Delta’s 'Innocent Eyes' Anniversary Tour is a chronicle of her life 20 years ago and a celebration of all that has happened since.
2003 was a big year for Australian music. Last week, I reviewed Jet’s Get Born 20th Anniversary tour, but another iconic Australian album is celebrating a milestone this year. In March 2003, Australia’s sweetheart Delta Goodrem released her illustrious debut album Innocent Eyes.
The album spent a record-breaking 29 weeks at number one on the ARIA Albums Charts, making it the highest-selling debut album in Australian music history. The award-winning album produced an unprecedented five-number-one singles and is certified 23x platinum.
In celebration, Delta has embarked on her Innocent Eyes 20th Anniversary Tour, playing nine intimate shows across the country, including two at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall.
A few levels down from Hamer Hall’s main entrance, fans were met by a spectacular 360-degree sculptural butterfly decorated with exquisite purple blooms. Designed by A Peachy Affair in collaboration with Willow Tree Events for The Delta Goodrem Foundation, the sculpture (symbolic of kindness, compassion, and hope) provided a cool photo opportunity while simultaneously raising awareness and fundraising efforts.
Lights dimmed; the show began with a voiceover from Delta contemplating the meaning behind Innocent Eyes before she entered stage right looking ever the goddess in custom Voellk. A white piano sat in the centre of the stage, decorated with a kaleidoscope of butterflies emerging from within. “No butterflies were harmed in the making of this piano,” Delta jokingly told the crowd. Behind her, on a curved white platform, stood the band, including fiancé Matthew Copley.
Visibly gracious, Delta invited the audience on a journey “from the beginning of the album to the end of the album,” starting with Born To Try and Innocent Eyes, both of which sent a wave of nostalgia reverberating through the hall. Showcasing Goodrem’s captivating soprano voice, Not Me, Not I was first performed in its original form before we were given a snippet of the unreleased pop version.
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Credit: Kinga Nowicka
Revealing her quirky side, Throw It Away and Running Away both featured corny choreography, but it was back at the piano where Goodrem truly shines. Switching on a lamp reminiscent of one within the pages of the album’s original booklet, Goodrem performed her biggest hit, Lost Without You. A guitar solo from Matthew Copley perfectly complimented Delta’s performance of fan-favourite Predictable. Sprinkling behind-the-song narration throughout her set, Delta told how when she was in the hospital (Delta was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma when she was 18 years old), she dreamt of singing songs like Butterfly onstage one day and proceeded to do so beautifully.
The insights continued with In My Own Time, as Delta explained that she has recently rediscovered a new meaning within the song and described how it unintentionally reflected her love of Back To The Future. On the other hand, Delta playfully pleaded with her band not to make her sing My Big Mistake (her least favourite song on the record) before elegantly delivering the song. Demonstrating Goodrem’s vocal prowess and soaring range, This Is Not Me was an unexpected highlight in the set, while there wasn’t a dry eye in the house during A Year Ago Today.
Earlier in the night, six lucky fans received letters from Delta inviting them to join her onstage for a special performance of Longer. One by one, each fan shared a few moments with Delta as she encouraged them to sing sections of the song. After they took their bows, Delta returned to the piano for a haunting rendition of Will You Fall For Me featuring violinist Kieran Ledwidge.
Credit: Kinga Nowicka
With the Innocent Eyes portion of the evening concluded, Delta hosted a Q&A with the audience where she revealed she would have kicked Miscommunication off the second album and that she has recently fallen back in love with Born To Try after feeling like she had exhausted the track until finding one chord that changed the sound of it. She also recalled jumping up and down in her pyjamas in an apartment in Port Melbourne when she finally went to number one on the ARIA charts, beating Las Ketchup’s Ketchup Song and Eminem’s Lose Yourself. Delta even broke into a few bars of her debut single I Don’t Care, citing “Justice for I Don’t Care.”
Running offstage for a quick outfit change, Delta’s backup singers Christine and Sharon, of Sister2Sister fame, performed Goodrem’s song Together We Are One from the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Returning to the piano in an asymmetrical silver ensemble by Con Ilio, Delta dazzled with a medley of hits, including Out Of The Blue, In This Life, Sitting On Top Of The World, Wings, and a duet with fiancé Matthew Copley on Almost There. She ended the medley with a performance of her uplifting new song, Back To Your Heart.
The show ended with an unaccompanied performance of Here I Am before reprising Born to Try with Delta’s angelic voice on full display while fans were showered in confetti.
Finally giving fans the album tour they never got to see, Delta’s Innocent Eyes Anniversary Tour is a chronicle of her life 20 years ago and a celebration of all that has happened since. It’s simply un-Australian not to love Delta.
Credit: Kinga Nowicka