As an eight year old child Tina Arena graced our televisions on the set of ‘The Young Talent Time’. Some four decades later she is continuing to entertain fans with her appropriately named ‘Innocence to Understanding’ Tour. On her second show of the tour, there wasn’t a spare seat at The Star Gold Coast as 2000 fans, both young and old, sang along to the wide catalogue of songs spanning her entire career. Joined by a a five piece band and two backing vocalists, Tina treated the audience to an evening of vocal prowess, stunning lighting and an array of costume changes one would expect from a larger venue performance.
As the lights dimmed, the audience was treated to a video monologue of Tina performing as a child while her band came on stage. After a few minutes reminiscing about how young Tina was when she started her career, she appeared wearing a white jump suit and a white laced cape that glistened in the soft light that adorned the stage. Like a seasoned performer she acknowledged the crowd but concentrated on the task at hand, performing such classics such as ‘Burn’, ‘Heaven Help my Heart’, ‘Symphony of Life’ and many more. Throughout the night there were many costume changes. Without knowing Tina is sneaking up to 50 years of age, there would certainly be no way of telling. Her wardrobe was spectacular; a short sequinned grey dress exposing her legs, a long black dress that looked like she was about to go to a ball and a tailored suit towards the end, all of which sparkled amazingly under the lights and added to the atmosphere of the evening. Alongside her own songs she amazed the audience with a beautiful vocal rendition of the foreigners classic, ‘I Wanna Know What Love Is’.
Rather than have a support act, Tina performed two sets for well over two hours. After a slight intermission she told the crowd: “I am here tonight because of you. I would not be here if you did not support my music “. Support it they did, with a young girl of around 8 years old telling me Tina Arena is her favourite singer in the short break. A highlight for myself and many in the audience was a stripped back version of ‘Wasn’t it Good’ . Moving to the front of the stage her two guitarists performed this acoustically while being subtly enhanced by a Cajun box drum and bass guitarist. While many (of the mainly older crowd) remained in their seats for a majority of the concert there were also many that were vocal and knew the songs word for word singing along. After some smooth ballads Tina got the crowd dancing by channelling her Peter Allen with some maracas and some Spanish dance moves to ‘Now I Can Dance’.
As the tour name suggested, the show took us on a journey of an eclectic mix of both her older songs as well as some of her newer ones. As her encore finished she encouraged her fans with some welcome advice to “Live each day in the moment”. Something for the previous few hours a few thousand people had done, witnessing an amazing show and vocal performance.
IMAGES (c) Bert Hibbert