Going in blind can be a terrible thing. Our knowledge of Tina Arena extends to one song and one song only and that's Andrew Lloyd Webber's Whistle Down The Wind from the late 90's. Yes. The last we heard from Tina Arena was in the late 90's but turns out she's been opening Olympic ceremonies and has just been inducted into the music hall of fame in her home land of Australia.
Why you may ask? Because this woman has it all. Looks, presence and a voice that can raise the roof but do the songs match up to the voice? It's difficult to say. When Tina launched into her set list it was a meak and unimpressive start, I can't sing but if you're going to get up on that stage then wow me from the get go, we've paid to be here so entertain us.
Little did we know that minutes later this meak and mild voice would become this force of nature that brought the crowd to its feet a number of times throughout the night. We may not have known the songs but Tina Arena had an air about her that allowed even us simple folk to join in with the celebration of a career that has spanned 20 years.
Mainly focusing on her new album 11, we were treated to a number of catchy tunes and balleds none of which we can name because we were clueless. All we could do was surrender and applaud and cheer along with the sold out venue. Tina had arrived in London and she wasn't leaving until she'd raised the roof... a feat that had she done so at the original planned venue of the Shepherd's Bush Empire, could have killed quite a few people as it was deemed unsafe to house this gig and we can see why... Tina Arena is a powerhouse of vocal talent that while the songs may not do that talent justice, she delivers consistently song after song.
Fighting off menopause, feedback from the sound system and the odd flat moment of humour, this Aussie bird spread her wings and went for it with wild abandon. Dressed in an outfit dragged out of the 80's we began to wonder, why bring the shoulder pads back? Why the waist high pants but as her songbook opened it all fell into place. Tina Arena lives her life on the disco floor, no bad thing but who knew disco in 2016 could be so damn fantastic?
Tina Arena is a performer who knows her audience and her limits, when someone called out a request from the audience she called him out "Do I look like a Fucking jukebox?" she then went into how difficult it is to choose a set list because everyone wants that one song, that one hope that their favourite from her 20 year career will be the one she sings tonight. For us it was Whistle Down The Wind, that did not happen... but who cares? The talent on display here is immense although I have a feeling the sound desk may not have survived the wrath of the feedback section of the gig. "Is it just me or is there feedback? I hope it's just me..." someone may have died that night. Each and every moment was made fun with a touch of sassy mischief which made the audience laugh and get closer to the star they had paid to see.
Tina rocked our world and we immediately checked out her latest album, Eleven. Buy it today, check her out on Spotify or YouTube, her soulful disco vibe will certainly put a spring in your step.
Our only regret was not doing the stage door, one night only and we missed a trick. Tina, we've watched a YouTube video of the stage door, you treated your fans nerves with such respect that we couldn't help but fall in love with you all over again. We've interviewed and met a number of stars who have put in a fraction of your time in the business and they couldn't be meaner... lesson's should be learned from this star, she took the time to not only entertain but treat her fans with respect. Awesome!