"'Celebrating the experiences of people over 50.' Honesty is important."
Taking pixelated form on an LCD screen above the stage, returning champion Glenn Ridge announced, “Welcome to the #APIAGoodTimes tour: celebrating the experiences of people over 50."
Honesty is important.
With a line-up featuring Daryl Braithwaite, Kate Ceberano, Jon Stevens and John Paul Young, there was little doubt about the target demographic, nor the ridgy didge good times set to ensue.
JPY raised the proverbial curtain with Vanda & Young banger And The Band Played On (Down Among the Dead Men). One assumed he was not throwing shade at the sedentary assemblage present. He reaffirmed his pleasant disposition with a rendition of his first single Pasadena, paying tribute to Adelaide’s second finest Foodland. Long-time compatriot Warren "Pig" Morgan rocked the Roland on Do Wah Diddy Diddy, while Young tinkled a tambourine and recited names of Adelaide suburbs (Unley got a big response – give it up for negative gearing), before going to town on a nearby cowbell. "I have to find something else to bang," he explained. Who has two thumbs, can’t afford comprehensive insurance, and streamed I Wanna Do It With You on YouTube today, Squeak? Twice. By the time he did I Hate the Music, the jokes were writing themselves.
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The only woman among "a mosh of men", Kate Ceberano came out swinging with a triple-player of hits including Brave, Pash and Bedroom Eyes. She dedicated a cover of Roberta Flack’s The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face to her grandmother, before seamlessly slipping into Songbird, flaunting her soulfulness for the former, followed by McVie-esque vocal control. She doubled-down on choral power, closing with a cover of John Farnham’s cover of Help!. Absent from Ceberano’s set was Young Boys Are My Weakness. She’s a consummate professional who knows her audience.
Fan favourite Daryl Braithwaite strode out in high spirits, working the stage like a wedge-tailed eagle coasting on a thermal column of Anglo adoration. Ever the leg-puller, he treated us to some signature Daryl razzle, inviting revellers to rise for Rise, and conducting the now half-cut crowd in a sing-along version of As The Days Go By. He incited punters to storm the pit, where a boomer in a True Grit t-shirt slow-danced his spouse to One Summer. With anthemic The Horses, Braithwaite wrapped a ripper set at the end of a doozy week, as the nation honoured the 25th anniversary of this equine magnum opus racing to the top of the ARIA charts.
Noiseworks’ Jon Stevens opened with the suitably nostalgic Take Me Back, backing that up with No Lies and Touch. He sang the saxophone solo in INXS’ Never Tear Us Apart, and dedicated his latest release Woman to all female-identifiers in the house – hot, chilly, or otherwise. Honourable mention went to Kate Ceberano, since she’s probably taking home 83¢ cents for every $1 earned by the blokes on the bill. Straying too close to Wolfmother territory, Stevens momentarily lost the room, soon saved by Brathwaite, Ceberano and Young, uniting for selections from Jesus Christ Superstar.
The awesome foursome joined forces for Howzat, knocking it for six as Stevens surreptitiously flipped the bird to Braithwaite in a display of dead-set legendary larrikinism. "Thank you for supporting live Aussie music. We're a dying breed. Tell ya children," Stevens advised before the house lights grew bright. Apia doesn’t insure against existential crisis.