The Australian public showed up in droves last night, Rod Laver Arena transforming itself into an arena fit for two musical legends. Die-hard John Farnham fans welcomed one of Australia’s favourite sons to the stage and within seconds the crowd were up and singing along to a plethora of Farnham hits; Age of Reason, Reasons, Hearts on Fire, Every time You Cry, Simple Life …. So in tune, at age 64, John Farnham showed why Rod Laver was his arena and that there were no signs of him ever slowing down.
A great set of lungs – Farnham continued to please the Melbourne crowd with a series of tracks from the Whispering Jack album and accepting flowers from a tonne of female admirers, shaking hands with fans from all ages and all walks of life. Farnsey introduced his band as the familiar sounding harmonica kicked off his next round of hits Chain Reaction, A Touch of Paradise, Talk of the Town and Pressure Down which by the sound of the noise inside the stadium – a crowd favourite. With only minutes left on stage, fans were left wondering which of the Farnham’s hits were next and before long Johnny closed his set with That’s Freedom and the massive hit You’re The Voice triggering an avalanche of sound. The Melbourne crowd rose as one – they sang and they danced. Backstage, Lionel Richie warmed up his vocals but for Farnham there was room left for one more song, It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock n Roll) or in Johnny’s words… ‘It’s a long way to the shop, if you want a sausage roll’.
After a brief intermission, Lionel Richie took to the stage mixing up his set with a series of popular ballads, all the hits and more kicking it off with Just For You, Penny Lover and a Easy/My Love mashup. The crowd enjoyed an original arrangement of Ballerina Girl followed by feel good favourite You Are The Sun, You Are The Rain… Truly followed, as the crowd exchanged ballads for disco and were soon up and Running With The Night, Richie singing an array of Commodores favourites transforming Rod Laver Arena into a 1970’s disco.
Lionel took the time between tracks to connect with fans speaking personally about his musical journey, his family and his father. His father responsible for the global smash Three Times A Lady, the audience swooned as they were treated to the famous Diana Ross duet Endless Love, Say You Say Me and Hello, Richie doing what he does best on piano. As the night drew to a close, the crowd were up and Dancing On The Ceiling followed by disco favourite All Night Long. There was one last track, Lionel leaving the stage returning a minute later donning a white suit jacket, lights dimmed as an image of the world took over the big screen as the crowd joined Lionel Richie for a stirring rendition of We Are The World. A fitting end to a perfect night. Both Farnham and Richie delivered a stunning set, classic show-men in their own right – a night the Melbourne public will remember for years to come.
Visit the photo & video gallery on Facebook!