Rod Laver Arena,
Saturday November 29, 2008
Written by Jacqui James
ROD LAVER WAS TURNED INTO an intimate setting. From the moment you stepped into the arena, the atmosphere was very close like what you’d expect to find in a small pub.
I have to admit my family and I felt like royalty as our seats were the closest to the stage at Rod Laver we’ve ever had. The stage was circular and wasn’t overwhelming to look at.
At 8pm Billy and his piano rose from below and he belted out Angry Young Man. Throughout the night he cracked jokes at himself and the audience’s seats. He pointed out that the people seating in front of him were in fact in a dangerous spot as above them was the huge lighting contraption that could fall on them at any time. He even compared Tasmania to New Jersey. His knowledge of Australia would be influenced by having an Aussie bass player who is from Adelaide. At one stage he played Waltzing Matilda.
The surprise of the night was when Billy brought out one of his Aussie roadies to sing the “Australian Hymn” (according to Billy), the ACDC classic Highway To Hell. This pleased this rock chick immensely.
There was no special effects, no video screens, just lighting. Every once in a while Billy and his piano turned around in another direction.
The last encore was something truly unforgettable. Everyone in the arena sang along to all of Piano Man. I’ve never heard the arena erupt in song so loudly.