Monday, December 20, 2010


I saw Bon Jovi last night at Sydney Football Stadium. I am as surprised as you all undoubtably are. No, not my usual choice of music and certainly not a huge fan, but I have enjoyed their music over the years. I do love my Rock n Roll and well, let's face it, Jon Bon Jovi is very easy on the eye! So when my sisters and brother-in-law invited me along, the sisterly thing to do was to join them!

I am really glad I did, it was an excellent concert. We had great seats, thanks to Karen! The stage had three giant screens that made viewing even better - although we did have a pretty good view of the stage anyway! There were two usual sized screens either side, but a gigantic one behind the stage - amazing as you can see from this photo. This photo also shows how well you could see the actual stage, and yeah, how hot Jon still is!

They really performed a huge range of songs, and whilst I did not know all them off by heart, there were only one or two I did not know. What surprised me, was how very good they were. Now, I did expect them to be great, but this surpassed all expectations. I have seen a LOT of concerts, especially huge RnR acts like U2, The Police, Prince, Paul McCartney - and this was up there with them - that was what surprised me!

The crowd were a mixed group - not as many bogans as I thought, LOL!! Not too many mullets to be seen, although plenty of women in high heels - which amused me as the rain started to pour. Ever the rock snob - I feel if you do not dress appropriately for gigs you should not be let in! The night was amazing, and before the storm clouds rolled in, the full moon added to the amazing lighting by the band, and made for some interesting photos as you can see below. But then the rain hit, and it disappeared. I have been to many outdoor gigs that had rain, but I have to say Sydney certainly put it on last night, it was the heaviest and the longest amount of rain I have endured in a concert, but it did not matter as we were having a ball, as Jon said, like singing in the shower with 40, 000 people, hmmm I'll take singing in the shower just with you!

Sambora and Bon Jovi carried the band for sure, although the remaining members certainly did their best to keep up. Sambora's guitar roared through (see first photo below) and Bon Jovi's singing astonished me, especially a rousing rendition of Cohen's Hallelujah (in the pouring rain no less- see seond photo below). They also performed a 'jukebox' hit in the middle of audience pleaser Bad Medicine - Roadhouse Blues (The Doors) - this was awesome!!! The band really seemed to be loving every minute of our attention which is always great to see. (see final photo below) Mal and I also noticed the religious undertones to most of their songs, something that I had not considered up until then. Very subtle, but there nonetheless. We went to the chapel of Bon Jovi, got down on our knees and prayed, and it was divine!!


2010 brought the usual array of music, theatre, film and dance. I have been rather slack in updating the blog of my attendance. Here is a quick look at the year that was.

The Man in Black : The Tex Perkins/Johnny Cash Show
This was an amazing start to the entertainment year (early in Feb at the Civic). Perkins embodied Cash as only he can. He really was born to play The Man in Black. He owned the stage and had the audience in the palm of his hand. The "Tennessee Four", his backing band and Rachel Tidd as June Carter-Cash were fabulous and a great support, but really the night belonged to Sexy Tex, raw, honest and authentic - just like the real deal!

The show incorporated a story with dialogue, that was sometimes a little clunky, however it really added to the atmosphere and the history of the evening. But, really it was about the songs. They played everything ranging from Big River, Get Rhythm, Five feet high and rising, Jackson (a personal favourite), Boy named Sue, Ring of Fire and a fabulous rendition of the Nine Inch Nail's cover, Hurt (Cash's last big 'hit'). The show ended with a rousing encore, a medley of the best songs they had played. No one wanted it to end - if it is still touring and you get a chance, 'do yourself a favour' - and check it out!

Hoodoo Gurus - West Leagues Club (May 14)
I love the Gurus, seen them probably more times than any other band, but not for a long time.
However, this was not the best of venues - not really set up correctly for a decent band to play and full of awful people - who either went to the club all the time so were like there or like the Footy anthem version of the Gurus! Yikes, made for an interesting night.

They were very good, but not great - we'll blame the venue I think!!! They played just about everything you would want them to - many tracks from Stoneage Romeos, which pleased me greatly. Was a great trip down memory lane.

Christa and Dick Hughes - Lizotte's (July 16)
This was an amazing gig - smokey, bluesy, jazzy. Dick Hughes is a reknown jazz pianist and in his 80s, his daughter Christa grew up singing with her Dad, but moved to Rock and sung with Machine Gun Fellatio and also MC'd Circus Oz for many years. This was a far more restrained (sort of) performance than these past acts. She has a sassy Bessie Smith sort of voice, which suited the jazz and blues played by her dad. They made a funny and endearing combo, his amazing playing, her wit and bravado.

Always a great night at Lizotte's, the food and company were fabulous. I was sitting back enjoying the show, sampling my yummy dessert of ice cream and sipping my wine, thinking well, life just don't get much better than this!

Inspirations 2010
Inspirations did not have the greatest of choice this year. However what we did see was of a high quality. The year began with Witches of Eastwick. This local musical was quite well presented. The actor who played the Jack Nicholson character was charismatic as you would expect. The songs and dancing were upbeat and catchy. Some of the supporting players were fabulous, but some were not, overall, it was a good, fun night.

The Age I'm in (early April) was an interesting dance/dramedy piece. A group of actors/dancers spoke about age. There was also film content shown on portable screens by the actors and they also mimed (sometimes with great humour) comments by regular people of all ages who had been interviewed on age and aging. This was amazing, different and well worth seeing.

May was Michael Gow's Toy Symphony. A play about a writer overcoming his demons, by going back through his life as a point of discovery. The main character is suffering writer's block, but much more than that as we begin to look back at his life beginning at school, where he acted out fantasies in his head to get by - these are played out beautifully, shockingly and suprisingly on the stage- adding to the pathos and overall humour. A very small cast played the myriad of characters in this play, popping up out of trap doors and unexpected places, adding to the misplacement of the main character and indeed the audience. It was quick moving, and entertaining, but could go as quickly from hilarity and slapstick to maudlin and rawness. I thoroughly enjoyed Toy Symphony.

July brought We Unfold from the Sydney Dance Company. This was a minimalistic modern dance, beautifully staged and choreographed it did feel a little bit too repetitive towards the end. The stunning music accompanying it was well worth the admission and enhanced what would have been a let down I think. It was a symphony, Oceans, by Italian composer, Ezio Bosso. The music was composed to describe the emotions and fluidity of the water and the dance choreographed to represent that. Definitely not the best I have seen from SDC, however a pleasant evening.

Metropolitan Players presented The Boy from Oz in August and whilst an amateur presentation I felt it was very good. The actor playing Peter Allen was brilliant and engaging. As was the young actor playing young Peter Allen. As always, the supporting case was so so, some great, some not so. The actress playing Peter Allen's mother a stand out. The singing and dancing were very good, but I wondered how good the professional production would have been. Highlights were Don't cry out loud, Rio, and I Still Call Australia Home - complete with a children's choir singing backing vocals - not a dry eye in the house!

A day in the life of Joe Egg (August) was an amazing play about a couple struggling to save their marriage, whilst bringing up a daughter with cerebral palsy. Funny, sad and very dramatic, this was excellent. The acting, especially that of the main male actor was superb. Certainly very intense at times, and a little drawn out in the second half, but was quite amazing.

Carl Caulfield's Shakespeare's Fools (Playhouse, September) is probably my favourite of the year. A great introduction to Shakespeare for the uninitiated and a lot of fun for the 'fans'! This was the 'story' of the comedic muses Shakespeare drew from in his comedies. Shakespeare himself, played wonderfully by Caulfield, was a character but took a backseat to his fantastic fools! There were jokes, music, and jigs - the jigs were particularly amusing and fun. Lots of toilet humour - well toilet humour from that period in time! All the acting was great and everyone had a grand time.

I thought The Wharf Review was disappointing this year, much shorter and a little short on the all rounded jokes. I thought given the year in Australian politics the team would have had a field day, but not so. However, "Julia Gillard" as Little Red Riding Hood was hilarious and it was still a great evening, just did not live up to expectations.

The final Inspiration for the year was the play 2039, another Carl Caulfield. Set in a dystopian future with levels topped by celebrity it made you think just how the next 30 years or so could pan out. It was not pretty! Told with humour and passion and with a young, talented cast, 2039 was enjoyable. The second half dragged a little, but it gave us all a lot to think about!

Melbourne 2010
I had two trips to Melbourne this year.
The first was to watch my Brother-in-law race his boat in Frankston and then my sister and I drove to St Kilda for an extended stay. During this time we attended a great F1 - even saw Simple Minds play (in the rain!). They were great as were our gorgeous boys in the fast cars! We pretty much ate our way down Fitzroy Street, Acland and the beach front. And shopped out Chapel Street. I also checked out the amazing Ron Mueck exhibit at the NGV. It was a fun, relaxing trip!

The other was in September, shorter but busier. I spent a short week looking at the city's architecture and gardens, taking lots of great photos. I also visited the ACMI for the Tim Burton exhibit, which showed memorabilia and film and drawings from his long and crazy career. Entering to the Edward Scissorhands costume and a large topiary was quite magical and I was impressed to see so much of his work on display. I really did not want to leave the exhibition, it was interactive and had lots to look at. I also visited the NGV to look at a selection of European masters that were touring, amazing but too many people shlepping through made it a bit of an icky experience. However, always great to see amazing paintings in the flesh!

I also saw the Titanic exhibition while I was there, not a huge Titanic fan, I was impressed with what they had and how it was set out, a lot to look at (mind you a lot of twised steel and broken glass and cutlery) and very interesting items. The experience was made all the more real by being given a boarding pass as you entered with the name of someone who had been on the ship - you could see what they would have experienced. I was a young lady travelling with her father on a jewellery buying expedition, first class of course. At the end of the exhibit, you could find out whether you had survived, quite a haunting thought - I did, but 'my father' did not...sad!