THE Both Sides Now title of his new album was appropriate for a game of two halves – common football parlance but here, to describe a show very specifically divided by its interval.
The first half brought an emotional rollercoaster of new material from the album – Songbird, Closest Thing To Crazy, The Perfect Song... all new, delivered live, even to a diehard fan like me who has heard so many before. He closed the set with a fantastic rendition of Leona Lewis’s Light Up – after promising a second half filled with the musicals favourites that began and continue to define his hugely successful career.
I say this as, despite all his albums since, it is those hits from Les Mis, Evita, Phantom, Sunset Boulevard and even Lion King that best display that powerful voice that filled the Opera House and brought the audience to its feet in appreciation.
It’s the words, the songs themselves he makes such a huge effort to describe – but it’s the voice that provides a wow factor impossible to define in words.
You just had to be there, I think.