[LIVE REVIEW] Jon Stevens & Vanessa Amorosi @ Palms at Crown, Melbourne 18/04/2019

The Palms at Crown is the stage for some fantastic shows of late and Jon Stevens is no exception to that rule. Selling out every show, Jon is living the dream, bringing live music to the fans and don’t we love it! Touring across the countryside as part of the Red Hot Summer Tour Vanessa Amarosi and Jon Stevens have been tearing it up as they pump out the tunes to the masses. Whether it is thousands in attendance or the more intimate shows such as The Palms the fans still flock in and let’s face it, why wouldn’t they?

How wonderful it is to have Vanessa Amarosi back in town. Looking stunningly gorgeous as she took to the stage in a tasselled white number and knee-high white boots to match. Opening with her killer new single Heavy Lies The Head the show was off and running. If you haven’t heard it yet, please do yourself a favour and check it out. She is back in spectacular fashion and this song just shows how much she has grown in her time away from Australia. Have A Look and the rocking Kiss Your Mama was up next which saw Vanessa take to the guitar as well and had a fabulous segue into Mr Mysterious.

Chatting with the audience Vanessa shared that Shine was originally written as ‘Die’ and as she launched into this massive hit, we were treated to the alternate first chorus of Die, and I bloody loved it! Vocally superb Vanessa can bring a tear to the eye with such a powerful song no matter what chorus she used. Just accompanied by her guitarist and some stunning lighting it was dazzling to say the least.  Moving into the Nancy Sinatra classic Bang Bang, to which her soulful voice suited exceptionally well.  Perfect was just that absolutely ‘Perfect’ and Fire turned the heat up and finally had the fans on their feet, it was funky and fun and got the joint grooving. A lovely cover of Dancing In The Dark with a slowed first verse was a great addition but This Is Who I Am really got the placing shaking, Vanessa worked the stage with gusto and boy can she shake those tassels! Even taking to the crowd for a verse which had the fans going crazy.

Of course, everyone was waiting for Absolutely Everybody and it was as brilliant as I expected. Vanessa had The Palms bouncing as she punched it out, hair flips and shimmying in overdrive. Her dance moves were second to none and she worked the stage like a woman possessed. Flawless from her opening Vanessa Amorosi was sensational, I wish I could have bottled her energy it was endless over her 45-minute set.  If you get the chance, please check her out you will be so pleased that you did.  Welcome home Vanessa we are so happy to have you back.

After a quick change over it was time for the main event and the man himself Jon Stevens. Of course, this isn’t my first time seeing him in the flesh but it’s a show I never grow tired of and would go back again tomorrow if I had the chance. As the lights dimmed the packed house let out screams of joy, and that was from the fellas as well. It was a mixed crowd with an older demographic, but as I fit into that said bracket it shall remain ageless. You are only as old as you feel, and I felt like a teenager again as Jon blasted out Touch which had the fans immediately on their feet.  Voice Of Reason and Burning Feeling has the girls swooning and maybe some of the blokes in attendance wishing they had studied music at school! Love Somebody is always a favourite and the punters were giving it a good crack as Jon rocked the stage in his white t-shirt and tight black jeans.

After a minor technicality with Jon’s acoustic guitar, Simple Man was up next then, once again the lighting was lovely, then Welcome To The World, the fans eating it up enjoying every minute. To be honest what’s not to enjoy, fabulous songs and a sexy as hell man singing them, now that is a match made in heaven. With a gigantic back catalogue to choose from there was no stopping Jon on his Raining Hits tour which was the perfect time to add Rain Down On Me into the mix, with every cent going to our farmers, if you haven’t already, you need to buy this single people. Miles and Miles had the lah, lah lahs on high rotation, all of us happy to sing along to this classic Noiseworks hit and Jon belted it out with passion, taking his trademark forward leaning stance while he sang much to our delight. His cheekiness was ever apparent with a quirky tongue poke showing his New Zealand heritage or making a swift joke. Then it was time to get the place banging with a few from his days in INXS, What You Need, Kick, Don’t Change now that’s a trifecta of tunes right there, then add to that Good Times and a return to the stage from Vanessa. Looking incredible in a shorter than short red dress this dynamic duo belted it out and had us singing our hearts out. A very nice addition seeing Vanessa back on stage. Take Me Back literally did take me back to where my love affair with Noiseworks started, it’s a very special song and I never grow tired of it. That was the finisher, but we all knew there would be a few more, so we clapped and chanted and low and behold Jon and his band returned to see out the night. A quick note on the band, absolutely awesome from go to whoa, Jon really does pull your attention so I didn’t give them as much love as I should have, but kudos to you all you were sensational.

Would it be a hits tour without Jesus Christ Super Star? Most definitely not, so happy that a medley was included in the encore and Jon brought out his inner Judas, if only for one song. I loved seeing that stage show in my younger years and always find its extremely nostalgic hearing it again. No Lies had The Palms on their feet (if they weren’t already) and Hot Chilli Woman took the heat up to boiling point. Phoar what a man Jon Stevens is, still red hot and showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. Another sold out show, another crowd wowed by his musical brilliance. Take me back again, yes please!!!

Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale

Gallery by Lynda Buchanan