Wonderful, wonderful show last night. I have tried to start this review a few times now as wonderful, fantastic, brilliant, and a thousand other adjectives just don't seem to convey the experience we had last night. I will start anyway.
The venue helped set the mood. As reported by CK and usaoz there was not a bad seat in the house. The space is a purpose built theatre and seating was tiered all the way. The front row seats were almost level with the "stage space" so anyone there had a real treat (hello usaoz ). The rest of our group was in the fourth row and couldn't believe how close and intimate the view of the stage was. There were "pockets" of Frenz covering a few row levels (the three rows in front of us in particular) and all through the theatre space which felt really nice.
Being a dedicated performance space the acoustics were superb. When the first chords of Only Talking Sense came out and swirled through the room and back to the stage again there was almost absolute silence from the audience - the only punctuation was the odd gasp, sigh, and intake of breath. It was a gathering of the faithful but we could tell this was going to be really special and Neil had us all in the palm of his hand. I will borrow some words here from Skinny Cafe Latte - goosebumps on goosebumps on goosebumps. Honestly.
After a few songs I looked right up to the back row it looked like all the theatre staff not working and anyone else in the know had lined the back walkway and stood there taking it all in.
Neil was on fire but for me it was not the same fire we see at a Crowded House show. The material was different, the feel of the space was different. There was passion, humility and grace and every person in the room was completely drawn in.
In the piano set Neil acknowledged that many in the room would have been hearing him play for the last 30 odd years and some present were newer than that. He thanked us for being there and coming to hear him play songs he loved but didn't have the chance to play very often. He said he would take us on a journey through the decades, and he did. Neil - This expression of modesty and appreciation for your fans is just one of the many reasons we love to come and share your music with you. And you expressed it with impeccable style and class.
To the songs now....Anytime isn't on timmothytims setlist in the posts above but it did indeed get a run. Neil said the first person up on stage could play "a piano bit" in the next song and one guy leaped off the front row and onto the stage in a millisecond. It was wonderful. Sorry I have forgotten your name and if you are here - excellent work .
I can't remember at this point if anything else has been left off the list - I'll leave that to others. I have been through my 2nd, 3rd, 4th...10th winds over the last few days and sleep has not been a high priority.
I loved everything. The piano set was superb. TWT and Wherever you Are were glorious. MTMG two night in a row and very different versions (we got it at the Wollongong CH gig the night before).
I was almost a puddle on the floor when the main set closer was She Will Have Her Way - thankyou for that one Neil. Luckily Skinny Cafe Latte didn't have to scoop me off the floor before the encore.
As usaoz says in the "Sydney Requests" thread for Neil's show there were tears in eyes and on cheeks through various points in the evening for quite a few (including me). And I don't regret a single one.
I am back home and wish I could be there tonight. I wish all the Frenz there right now and waiting for Neil to come onstage (yep, it's a few minutes from now)a night as wonderful as last night.
Would I do it all again, including the alarm before 5am this morning so I could fly out and go straight to work from the airport? You bet, just tell me when.