Friday, June 15, 2018


I have loved John Paul Young since I was a child watching Countdown. I've only seen him live a handful of times but he has always been the consummate performer.

I saw him at The Cambridge very early on in the 90s, just before his big comeback with Strictly Ballroom and he was great. 

I saw him at a local club in the early 2000s and also great.

I also saw him do a 30 minute section a few years back at The Civic as part of the APIA tour and he blew me away. He commenced with an incredibly tight version of Down Among the Dead Men and blew the audience away, the rest of the set equally as polished. Seriously, he gets better with age. And not just that, he looks like he's having a ball, which is delightful.

He'd been touring with his all star band a Vanda Young show and I was busting to see it, but despite him living here it never came near Newcastle.

And then this Toronto Hotel show turned up, and I had to go. We had purchased VIP tickets which gave us lovely views of the lake, and could - if there was room, there was not - sit on the balcony to watch. But we really were nowhere near the band! HUGE rip off, we'll know better next time!

So after we downed our drinks we made our way to the grounds in the GA section, and stood directly in front of the stage before the first song had ended!

The first song was Down Among the Dead Men, and was as tight and brilliant as I had heard those couple of years back. 

And the entire set was hit after hit, you forget how many great songs he has. It also had a few Vanda Young songs thrown in for good measure too.

We danced and danced, he smiled and sang, and sounded amazing. The Band was tight. They were having a complete and utter ball, and so were we. It felt like we were on Countdown!!!

He ended with a great version of A Long Way to the top, complete with a bagpiper. Then came back for the brilliant encore of Love is in the Air, I Hate the Music, and Yesterday's Hero. The crowd - of mostly middle aged women, lol - went wild!

It was a pure delight. His music is so uplifting, it should be bottled. We left happy and smiling and full of joy.

The set list - which my lovely friend Athena pinched from the stage for me, was as follows:

  • Down Among the Dead Men
  • Pasadena
  • Love Game
  • Keep on Smilin'
  • The Day That my Heart Caught Fire
  • I Wanna do it With You
  • St Louis - sung by his son, real rock-n-roll voice
  • Soldier of Fortune - I had forgotten he sung this
  • Let's Stick Together - Floyd Vincent on vocals, he was filling in on guitar
  • Where the Action is
  • Standing in the Rain
  • Friday on my Mind
  • It's a Long Way to the Top
  • Love is in the Air
  • I Hate the Music
  • Yesterday's Hero

No comments: