisions he ever made because he joked, “food is so good!” (I highly recommend his autobiography for more on this).
Another story I remember is him saying how he had a hard time with the song Said I Loved You … But I Lied because foreigners didn’t understand how he could say he loved somebody and lie about it. Someone from the audience called out “I love you Michael!” and he responded back. Then a women yelled out the same, and the same guy from previously said “I said it first” or something like that. Another women called out that she wanted him to take her home with him. He laughed and said he is rarely ever home. During his duets, he was also told to “keep his eyes out front” in reference to Amanda’s low cut top.
All up, in my opinion, it wasn’t a bad concert but it could have gone for a little longer. My Mum said maybe at 62 he just doesn’t have the stamina to perform for an hour. I’m not sure but four outfit changes in an hour and a half seems quite unnecessary if you ask me as well. Why did he need to get changed so many times? He had four different outfits but they were made up of the same two outfits, just mixed and matched. I understand if he needed a break from the stage but it would have made more sense to stay in the one outfit and stay on stage while the band did their instrumental if he needed the break – if that makes sense. The crowd would have appreciated him being there.
Okay, okay, I’m being picky, but for having waited so long to see him, I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Yes, it could have been better but his voice is so amazing to hear live and even with the drawbacks, I have no regrets about seeing him perform live. Even if he is 80 years old and performing in a wheelchair, I will still happily go along to see him live. And hey, maybe it was jet lag?
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough is one of my favourite songs so I’m SO glad he did that song because I wasn’t expecting it. I would have loved if he’d sung Go The Distance and Georgia on my Mind live, but that’s okay, as it gives me something to look forward to next time I see him.
It was my New Year’s Resolution to see him this year and I absolutely loved it!
Dream. Come. True.
For more info and tour dates, go to: www.michaelbolton.com/