Just after 3pm yesterday afternoon found me along with my very excited Mum & Aunty Jo (Lulu's biggest fan in the world…I’m really not kidding here) at the Civic Theatre for the Lulu & Leo Sayer concert. When I first saw the concert release I was excited that Lulu was on her way to town to finally hear her play live (between my mum & aunties, I grew up listening to Lulu and I’m a fan). Still, I was a little on the fence about Leo and didn’t know too much of his catalogue or history (apart from hits like ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing…’ so who was I to comment until after the night right?).
Today I can say that the entire show was glorious and I loved it.
The lights were down in Auckland’s stunning Civic Theatre, the band took their places, the music rang out and Leo & Lulu entered the stage together. Looking happy to be there, greeting their audience, together they got stuck straight into their first duet of the night ‘Thunder In My Heart’.
At this point I’d like to commend Leo on Lulu on their approach to the set which was a little unusual, a couple of duets, then a solo spot or two, a couple more duets and so on... it kept the show interesting and I felt in the first set that Leo really kept the mood upbeat and added the rock as Lulu had a chance to reflect on her past, the good times, the sad times highs & lows etc. The crowd hushed and listened intently.
I enjoyed Lulu’s commentary in the first sense immensely, there was a beautiful dedication to Bowie with The Man Who Sold The World, Lulu told the story of how he wrote & produced the song for her, the live arrangement while a little flat to me was an honest and heartfelt dedication and it was still perfect. Lulu told stories of her marriage to Maurice Gibb, divorce, song writing and being Lulu the young pop star. The audience were captured by this insanely beautiful pint sized mega star who sounded phenomenal. She still has an amazing gravelly voice that borders on gospel sounding with a marvellous sense of funk in the mix, a perfect vocalist pairing with Leo who definitely knows a thing or two about funk.
Then Leo would come back on the stage, looking totally rag-tag, a mop of ginger hair, happy and like the life of the party and totally bring the noise… the bloody awesome noise that is. I was completely impressed by Leo and I want him at my next party!
Leo had the most respectful way of commanding the show, stepping back for Lulu but taking control of his own performances and sharing the duets. He threw in an unexpected song for the band with Take Me To The River as I suspect he felt the mood was flattening (this was not from boredom at all, the first set had been songs & stories that were mellow to that point and the moment arrived where it needed to be lifted, so he did). He told a couple of stories throughout the night his voice was in top form and he was getting down.
Leo was engaging, he talked to the crowd, got them clapping, danced acted the clown & together with Lulu, got the audience singing. I thoroughly enjoyed his performance.
The second set for me was my favourite, with more upbeat songs, some moments of onstage spontaneity & the crowd at a guess the majority being 50 years plus, with grins like a naughty teenager, cheering and calling out “…we love you Lulu….we love you Leo….” By this stage had all got up on their feet dancing to hear the big hits we all knew.
I must mention the band who were enjoying themselves on stage (sometimes a little devoid of life) but it suited the arrangement, the music was stella and all to be commended.
The Civic, always a gorgeous venue, looked and sounded beautiful, dishing up top points on that side too.
To Lulu, (I’m going to take this moment because I can) I asked my Aunty Jo (I'm not joking she’s Lulu’s biggest fan) if she had a chance to say anything to Lulu about the show; what would you say? Her message was, “Lulu thank-you for the music, What a fantastic show, thank-you for coming, gratitude for the years & years of songs that inspired her as an artist, thank-you!"
To Leo, also I would like thank-you, you were yesterday’s glorious surprise for me, thanks for coming go well the pair of you with a friendly wave from New Zealand !
it was a fabulous show.
Thunder In My Heart -(Duet)
Re-Light My Fire- (Duet)
Have You Ever Been In Love -(Duet)
More Than I Can Say- (Leo)
One Man Band -(Leo)
Dancing The Night Away -(Leo)
The Man Who Sold The World- (Lulu)
Where The Poor Boys Dance -(Lulu)
I Don’t Want To Fight- (Duet)
The Boat That I Row -(Duet)
Take Me To The River-(Duet)
Run To Me/To Love Somebody/I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You -(Lulu)
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