Review: Back

12 April 2019

On April 5th, I got to witness the sheer brilliance that is Tim Minchin. The Back tour promised a mix of “old songs, new songs, and fuck you songs”, and it certainly did not disappoint. 

Set in the beautiful Palais Theatre in Melbourne, I was impressed when the announcement warned that phones weren’t to be used at all, and that there was going to be a lockout for the show – it really reinforced that this was going to be a fully immersive experience to enjoy completely in the moment, something we really don’t do enough.

The theatre roared when Tim graced the stage, getting straight into satirical number ‘If This Plane Goes Down’. It certainly set the tone of somewhat confronting comedy for the rest of the night, something that Minchin is famous for.

In between songs Minchin walked around the stage, barefoot of course, giving his in-depth insight and sharing hilarious thoughts with the crowd. No one minded his elongated sermons about the ways of the world, and I could have listened to him all night. He explained that the show really is made of lectures disguised as a cabaret disguised as a comedy, which is why we love him. It’s the way that Minchin can use such evident intellect to discuss heavy or confronting issues while making us laugh at the same time that makes him so incredibly unique above and beyond his obscene musical abilities. 

It was so clear that Minchin was having a great time, at times cracking himself up mid-song, and his enthusiasm was contagious. Some of the pieces he performed included ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Nerd’, ‘Thank You God’, ‘15 Minutes’, and one of my surprising favourites to see live, ‘Cheese’. Very few people have been able to capture my love for the curd-based produce within a song, but Minchin hits the nail on the head while dancing up a storm and performing to the max on stage. 

‘Come Home (Cardinal Pell)’ was omitted from the show, as he explained it seemed wrong to perform it now given recent events. However, he acknowledged he recorded the song as a fundraiser for survivors from Ballarat to travel to and confront the Vatican, and he was proud to be part of that. Instead he sang the ‘Pope Song’, which definitely sends a message in and of itself.

Minchin carried the show on for two and half hours, without an interval. It was definitely value for money. Beyond that, he revealed that a portion of proceeds from the Melbourne ticket sales were going to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Each city corresponds to a different charity, so throughout the tour he is helping a wide range of organisations across Australia and New Zealand.

If you are thinking of taking youngsters to see Minchin, be warned that it is a show filled to the brim with obscene language. If you are asthmatic, keep in mind that there is a smoke machine running throughout.

This was the best show I have ever been to. It had me laughing so hard that I had tears streaming down my face, I left with cheeks aching from incessant smiling, I was in awe that Tim Minchin himself and his crazy hair had been only metres away from me, and my senses were in overload from the amazing musical production that was before me.

Most of his shows are sold out but if you get the chance, be sure to go and see this genius in action. Tim Minchin’s show is something not to be missed.

Welcome back, Tim. 

Tim Minchin’s Back is playing at the Palais Theatre until the 24th of April.

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