What: B*Witched with Atomic Kitten, S Club 3, East 17 and Liberty X Concert Spectacular
Where: Festival Hall, Melbourne
When: 9th February, 2017
With thanks to John and Keavy from B*Witched, I was humbly invited to this concert spectacular. For those who don’t know – B*Witched, Atomic Kitten, S Club 3, East 17 and Liberty were acts who were at the top of their game – and the charts – in the heydays of the late 90s/early 00s. I didn’t know what to expect as I always preferred the boy bands – Hanson, Backstreet Boys, Westlife, N’SYNC etc. I was never much into the girl bands – nothing against them, I have just always preferred male vocalists. But I was eager to go along and see just how much I would enjoy it.
I went with such low expectations but I loved every single minute of it. The surprise was the DJ who played hits from the 90s/00s in between sets. It reminded me a little of Rumba (google it, concerts in 2001/2002) when the crowd sang along to Tribute, despite Tenacious D not being a part of the line up. The crowd dance and sang to Britney, Christina, the boy bands, Aqua etc – it was like a step back in time. I’m not one to dance and sing at a gig, but I was bopping along in my seat. It was amazing!
We were lucky to have been upgraded to a seat in the front row, dead centre (with the most pit/standees in front of us) but the lights were killer! They looked so damn amazing, but every so often they would completely blind us. Still, minor thing, the stage needed it. The venue looked like a old run down warehouse with nothing much inside. Not saying that that’s a bad thing, but saying that the lights were needed to add something to the show because artists dancing and singing in an dilapidated venue is almost sad.
The problem – and I say this every time at a gig with so many acts – is that artists only have a limited amount on stage. If I were to guess, I think every act sang approximately five songs, with B*Witched maybe eight. That’s still a good amount, but it always leaves you wanting more. There’s good and bad to having variety, but for the ticket price, you definitely got your money’s worth! If you get a change to go – do.
I took some video footage on my Instagram account if anyone is interested in checking it out. @malloryarbour is where you will find me …
First up was Liberty X. If you asked me to name a song that they sing, I would stare at you blankly because I honestly have no idea. I can’t even name a song for you now. However, I was surprised upon doing my research for this at the number of members in the band. We however only got three but I’m no expect to know if that was an issue or not.
In terms of performance though they were good. They definitely were the most scantily clad, but their dance moves/routine was by far the best!
Fun little fact, when I spoke to Keavy she didn’t know that Liberty X had been put on the bill. Media were sworn to secrecy at that stage, but you’d think the headliner would know, right? Well no. I broke the news to Keavy – she had no idea.
Next up was East 17. Once again, I could not name a song of theirs but the fact that they were a boy band means that they were naturally going to be my favourite on the night – and they were. Hands down, loved them! I recognised their song Alright right away, and although I only knew of the chorus, it was a highlight, for me, of the night.
They guys were also nice in offering $50 meet and greets. They wanted to do it for free but they were told they weren’t allowed. I was very tempted but didn’t have any money in my wallet, and probably for the best considering I didn’t really know who they were.
Also funny to note and watch them take off layers of clothing during the performance. Now I don’t mean that in a sleazy way but it was extremely hot in the venue (I can only imagine how worse it was on stage with the lights) so items came off during the performance. They each started in a full suit, but as time went on, they stripped to less and less – no jacket, no shirt but t shirt) etc. They never showed skin, but it was still amusing to watch. And top marks to one of the guys who kept his sunglasses on for most of the performance – they came off eventually too!
S Club 3
We wanted S Club 7. We came for S Club 3. And we got S Club 2. Jo unfortunately got sick in New Zealand before the Australian leg of the tour and was recovering in an Auckland hospital, so we only saw Tina and Bradley. Despite being down five members, I thought they both did a good job. They relied a little on a backing track to make up the loss in numbers but I don’t mind a bit of S Club. Don’t Stop Movin’, Reach, Bring It All Back, S Club Party etc – all the hits were played.
They were one of my favourites on the night. I loved the dance moves and how hard they worked to entertain the audience despite having to change up their performance without Jo.
I was surprised how many Atomic Kitten songs I actually knew – Eternal Flame, The Tide is High, Whole Again. With Liz being deadly afraid of flying, Michelle from Liberty X stepped in to take her place. Perhaps the most raunchy and funniest of acts, they certainly entertained the crowd. Many of the earlier acts didn’t do too much banter – which makes sense due to the number of acts/time on stage – but AK did more than I remember any other act doing. It was inappropriate but hilarious!
And lastly, the act everyone (well mostly) was waiting to see – B*Witched came on stage. It had been a long night and so much sitting that their set felt like it dragged on forever. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, but because of the sitting and extra songs, it felt it. But no one in the most pit showed disappointment, so I will put that down to just being a me thing. They certainly sounded the same and the crowd was not disappointed. I also liked how they wore an updated version of double denim (something they were most known for) it works.
Edele (or maybe it was Keavy – I’m not too sure, twins and all) apologised for the lack of talk with the crowd but they were being pushed for time as the venue wanted them out at 10.30 on the dot. Also interesting to note that no one really pushed for an encore, despite the rush, I thought it was a prerequisite of all concerts but after Cest La Vie, everyone pretty much left. I thought it would have been cool to have all the arts on stage for a big group number, but maybe that’s just me …
They sang their greatest hits, tracks off their latest Champagne or Guinness and even busted out an ABBA medley wearing sparkly jackets. They also revealed that they are working on a new album. Despite being down Lindsay, their act was flawless. I thoroughly enjoyed their dance moves – especially the Irish jig during the finale. They also had this amazing opening which was a mash up of fiddle and rock tunes – I can’t even describe it but it was awe inspiring. I wish I had gotten it on camera because it was so creative, unexpected and impressive!