Review: Air Supply1 May 2019
In all honesty, I went along to the Air Supply concert on April 24 with no idea what to expect. Despite their status as an iconic Australian band, my knowledge of the people standing on stage before me extended only to the snippets of their songs I had heard included in the occasional television commercial. Nonetheless, I had a sense of excitement walking into the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Despite some administrative issues, which had jumbled the starting times on some tickets, once doors opened the audience filled an estimated half of the Plenary.
Not only did Air Supply have their usual band accompanying them, but the stage was also filled by a twenty-piece orchestra. This stunning addition created a unique experience; the beautiful sound of the strings were so powerful, at times even giving me shivers when mixed with the solemn vocals. Violinist Patrick Roberts, who has recently brought out an album featuring the adored band, also performed one number.
I was shocked to discover that I knew more of their famed love songs than I had first thought, including ‘All Out Of Love’ and ‘Every Woman In The World’. Every song was accompanied by a different lighting design, with the stage at times being lit up by intricate patterns, or dynamic multicoloured spots. The wonderful aesthetic of the stage is a credit to the creative crew, who made it an artistic feature rather than allowing the lighting to be purely for necessity.
Some other crowd favourites included ‘Two Less Lonely People in the World’ and ‘Making Love Out of Nothing At All’. Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell, who make up Air Supply, utilised the entire stage, walking, dancing, and jumping throughout the show. In a pleasant surprise to the audience, they made their way down from the stage, walking through the aisles and shaking hands with their fans. Unusual for performers, they also made their way to the nosebleed section, delighting the crowd, and even posed for the odd selfie while continuing to perform their much-loved songs. A new song, which is yet to be recorded, was also revealed to the audience. Performed by Graham, ‘Son of the Father’ was well-received, as an emotional tribute to the connection between father and son.
The duo sounded as smooth as they do on their recorded works, despite the years in between. They explained from the stage that this year marks their 44th year performing together, and they made sure to express how truly grateful they were to have had the opportunity to do what they love for so long, thanking the audience for coming to see them. Looking around, it become clear that Air Supply really transcends generations. The audience was comprised of couples, families and friends, young and old, all united by the classics. A mosh pit formed following the interval, and the Plenary showed their love to Air Supply with a standing ovation when the night came to an end.
The ARIA Hall of Fame inductees put on a show that left the crowd with nothing but smiles, and perhaps some sore throats for those belting it out. The Air Supply concert was unique, full of soft-rock ballads about love and heartbreak, and was something I feel privileged to have seen live.
Air Supply played The Plenary on the 24th of April, and are currently touring North America.