After more than 5000 performances, Air Supply have pretty much perfected the art of giving their audience exactly what they want. Although, as lead singer, Russell Hitchcock mentioned, their success is something they have never taken for granted in their 44-year career.
The setlist contained many of their hits, the soppier ones creating an instant iPhone lightshow around the hall.
Air Supply don’t need extravagant effects, the magic is in their music. Expertly presented by their band, Aaron Mclain (guitar / Music Director), Aviv Cohen (drums), Doug Gild (bass) and Mirko Tessandori (keyboards), the eager Airheads lapped it up. Russell’s rich voice is as strong as it ever was, and of course everyone knew the words to every song.
Cavernous and lacking any atmosphere, The Plenary may be the perfect venue for conferences and TED Talks, but it is the completely wrong shape for concerts. At the very least, video screens on the sides of the stage would have been most useful. On the plus side, it has fine acoustics and the seats are very comfortable.
The 20-piece Metropolitan Orchestra wasn’t used to the best of their abilities, in my humble opinion, and there were only a few songs where you could really hear and appreciate them, which was a shame.
During a little break for Russell (“Four minutes – but if you like it, four and a half”, he said jokingly) Graham read out a piece of poetry he’d written, and delivered a moving song about his late father.
Graham Russell’s guitar-playing is interesting to watch; he is left-handed and plays the instrument accordingly, however, it is strung right-handed and he therefore plays the chords upside-down.
The Air Supply setlist is a time warp of hits. This is one of Australia’s most successful international exports of the last 40 years. Their ‘Greatest Hits’ album alone sold over 5 million copies in America. ‘Love and Other Bruises’ was a Top 10 hit 43 years ago. It is just seven years off its 50th anniversary.
After all these years Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock are at the top of their game for live performance. I suspect the 50th is well within their grasp.
Air Supply setlist, Melbourne, 24 April, 2019 Setlist
Sweet Dreams (from The One That You Love, 1981)
Even The Nights Are Better (from Now and Forever, 1982)
Just As I Am (from Air Supply, 1985)
Every Woman In The World (from Lost In Love, 1980)
Here I Am (from The One That You Love, 1981)
Chances (from Lost In Love, 1980)
Goodbye (from The Vanishing Race, 1993)
Love And Other Bruises (from Air Supply, 1976)
G’s Spot : a poem and a song Graham wrote for his late father
Now And Forever Better (from Now and Forever, 1982)
Two Less Lonely People In The World Better (from Now and Forever, 1982)
The One That You Love (from The One That You Love, 1981)
Lost In Love (from Life Support, 1979)
Making Love Out Of Nothing At All (from Greatest Hits, 1993)
Without You (from The Earth Is…, 1991)
Shake It (from A Wall Apart musical, 2019)
All Out Of Love (from Lost In Love, 1980)
Air Supply Remaining Dates
26th April Sydney Opera House
28th April Perth Astor Theatre
30th April Auckland Bruce Mason Centre