The news of Orianthi Panagaris returning to her home soil is always vastly exciting and welcome to us all at Silver Tiger Media, news that she is travelling with Richie Sambora, fuels the jet of excitement all the further to launch our spirits aloft.
The Melbourne leg of the RSO Tour at Margaret Court Arena had no shortage of the Richie faithful, ready to celebrate his return to the land of Oz. But we are truly treated to a crowd warmer of epic proportions in the sensational talent that is our very own Sarah McLeod.
Sarah kicks off proceedings in sensational solo style, proving that a big hall with a big crowd is the best way to celebrate her remarkable talents, sans band. That is until she treats us to a barber shop quartet accompanied by the remaining members, albeit via iPod recording. And I agree wholeheartedly with Sarah’s observation that “no one’s doing that shit”, mainly because so few possess the performing capacity to pull it off so impressively.
A tremendous rendition of Scouts Honour along with a brief description of how the song came to be, followed by a sensational delivery of Gravity from Jet Age, The Superjesus’ second album, gives ample evidence as to why her solo gigs are so very popular. Sarah’s brilliant voice certainly blasts the roof off a big gig chamber, but she is never too far from sharing her journey with patrons of more intimate shows. Incidentally, shows that are unmissable for any lover of fine Aussie rock.
But I firmly believe the highlight of Sarah’s performance was her utterly astonishing delivery of House Of The Rising Sun. Such a tremendously powerful performance is seldom seen at such lofty heights of quality. A truly blistering delivery and I think it’s fair to observe that mine was not the only chin left on the floor upon finale, mouth agape in bewildered awe.
Having enjoyed Sarah’s performances on many occasions, without and within The Superjesus, it’s a short journey to complacency in expectation of the same Sarah as last time, but the simple truth is that Sarah McLeod manages to astonish me every single time. She possesses such a raw talent that she could honestly function at half capacity and still provide crowds with brilliance, but I suspect that audiences are her true passion and she is inherently incapable of disappointing. Her voice is nothing short of glorious in splendiferous power, strength and eminence, but somehow she delivers something special every time she plays. Tonight was no exception.
The only disappointing element for the audience was the extended intermission, which unfortunately interrupted the momentum from Sarah’s performance into the headliners. It became clear that some of the audience members were less than impressed but I think the length of delay made it more apparent to the majority that something had gone wrong. No explanation was forthcoming, however, we were all thrilled when Orianthi and Richie appeared on stage.
Many screams, whistles, wails and shrieks launched stage-ward as Richie fans expressed their pleasure in greeting him back to Australia. The introduction of Living On A Prayer provided the perfect opportunity to let their enthusiasm off its reigns. For some, this performance was an insurmountable barrier following the wait. Perhaps a feeling of discontent during the lengthy delay was compounded by the disappointing delivery. Nevertheless, this impasse was such that some chose to forego the remainder of the main event, exclaiming their views whilst en-route to exits. My own view is that what we witnessed is the opposite polar extreme of the norm for a Richie Sambora performance and my feeling at the time was one of ashamed satisfaction that when I have a bad day or mess up, there are seldom hundreds of people ready to witness and hurl abuse at me.
The choice of tracks was brilliant with literally something for everyone. When Love Comes To Town was an immediate crowd pleaser and it gave Orianthi a chance to shine with her brilliant skills, both instrumentally and vocally. It’s no secret that I am an avid admirer of Orianthi and watching her superb guitar masterclass is always a pleasure. Moreover, I am pleased to report that I remain capable of managing a reasonably civilised celebration of Orianthi’s performances. That’s right, I succeeded in restraint yet again from lapsing into Australian crowd vernacular and screaming ‘Ori Ori Ori. Oi Oi Oi’. That achievement will probably fail to impress en masse, however, this utterance first occurred to me while watching Orianthi performing with Alice Cooper at The Palms Casino in Las Vegas, and I have been resisting the temptation since then, year in and year out, and the lure is difficult to resist because of Orianthi’s monumental skill and sheer brilliance in performance. When Love Comes To Town was afforded a sprinkling of Richie regalia as the track morphed into Bad Medicine before our very ears. The familiar chords of Black Or White sprang forth, the timely reminder of Orianthi’s tremendous success and global renown followed suit. To think that Orianthi was on stage so many times with Michael Jackson himself playing this very familiar track to all present compounds the special nature of being able to witness her back on home soil. The feeling of pride in such success is something we present all share and of course the very stimuli that tempts me to celebrate her with the familiar Aussie sporting battle cry. To know that Orianthi is celebrated in similar form by her peers the world over is simply humbling. Her journey, her skill and her reign of rock royalty all on display right before us is truly marvellous and extremely special.
The same sentiments are true of Richie and the RSO band. The band played brilliantly and the bass wielding bad ass would surely serve well as additional road security, throwing the bass around as effortlessly as a toothpick and still providing the sensational rhythm. Awesome.
To watch Orianthi and Richie is always a tremendously august occasion and very special to us at Silver Tiger Media. I cannot express enough to what a keenly anticipated event this is during our event planning and a highlight of every year. The RSO Tour was a tremendous opportunity for people all over Australia to watch what is always an astonishing and beautiful entwinement of two magnificent rockers sharing love for vocation, one another and their creativity. Two performers supported by a fantastic accompanying group of musicians all intent on providing for our aural and visual pleasure. I keenly encourage any and all to see Orianthi and Richie performing together on our soil again. I will certainly be back to watch in wonder what I am used to seeing again and again. That is, a wonderfully impressive display by two who share in passionate guitar oration at the peak of skilful delivery.