[LIVE REVIEW] Robbie Williams @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne 24/02/2018

The Heavy Entertainment Show rocketed into Melbourne last night for the first of two sold out shows. It’s no surprise that tickets sold like hot cakes, Melbourne loves Robbie and he loves us back ten fold. The support for the evening was Melbourne based funk unit The Bamboos, they treated us to a 40 minutes funk/soul set that had everyone shimmying in their seats. Their sound was big and their voices bigger, definitely one to watch for on the live music circuit.

Robbie’s wicked sense of humour apparent before we even got a glimpse of the man himself, as we all stood for the National Anthem of Robbie, a hilarious ode to himself that had everyone in stitches. Then it was gloves off as Robbie took to the stage draped in a boxing robe that Liberace would be proud of!  His trademark ‘man skirt’ hiding underneath giving him much needed ventilation. He was accompanied by six dancers also kit out in red and green fighting regalia, looking sleek, sexy and ready for anything. Opening with The Heavy Entertainment Show it was time to show the world just how good Robbie ‘Fu*king’ Williams is, with a stage that ran nearly the whole length of the floor everyone had prime position and didn’t miss a thing. His fans always being put to the forefront to ensure they get the best possible experience.

The fan favourite Let Me Entertain You had everyone jumping as the fighting attire was lost and the show moved into full party mode. Monsoon had hands swaying side to side and a most beautiful tribute to his idol George Michael with Freedom! 90. The back screen showed the famous black and white ‘Faith’ picture of George Michael as the stage between the crowd turned into a runway. The dancers in full catwalk mode as they strutted to Freedom! 90. Robbie did mention that if there was one person he would ‘turn’ for it would have been George!

With a hit-list as long as Robbie Williams has, you can’t expect to get everything but the mix of songs was perfect with enough old, new, and swing to keep even the fussiest punter happy. Love My Life saw Robbie take to a giant boxing glove that appeared from the depths of the runway, the riser lifted him to circle over the crowd while he sang, giving everyone that up close experience. Crowd participation is always paramount at any Robbie Williams show, last night was no exception, with one lucky fan pulled up to be serenaded during Somethin’ Stupid. Did it matter that it was a male, no way! It is what makes Robbie so lovable, and definitely a night that the pink polo shirted fan will never forget.  His cheekiness undying all night, with kilt lifts part of the norm, happily flashing his butt and even his tiger embossed front on several occasions. Jokes aplenty and more than happy to have a laugh at himself and make others laugh in the process, Robbie Williams is the ultimate entertainer, there will never be another quite like him.

This show had everything and more with 80’s sing-a-longs, dance spectaculars, laser lights, big screens, amazing band, superb support singers, to name just a few of the things you can expect if you are going along, but I don’t want to spoil all the fun. It really is a show you must see to believe. We saw the real Mr Williams aka Robbie’s dad make an appearance as the two sang a duet of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline on a couch that just ‘appeared’ at the end of the runway. She’s The One and Feel gave everyone a chance to catch their breath as we were treated to a spectacular laser show that left the audience spellbound. Rock DJ had everyone bouncing again, the dancers having yet another fabulous costume change. Everyone on their feet dancing and singing enjoying every last minute. After a very brief break and plenty of chanting from the crowd he was back to finish out the night, no one wanting it to end but we all knew it was inevitable. Better Man and Angels both as beautiful as the other, phone torches held aloft to make the stunning laser show even more enchanting as the crowd sang back the words with love, their adoration of this amazing musician ever present.

Robbie thrilled us with his cover of Down Under it was a fabulous edition, and really is testament to how much overseas musicians love coming to Australia. We sang strong and loud, proud to hear ‘our’ national anthem sung so perfectly. The night came to a close with My Way, fans definitely as loud as Robbie himself.  Another sing-a-long ensued as we finished the lyrics that Robbie started, the audience singing Angels in unison to his departure.

If you can get your hands on a ticket, DO IT! Don’t miss the opportunity to witness this extravaganza in the flesh, this show delivers so much more than music, it really is The Heavy ENTERTAINMENT Show!

Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale