Sebastian surprises and delights
BOY was I glad I made it to Guy Sebastian’s concert on Sunday night and so were the hundreds who jam packed the Saraton Theatre to see their ‘Idol’ live on stage here for the first time.
Sebastian was a few days into his regional tour YOU ME US and with the support of his little brother Chris as opening act, a big night was in store for his loyal army of fans who inhabit the Clarence.
It was obvious that Guy has a broad appeal. It was perhaps the most eclectic crowd seen at for a while with 80-year-olds sitting next to eight-year-olds, grown men and women, and screaming teenage girls, all in this Sebastian fan melting pot (it was a warm one) ready for a night to remember. And he did deliver.
The crowd was already whistling and screaming when Chris and his companion hit the stage for a more low-key acoustic sing-a-long which still whipped them into a frenzy and saw the loyalists flood the foyer in the short break afterwards to pick up his latest release and get a cheeky hug.
While a few of Sebastian’s Instagram followers may have known what was coming next, the rest of us didn’t and were gobsmacked at the apparition that stood before us in the winner of Eurovision 2015 and his band.
The Swedish sensation Måns Zelmerlöw took up the impromptu offer to perform at Sebastian’s request to join him for the Grafton and Gold Coast shows, the only two fortunate enough to get the timing right for this mind-blowing addition.
He and his homeland band set the stage for an arena-style production, the likes of which I’d never seen at the Saraton until this time.
The audience was treated with what could only be described as a big and brassy Eurovision-style delivery with all the bells and whistles plus a sax solo and blinding light show.
It was exhausting to watch but the crowd was going nuts. It was a hard act to follow but kudos to Sebastian for not feeling he wasn’t up for the challenge.
Of course, he killed it too, which is a good thing in case you’re over 50 and still reading. While I’m not across all of his music, plenty of people were, and from the moment he walked out on stage alone clad in leather jacket, which came off rather quickly given the heat up there, and began walking around the stage playing every instrument up there, looping the sound around until he had all the elements down before letting fly with his well respected octave range.
Then his band and backing singer Carmen Smith joined him on stage and we never looked back. The set lined with huge screens flashing city scapes, apocalyptic dust, masses of candles and other visual delights juxtaposed with the scaffolding, atop of which sat various band members and instruments as a glowing sphere of lights slide up and down from somewhere up in the stage’s ceiling cavity for the full arena experience.
Whether it was a soaring ballad or a gritty urban mix, Sebastian and his crew nailed it, leaving those who shelled out for the $85 tickets feeling that was a bargain.
Besides the interaction with the young fans during a sing-off and the chorus of ‘We love you Guy’ reliably delivered throughout the evening, the part that raised the most cheering and rapturous applause was the few minutes early in the show when Sebastian acknowledged the late Spiro Notaras, tipped off by a few of DEX articles beforehand, as he recited the late theatre owner’s desire to have the ‘kid with the curly hair’ do a show there. The stage lights panned down to a vacant seat off to the side, half down the room, the place where Spiro sat and watched ‘his’ shows, while Sebastian dedicated the evening’s performance to the late community champion.
Nice guy doesn’t quite go far enough to describe the talented ‘kid with the curly hair’ after the roller coaster ride of emotion and entertainment he served up.