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LIVE: MICHAEL BOLTON – Perth, 24 June, 2018

| 12 July 2018 | Reply

LIVE: MICHAEL BOLTON – Perth, 24 June, 2018
Perth Concert Hall
Reviewed by Karl Infirri
Photography by Damien Crocker

On Sunday evening I ventured to the Perth Concert Hall to see Michael Bolton perform. I was intrigued to see how it would go, a man that has sold over 75 million records worldwide, at 65 years of age, playing with the Perth Symphony Orchestra. Did he still have the chops at 65? It wouldn’t take long to find out.

To be 100% honest with everyone reading this – I had fun the whole show. I was so entertained from start to finish, I was laughing like an idiot just from his entrance to the stage alone.

Michael started the show with a cover of Stand By Me, easing the crowd in with a song that is universally beloved, and with an orchestral backing it was really beautiful to hear.

I felt quite distracted at the use of a drum machine for the night: I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation for it but with no live drums I felt disconnected from the beat.

Following that was a fantastic rendition of The Bee Gee’s To Love Somebody and Otis Redding’s (Sitting On) The Dock Of The Bay. Michael Bolton may have his detractors, but the Concert Hall was filled with love for the man, and as the show went on, I kept thinking to myself – what ISN’T there to like about the man?

As Michael spoke to the audience between songs, I was enthralled with his dry sense of humour: everything he said had the crowd in stitches. He doesn’t take himself too seriously – I found him to be a hell of an entertainer and storyteller.

Next was Said I Loved You… But I Lied. It’s such a great song. Whilst Michael played a lot of covers this evening, his own tracks were received with an electric enthusiasm from the people.

Soon he introduced Sylvie Paladino on stage for a few duets, admitting he had tried to do duets by himself before and said that he found it lonely. He’s a crack up. They sang To Make You Feel My Love, How Am I Supposed To Live Without You and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, certainly a highlight of the evening. Sylvie has a set of lungs on her that’s for sure, and she and Michael had a lot of obvious chemistry on stage – a chemistry that can only be found when two true professionals are at the top of their game.

One of the highlights of the evening was Michael covering Nessun Dorma in tribute to his friend Luciano Pavarotti. It really was eye opening, showing that despite it being 2018 Michael Bolton still has such a power in his voice. If there were any sceptics in the audience then they were certainly silenced as Michael then went on to crush Georgia On My Mind. Michael would then go and take a two song break as Paladino came back out.

Sylvie sang her heart out as Michael took a breather, delivering Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah so beautifully it made my eyes heavy. I wasn’t bored, it was more like a situation where it was a lullaby to me, a big 31-year old baby. Sylvie’s voice is very comforting, what can I say?

Michael eventually made his way back out to deliver an awesome end to the evening. It was time to get to the rest of his greatest hits, and he appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the crowd to sing Percy Sledges’ When a Man Loves A Woman, before making his way to back to the stage. I don’t care who you are or how you feel about Bolton, that’s a hell of a love song that he made a huge hit.

How Can We Be Lovers was the best performance of the night, probably because it’s my favourite Michael Bolton song. Followed by Steel Bars, Time Love and Tenderness, the crowd were singing the words so loud it felt like the room was shaking.

Michael would exit the stage for the obligatory encore, which was Soul Provider. A perfect end to a fantastic show!

A big shout out to Perth Symphony Orchestra and their conductor Jessica Gethin for their flawless performance.

I have to say when I walked in I didn’t know what to expect. I walked out believing in something though. Michael Bolton is not a legend. Michael Bolton is like Apple Pie or Coca Cola – he’s a straight up Classic.

Setlist:
Stand By Me
To Love Somebody
(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay
Said I Loved You But I Lied
You Don’t Know Me
To Make You Feel My Love
How Am I Supposed To Live Without You
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
The Prayer
Nessun Dorma
Georgia On My Mind
Hallelujah
You Are So Beautiful
When A Man Loves A Woman
How Can We Be Lovers
Steel Bars
Time, Love And Tenderness
Encore: Soul Provider

Shane

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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