Post Office Box 67
  Fulham Gardens SA

  Phone: 0412 208 011

Spandau Ballet
Rod Laver Arena Melbourne

19 May 2015

Where to start I guess last November when Spandau Ballet made a quick visit to promote the new DVD Soul Boys of the Western World with a screening of the movie and then a short set live in the theatre it was hard to travel from interstate as the date was in the middle of Melbourne Cup week with only a few weeks notice so I wasn't able to make it BUT soon after they announced a four date Australian tour.  For reasons unknown Adelaide missed out but I wasn't missing out this time and was lucky enough to obtain a meet and greet VIP ticket for Melbourne (front row seat - yes it seemed a long wait for those tickets to come in the mail!!).

Like many others I missed out in 1985 when they didnt come to Canberra and no one took their kids to Sydney for concerts unlike nowadays but made sure I got to the Adelaide show in 2010.  With tickets on the side and no camera it was still a brilliant show but I vowed if they returned I would get a far better seat and make sure I had a camera by then!  Tony Hadley visited Adelaide with his solo show twice in the interim in 2011 and 2013 and those who asked then were told that Spandau Ballet would be back at the latter event.  And indeed they have come back again with fans able to watch the livestream show from the US during the afternoon on Australia Day this year (our time) which was the preview for what would come in May.  Then over the last few months the reviews from the US and the UK have been amazing as fans in Australia and New Zealand waited patiently for their turn.  The Australia/New Zealand leg of the tour started in Auckland on Mothers Day and then moved to Brisbane and Sydney before finally arriving in Melbourne (with only Perth left before they head back to the UK and Europe).

Flying into Melbourne we were warned about an expected bumpy landing but luckily as we started to come into sight of the city the massive black curtain of cloud was already over the eastern suburbs though clearly it had poured down at the airport but the landing was far better than expected (Im not a good flyer my nightmare is those sideways landings you see make the news on windy stormy days).  An afternoon catching up with a friend and fellow concert attendee and it was suddenly well past time to head off for the venue but with only a short drive ahead we made it with perfect timing to the VIP meeting area.  Dainty staff did a great job of explaining how the soundcheck and meet and greet would go ahead and we soon had our merchandise and were soon on our way inside for the sound check with Spandau Ballet already on stage playing Once More as we came in and filled the area right in front of the stage (several rows of seats were taken out for the meet and greet photo op).  New song This is the Love was played next then we were asked for requests for another song and it was Round and Round that was selected (so 2 of my 3 favourite songs played already and the new one was very good too).  Soundcheck was soon over and it was time for the question and answer session where amongst other things we found out John was a very dedicated soccer fan with plans to head off seemingly the second he gets off the plane home to a game plus plenty of light hearted banter between all members when asked various questions.

The Meet and Greet was also fantastic the band came out off the stage and lined up as fans all moved to the adjacent bank of seats to line up row by row for photos and shown where to leave bags etc.  So much more relaxed than a previous M&G I attended run by a different promoter - everyone had the chance to go up to the band and shake everyones hand and have a quick chat (if you could control that 'inner fangirl' when they all talk at once) before getting into position for the photo.  Then it was off to the VIP room to have a break and pick up some more merchandise before coming back for the main act shortly before 9pm.

Right on time Spandau Ballet hit the stage starting the show with the new song Soul Boy - well chosen to lead off with the long intro building into a snappy upbeat song as the curtain dropped and the overzealous fog machine smoke finally cleared.  It took a few moments but soon the whole crowd were on their feet (as they should be its not the opera its a CONCERT).  Highly Strung and Only When You Leave followed both from the Parade album (this was the album where I became a fan - my 13-14 year old self clearly chose well still love all the songs on that record).  How Many Lies was next followed by the favourite Round and Round which was again as in 2010 accompanied by footage on the screen behind the stage this time from the Soul Boys of the Western World DVD release.  It may have been show number 42 of the tour but some band members joined the rest of us in looking up at the screen at times during the song.

Back to the current CD The Story: The Very Best of Spandau Ballet and the new song from soundcheck This is the Love followed by a third new song Steal (the film clip is out for this and its also been performed on a number of TV guest appearances) - all are brilliant and fit perfectly amongst the older songs.  Then it was back way back to the beginning with the Blitz section a medley of songs following on from Chant No 1 (from second album Diamond with Tony and Steve taking part in a few moments on pseudo sparring back there on the stage) with Reformation, Mandolin, Confused and The Freeze before ending the section with To Cut a Long Story Short all from their debut album Journeys to Glory.  And just to show how good the band are to fans Steve threw his guitar pick to the fan next to me in the front row but it was dropped on the ground somewhere - as the song ended he came out on the cases in front of the feedback speakers and handed the fan a replacement then after Glow a couple of security guards with torches came out searched and found the original for the fan too!

Next was Raw from their final album before the band broke up at the end of the 80s followed by Glow where Tony and Gary departed the stage while John and Steve had their duel between John's full drum kit and Steve's assembly of percussion instruments.   At songs end attention turned to the B stage at the mixing desk where Tony and Gary performed Empty Spaces from Heart Like A Sky followed by a rousing acoustic version of Gold while back at the main stage Martin was encouraging the crowd to sing along with Steve once he was set to go for the next song from the side of stage  (yes Im short easier to see the guys back on stage then see very little past the crowd).  Tony and Gary returned to the stage still playing and singing walking along the aisle through the crowd yet again delighting the fans as they went.    

Back on the main stage and it was Once More from the 2009 comeback album Reformation another fantastic song that brought us all back to the Spandau fandom after the 20 year break leading into the 2010 tour.  Parade's I'll Fly For You was next then Instinction (Diamond) then Communication from True as the tempo really picked up into their best known songs from the 80s.  Lifeline another of my favourites followed (and this is fantastic to see live)  everyone was having fun at this point - if you werent there try and find it on youtube!  Then it was onto one of their biggest hits in True before heading off stage for a few moments.

Back for the encore it was straight into the emotional Through the Barricades and then the full on version of Gold leaving everyone in raptures as Gary took his selfie photos of the crowd for Twitter later before they took their final bow and departed.  Hopefully they wont leave it so long to return next time!!

The VIP Experience was run by the promoters Dainty Corporation and was well organised from start to finish and throughout it was great no one was pressure time wise through the photo op and the photo downloads were available within about 36 hours of being taken.  And on a personal note thank you to the band and tour manager Alec Mills who went out of their way to be so nice to us and when they said they would do something they did.

Their official website can be found at Spandau Ballet



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