Live Review: The Corrs @ Rod Laver Arena

7 November 2023 | 12:24 pm | Michael Prebeg

“We can’t thank our fans enough for supporting us after all these years."

The Corrs

The Corrs (Credit: Mark Stevens)

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It’s the last Australian show of this tour and Germein are first up on tonight’s bill. Their catchy melodies with heartfelt lyrics quickly attract attention. The three sisters in the band have incredible chemistry on stage with their exciting indie-pop songs.

They share a track called Suitcase about missing home (Adelaide Hills) and they play it acoustically for us tonight. Their powerful lyrics full of emotional charge strike a chord and connect with the audience. They finish with a happy song, and they encourage us to sing along for the infectious and energetic chorus.

“Well, Aloha!” says Toni Childs as she takes a seat at the edge of the stage. “First, we are going to play some really old shit from thirty-friggen-years-ago. We are going to relive the past with little morsels of memory chocolates to taste and then the second half is for the here and now and future,” she says.

Childs unleashes her powerful, booming voice with soulful, bluesy, and raw lyrics delivered with a rough-edged vocal. The strong emotion in her music resonates with her audience as she conjures up a sense of nostalgia with her blast from the past hits from the ‘80s and ‘90s, including House Of Hope, Don’t Walk Away and Stop Your Fussin’.

She stands up as her full band joins in for her energetic and fresh new material and the audience claps along to the unreleased music. “That’s the most I’ve worn shoes in a show, but now I need to take them off to feel more grounded,” she says. The security guard helps her remove her boots so she can move around the stage and roam around the floor area more freely for Because You’re Beautiful. She leaves us with a heartfelt message to shine on, before she takes a final bow with her band and crew.

“God, I miss living in Melbourne, no one makes a coffee like you,” says Natalie Imbruglia after starting off her set with Wishing I Was There. She spins around the stage in a flowing brown dress and continues with a few of her biggest hits including Wrong Impression and Shiver.

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Imbruglia released a new album in 2021 called Firebird and tells us it came about after a really long bout of writer’s block. “It was so nice to dive into songwriting again and it was also after becoming a mum, so it was a very happy experience for me. I wrote the album from a very joyful and creative place.” She showcases some of these new songs including On My Way and Maybe It’s Great, a song which she excitedly shares was written with Albert Hammond Jr. from The Strokes.

Just Like Old Times is dedicated to any anti-romantics in the room tonight who have lost their faith in love and of course, Imbruglia can’t leave us without playing her biggest track Torn, which sparks a huge audience singalong. Some may not know is actually a cover, but Imbruglia’s version is so memorable she’s made it her own.

The Corrs haven't embarked on a full tour Down Under since 2001 and it’s been 28 years since the release of their breakthrough debut album.

“We’ve always gotten a welcome that was something close to a homecoming every time we came here to Australia, but it’s been over 20 years since we’ve had that feeling,” says lead singer Andrea Corr. “I think there’s a lot of awfulness in the world going on today but it’s not here, this is all love, so let’s have an amazing night tonight,” she comments.

The family Irish band bring the stage to life with their charming pop-rock and a mix of contemporary sound with traditional themes full of tin whistles, mandolin, and a violin.

They were at their peak in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s but The Corrs seem like they haven’t aged a day since their heyday and their chemistry is incredible. They take us back in time with their nostalgic hits, starting with Only When I Sleep, Give Me A Reason and Forgiven, Not Forgotten. Andrea dazzles in a silver dress and her luscious vocals are superb. The explosive energy of The Corrs working together with such harmonious synchronicity is truly spectacular.

Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, they share a few covers of their favourite band, sharing a tribute song to the late Christine McVie (Little Lies) and a heavenly Irish celebration of Dreams.  

Andrea leaves the stage for a moment as Sharon and Caroline Corr move to the front of the stage for a duet cover of Jimmy McCarthy’s No Frontiers. Andrea returns for an emotionally charged ballad about immigration called Ellis Island. “Our parents considered moving to Australia, so in some ways, we could be here, Aussies with you, singing in an Aussie accent,” she jokes. “Things changed when our mother got pregnant with Jim and so we stayed in Ireland, but we got here eventually,” she shares.

They continue the Celtic festival with an instrumental traditional folk song called Haste To The Wedding, as Caroline hits the drums, Sharon strikes the violin and Andrea plays the tin whistle whilst dancing around the stage as the band jams around them with playful guitars and keyboards.

The audience starts off singing the first verse of I Never Loved You Anyway and Andrea is visibly overwhelmed by the passion and excitement of the audience. She goes on to recall memories of visiting Melbourne over 20 years ago with their parents and doing in-store signings. “We can’t thank our fans enough for supporting us after all these years, we hope we see you again,” says Andrea.

The encore includes their biggest hits Breathless and Runaway that gets everyone up on their feet for a big finale including a performance of a traditional folk tune Toss The Feathers that’s a feel-good dedication to their homeland and the perfect way to end the show.