Michael Ball. Alfie Boe. Together live in concert. Review done.
For what more really needs to be said? This is an incredible concert with two incredible theatre superstars, and it is truly an unmissable experience.
The evening opens with the “Somewhere” overture from West Side Story before Ball and Boe take to the stage. The two have such distinct (perfect) voices, and yet they merge so well. It’s almost odd how indistinguishable they are when singing together, and then suddenly so distinguishable when singing a solo line. This balance also extends to their onstage personas- while Boe tends to stand around glaring stoically out into the audience, Ball bounces around with a general expression reminiscent of 😀
Case and point.
The whole setlist was a high all night, but if I really must pick some standout moments then I’d say the first was definitely “Speak Softly, Love” which I later found out was from The Godfather. I now can’t stop listening to their album version of the song. Their Australian tribute of Farnham’s “The Voice” certainly marked the moment of the crowd letting down their hair (having previously been a bit in serious musical theatre mode), but it was really under Alfie’s later encouragement that had us all (first ladies, then gents) loudly singing “la la lie… HEY!”. I found myself in a particularly good position for this, as two rows in front was none other than Mark Vincent and directly behind was upcoming Wizard of Oz Tinman Alex Rathgeber. Naturally a rendition of “One Day More” from Les Mis towards the end of the night had us all ready to charge the barricade as well.
But absolutely stealing the show was Mr Ball’s note-perfect, utterly-stunning, no-words-could-do-this-justice performance of “Gethsemane” from Jesus Christ Superstar. Wow, just wow. “Gethsemane” is such a musical theatre anthem, and yet so rarely would it ever be even attempted at performed live in a concert setting. Well if anyone could do it it would be Michael Ball. And do it he did. Perfectly.
Aside from the singing some standout moments were also all of Ball’s dances, particularly when he joined the backup singers to form a quartet for Boe. He just embraced looking ridiculous and really ran with it in a most endearing way.
My only very minor critiques of the night were of the backup singers, mainly because I felt they had very little to offer the arrangements when you already had the two boys, and of BB’s rendition of “A Thousand Years” from the Twilight Saga. I adore the song, but my favourite version is Perri’s more acoustic version with Steve Kazee so this version just seemed too big. But really, what minor criticisms!
I feel like it wouldn’t be too often that I would see a concert like this, have it finish, and just want to do it all over again the next night- but this is how I felt with Together. I honestly just wanted to experience it all over again!
I guess now with the recent release of follow-up album Together Again (steady on boys we’re getting a bit too adventurous with the album titles) here’s hoping that we do get an opportunity to see them both again next year! As Ball said- 30 years is way too long till we hear you sing once more~
(ten points for guessing the musical reference)
Michael Ball & Alfie Boe are continuing their Australian tour with a stop in Adelaide on the 14th October and Perth on the 16th October. For more information and to book visit livenation.com.au
The reviewer attended the performance in Sydney on the 11th October.
Photo credit (c) Mitch Lowe