JOHN AND OLIVIA: STILL STRONG IN OUR HEARTS – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, April 11 2015

Two absolute legends in Australian music rocked the walls of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and everything in between on Saturday night.

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Working as a duo this time, they proved they still have two strong voices, and the legendary status to pull a crowd of around 10,000 eager fans.

Opening with Farnham’s 1990 hit and the title track of the tour, ‘Two Strong Hearts’, the pair were backed by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Farnham’s band of the usual suspects as directed by Chong Lim.

Having had careers spanning decades, the genuine happiness radiating from both performers was heartening; their energy was reminiscent of young stars taking to an arena gig for the first time, but their skill was far from novice.

The show was accompanied by an impressive laser and light show, and multimedia projections.

After opening the show together, Farnham left Newton-John to share songs like, ‘Xanadu’, ‘Magic’ and ‘A Little More Love’ with us.

Her voice sounded as beautiful as it ever was; she hit the high notes, the low notes and she did it all looking absolutely stunning in an array of sparkling gowns.

Chatting easily with the crowd in between songs, Newton-John showed her persona, which always been sweet, warm and humble, is quite sincere.

Farnham joined her after a couple of songs, and they shared each other’s hits, their voices working harmoniously together.

Newton-John made her exit, leaving Farnham with an adoring crowd who hung on his every word.

Luckily, his every word was hilarious, and he hasn’t lost one single bit of the showmanship he is famous for.

Also hitting every note, Farnham was captivating; rocking the stage like he never retired, then came back, then retired again.

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He is one of a kind and he puts on one hell of a show.

Singing hits like, ‘Age of Reason’, ‘Pressure Down’ and ‘Playing to Win’, the energy in the Entertainment Centre made it clear I wasn’t alone when I realised I didn’t know how much I’d missed those songs, and him.

Two Strong Hearts continued for over three hours, with a short interval, with Farnham and Newton-John singing solo, as a duet, and joking whimsically with the audience.

Unfortunately the amount of women who went to the stage to give Farnham roses, letters, cards, knickers and souvenir t-shirts (to mop up his face sweat…) was funny at first, but then became quite annoying when he was constantly distracted by them.

The highlights were many, but a notable moment was a touching tribute to the late Peter Allen where the duo sang ‘Tenterfield Saddler’ while video of Allen projected behind them.

Another highlight was the Grease section of the show where Farnham and Newton-John hammed it up in their leather outfits; it was hilarious and more evidence of how much fun the pair appear to have together.

After belting out two of their biggest hits, ‘Physical’ and ‘You’re the Voice’, we were treated to an encore of ACDC’s ‘Long Way to the Top’ which was a fitting way to end a show presented by two icons who are still absolutely at the top of their game.

Between Newton-John’s magnetic, charismatic stage presence and beautiful harmonies, and Farnham’s microphone stand tricks, witty banter and leather pants, this was a show to rival many.

I expected Two Strong Hearts to be a showcase of the work of two of the most loved singers in Australian music accompanied by a full orchestra; what I didn’t expect was an energetic spectacular with an abundance of belly laughs and truly moving moments.

What a pleasant surprise.

By Libby Parker
Photos supplied