Tuesday, 19 December 2006
Robbie Williams gig [18th December 2006 @ Telstra Dome]
No, this isn't an early April Fool's Day joke. I really went to the Robbie Williams concert.
Lorin wanted to go to see him and she couldn't find anyone else who wanted to go, so I performed my husbandly duties and accompanied her to see him at the Telstra Dome in the Docklands.
Look, to be quite honest, I quite enjoy some of his music. I'd never buy one of his albums, but Lorin does have his Greatest Hits CD at home which pretty much includes all the songs you'd want of his on a single disc. He has released some great catchy songs over the years, and if I had to pick a contemporary "pop" artist to see in concert he'd probably be high up on my list (keeping in mind that most of the music I like is not classified as "pop"). He also possesses that cheeky British arrogance (similar to the Gallagher brothers) which is a strangely likable quality.
Opening with hit singles Radio and Rock DJ, it did take a while for the gig to start taking off. The acoustics were pretty poor at the start, and the first few songs were reminiscent more of a poor karaoke performance than a superstar rocking 65,000+ fans in a huge stadium. He pranced around with cocky swagger, and pictures of him flashed up on the giant screens. Yes, this was truly a man who was way too much in love with himself. When he did talk at the start, the only words he could seem to get out were "Australia!!!" and "Melbourne!!!". It wasn't looking pretty from our vantage point in the standing general admission section.
Luckily it got better. The hits starting coming one after another, Robbie started talking to the audience a lot more and his charisma starting to shine through. He also used the sure-fire technique of audience interaction to get the crowd into the music, getting fans to wave their hands in the air during Monsoon, encouraging an "Australian wave" (basically a Mexican wave) and talking to a fan's friend on her mobile phone (in which you could simultaneously hear 10,000 teeny-bopper girls' hearts flutter).
He came out for his encore in an Adidas-sponsored outfit, and sung his early anthem Let me entertain you (which would have made a better opening song than Radio). You could really feel the energy in the place by this stage, and after singing a few other less-memorable songs, he appeared to be ending the night with his lovely ballad Angels (probably my favourite in his repertoire). Then he made some comment about "doing it for the kids" before playing the final song of the night Kids (sans Kylie, who he duets with on the studio version).
All in all, a surprisingly enjoyable gig for me. Lorin's enjoyment was unfortunately reduced due to not being able to see the stage properly, even from standing far back in the general admission section (but luckily there were big TV screens which she could see most of). I also assured her that she wasn't missing much by not being able to see the stage. Next time we go general admission we'll have to follow the lead of an enterprising young person we saw there, who brought along a small esky that also worked as a height-enhancer :)
But it does raise an interesting point -- can't they design standing sections in stadiums to be more friendly to the shorter fans? I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to angle the floor, in a similar way to how they arrange seats in cinemas, to increase the chances of shorter fans being able to see the stage. Maybe even make the stage higher up?
UPDATE: According to the Blogger stats, this is my 100th blog post. Woohoo!