From the moment she came on stage (to a standing ovation) to the moment she left (to a standing ovation), I don’t think I’ve ever seen an entertainer work so hard.
There was such a buzz in the air tonight that, when she appeared on stage (in a sparkly white outfit), the audience jumped to its feet. “Does she know how odd that is?”, my friend Colin asked later. “We just don’t do that in Australia”, he later observed.
Several times throughout the night people honestly and spontaneously jumped to their feet, especially when she sang some of her better known hits. Most memorable for me were “Maybe This Time” and “New York, New York.” All of the while she sang, I also felt an urge to get up and sing and dance along with her.
Of course I didn’t. People were at the Opera House to hear Liza sing, not me. And although there were times when her voice showed signs of ageing – mostly when she spoke, rather than when she sang – her voice sounded remarkable.
There were times I thought she could have filled the Opera House without amplification. And yet there were also times when she sang and “whispered” her songs, such as the final number performed without an orchestra, with such a wonderful contrasting tenderness. Also memorable was her performance of Charles Aznavour’s “What Makes A Man A Man?” which she sang with such a wonderful sense of drama.
“It was a bit cruel asking her to keep coming out”, I later observed to Colin, noting that she had returned to the stage three or four times to standing ovations. She’s not a young woman any more. And you just know that, by the end of the night, having worked so hard, she must have been buggared.
By the end of the night she had removed her false eyelashes, was wearing a loose fitting t-shirt, and was looking a whole lot “less glamorous” than when she came on stage two and a half hours earlier.
And there were times when she sat down and sang because, as she said, “I’m not young anymore”.
But that didn’t matter. In fact, it probably helped convey to the audience the “real person” who was up there and singing her heart out. And when it comes to performers, who give all of themselves for such a long period of time, and for whom every song “means something”, that’s about as good as it gets.
Best concert evuh!