It was at “The Corrs Down Under Tour” Sandstone Point Bribie Island concert, that I re-experienced a whole new appreciation for the work behind outdoor gigs.
The most recent one was at the end of October with an international group, The Corrs, in the evening, supported in the late afternoon and headed by Germein, Toni Childs and lastly Natalie Imbruglia.
In reality, there’s actually more than just four acts going. There’s a fifth.
The 5th act is all the technical entourage: the Roadies, Runners, Sound & Vision engineers, Scaffolders, Sparkies and Security. On show because they’re the ones we’re watching in the gaps between great entertainers.
A coastal sea breeze welcomed us on the grassy foreshore facing Bribie and the Pacific Ocean.
The first act was Germein – three sisters from South Australia. If you took away their gorgeous looks, and that these three are all musicians – drums, guitar and bass, what you’d be simply left with would be rock solid talent playing well-crafted original songs. Nice way to start the day. In a snap 30 minutes had disappeared.
Remember, support acts have tough work to do, suppling the audience for the following acts. Each subsequent one does the same.
Germein proved themselves to be much more than a bottom slot.
Toni Childs was capitalizing on some amazing chart history in the past, just as each of them did – and so they should. But she produced a daring approach getting close physically to the fans’ faces, with past faves and fresh songs that resonated easily with them. Security took over one roadie’s role and held the mic cable up so it wouldn’t get caught in the photography pit. One photographer even assisted Toni by pulling her boots off to the audience’s delight!
However, Toni’s powerful vocal range had lost nothing over the years. We revelled in her own enjoyment, and we sang her songs with her.
And yet another 45 mins of joy blew away into the sort-of-summer breeze that was building up.
Changeover: I’m referring to the kind of work that is 30 minutes on / 30 minutes off before the acts. Each of the instruments have to be re-tuned, all the mic settings, all the video positionings and each of them affected by light, temperature and weather. And just being simply outdoors. It’s an amazing feat. The audience was very patient, even with a couple of hiccups along the way. But a songfest it was when Natalie Imbruglia glided onto the stage, grateful to so many people, including her school music teacher and family. In fact, in Natalies’ hour of performance, having just set herself up for a bucket of nerves, took command of the show, sang and defied the wind providing the massive screens with excellent camera vision of her long flowing hair. Her musos were well ‘in the pocket’ with timing as Natalie wove her vocal range through them.
Of course, each of the artists were (not surprisingly) quite different, but there still appeared to be an ethereal thread sewing the evening together. As The Corrs approached the front centre stage, the sun had set, the breeze had turned chilly and the moon was peeking – as if on cue, above the scaffolding – a point not missed by the Vision editors as they focused and transferred the image to the outdoor screens.
The Corrs’ performance (Sharon, Jim, Caroline and Andrea) – clearly the reason this Sandstone Point Saturday existed, was a combination of wise choices and delightful voices. Sounds from their hearts we had missed live, since the mid ‘90s here in Australia.
Sharon was quoted back in the day as having major influences such as The Eagles, The Carpenters, The Police, Fleetwood Mac – and would you believe – Simon & Garfunkel. Into the mix it went, and out of the studio came a haunting blend of pop rock with traditional folk Irish themes within their music. You can hear those influences not as a tribute or imitation, but as a loving absorption of their favourites’ style in the many songs such as: “Breathless”, “Runaway”, “Forgiven, Not Forgotten” and of course – “Love to Love You”.
All this and more on the evening, as they say. A wonder-filled concert – a universal crowd pleaser. It’s shows like this that re-sell recordings and merch – and reaffirm the existing fan base while no doubt reigniting some desire for violin lessons.
Review by 101fm radio presenter Stu Robertson