Hear Them Roar

By Jarred Tito

Artists: Sharon O'Neill, Margaret Urlich, Debbie Harwood, Annie Crummer, Shona Laing

Date / Venue: Saturday February 27th, 2016 - Auckland Zoo, Auckland

It was a changeable Auckland night as the skies opened up pouring its deluge on punters and animals alike. The conversations were around the weather both on and off the stage. Meanwhile the crowds of punters hustled and bustled with their brollies and the banter trying to make space to hear the music above the roar of H2O flowing from above as man and beast alike were set upon as the Heavens opened up still wider.

Hear Them Roar, brought together for one night, Sharon O'Neill, Shona Laing, Margaret Urlich, Annie Crummer and Debbie Harwood as part of the Auckland Zoo series.Yes it was a pity there wasn't a rain date organised as sadly many people formed a steady flow of those not willing to stand up to the elements. There was at one time a roar in the zoo, but not from the lions, but an agitated section of crowd, when the sole figure of a man wielding an umbrella broke protocol by attempting to shield himself from mother nature's fury but blocking the all important view of the stage. However, as they say, 'the show must go on' and go on it did. With the remaining crowd right behind everything Sharon and her leading ladies served up.
Needing no introduction, well perhaps a little introduction for those younger members who had fronted up with their parents to do a crash course in a touch of kiwiana pop nostalgia. All five artists that had had their part in dominating the airwaves throughout the 70s, 80s and early 90s once again had their moment to dominate the stage. Songs like 'E Manea', 'Words' and 'Escaping' brought back fond memories resulting in a mass crowd sing a long momentarily helping us to forget our soggy shoes and dripping macs. Ahhh, true bliss!

Individually they boast impressive back catalogues with some of the country's most iconic tunes, from Sharon O'Neill's 'Maxine', to Laing's '(Glad I'm) Not A Kennedy'.
The night couldn't dampen punters spirits, being held up like canvas tents, but like all tents the drips came and so too did punters leaving. But at the end of the day, the night belonged to the women of talent. Urlich, Crummer and Harwood's chart-topping, 'When The Cats Away's' success with their remake of the song 'Melting Pot' was untouchable. Crummer's powerful vocals were as in tune and as stunning as they have always been. What an incredible voice and an incredible person. Margaret Urlich's smash song with Peking Man's 'Room That Echoes' was another highlight that shook off the dampened spirits. Wow!

Yes, it would have been a good idea to have a rain date or back up plan in case of rain. And it would have been much better to have seen those who were unable to stay be treated to some sort of arrangement that could have enabled them to stay. But sometimes there is nothing you can do. A promoter's nightmare. Hopefully those affected by the rain won't be put off going to the Zoo events. They are really worth it. However, in spite of everything that the elements threw at the crowd, the concert was a triumph not only for the talented woman that kept us so well entertained, but also for the spirits of those fans who endured through to the end.