The Main Event : "A NIGHT OF AUSSIE MAGIC!"
JOHN FARNHAM, OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN and ANTHONY WARLOW at Melbourne Park on the 28 October, 1998. (Opening night).
With three of Australia's greatest singing talents, I was in for something special. Backed by a 40 piece orchestra and the John Farnham Band, John opened the show with 'Age of Reason'. Anthony entered the stage and sang 'Phantom of the Opera'. The boys looked handsome in their suits. Olivia then joined the boys on stage wearing a long white satin, open weave own with matching shawl, and singing 'A Little More Love'. The three finished with a chorus of 'Age of Reason' before leaving the stage to generous applause. Anthony entered the stage for his excellent solo set, leaving the stage to loud audience appreciation.
Olivia entered the stage wearing a long red sleeveless gown with a gold pattern She looked lovely. Opening her set with 'Magic', followed by 'If You Love Me Let Me Know', taking her microphone and lassooing it through the air screaming 'Yea Ha'. Olivia then said 'Hello Melbourne. It's great to be home'. She spoke about her new album, then performed 'Back With A Heart' and, accompanied by pianist Chong Lim from John Farnham's Band, sang 'Precious Love' which she introduced as being her new single. She finished her set with the classic hit, 'Hopelessly Devoted To You' again, leaving the stage to a loud audience ovation. She looked beautiful and sounded wonderful, although a little nervous. She still hit every note, her voice strong. Truly the professional.
John entered the stage to a very loud reception; he sang his set and got the place rocking for more great music to come. After a 20 minute break, Olivia opened the second half with a moving performance of 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina', looking just gorgeous in a long red velvet gown with matching shawl and black shoes. Ending the song with her arms stretched out, her shawl around her shoulders and arms, highlighted by a raised stage and beautiful lighting displays, Olivia received a very loud ovation. John then joined Olivia on stage, the two singing an excellent version of John' s old song 'Please Don't Ask me', ending with the two kissing and hugging. Then the two vamped things up with John helping Olivia on with her black leather jacket to Olivia's comments of 'It still fits...amazing! '. They sang the Grease hit 'You're The One That I Want'. The audience really loved this. Minus her leather jacket, the two sang a great duet version of John's hit 'Two Strong Hearts'. John then left the stage.
Olivia danced and sang her way through 'Not Gonna Give Into It' with Anthony joining her on stage, dancing around her blowing a whistle. The audience really loved this. Olivia and Anthony then sat down, (centre stage) on stools to sing a tribute to people who are no longer with us. 'The Long And Winding Road' Linda McCartney). 'Take Me Home Country Roads (John Denver), 'I Honestly Love You' (Peter Allen), finishing their set with a beautiful version of Olivia's song 'Love Is A Gift accompanied by Chong Lim on piano. Olivia and Anthony both left the stage to a warm ovation. Anthony and John entered the stage for a few songs and a very funny comedy routine which the audience loved.
Next came one of the best finales I have seen, beginning with the 'Righteous Brothers' ' You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling', Olivia looking lovely in a silver/grey suit with a black cape. The three sang a short but cheeky version of 'Summer Nights', 'If Not For You' and 'Let Me Be There' followed by 'A Touch Of Paradise' performed by John and Olivia. Anthony and Olivia then handed John a red umbrella as the two sang Johns' old hit 'Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head', strolling arm in arm around the stage. Next came 'Banks Of The Ohio', Olivia sang a very funny version of 'Jolene' with the boys clowning around behind her. The three finished by singing some of john's hits, starting with 'Hearts On Fire' and finishing of with 'Don't You Know It's Magic', before leaving the stage to a standing ovation.
For an encore, the three sang 'You're Always In My Prayers', Olivia adding a long rhinestone scarf. over her black cape. Olivia and Anthony left the stage, while 3ohn sang a melody of Australian Rock Songs before also leaving the stage. By then the audience couldn't get enough. For the second encore, Olivia entered the stage wearing a long gold, sleeveless gown and danced around the stage singing her hit song 'Physical'. The boys joined her on stage for an excellent finish to the best concert I have seen, a moving version of John's hit ' You're The Voice' with bag- pipers joining them at the edge of the stage. The three taking their final bows again to a standing ovation. What a magical performance. Something so unique and special. I was not disappointed. What talent! What a show!
All photos by Jenny Nolte