Adelaide Entertainment Centre Friday 12 August 2016
Treating his former home town to a stellar opening night, Aussie music icon Jimmy Barnes stormed into town looking quite dapper with his 12-piece band, kicking off the Soul Searchin’ Tour in support of his latest musical release of the same name. Fourth in Barnes ‘Soul Series’ albums (Soul Deep 1991, Soul Deeper 2000, and The Rhythm and the Blues 2009), Soul Searchin’ is perhaps Barnes at his vocal best.
In a career that has spanned more than 4 decades, Jimmy Barnes has, in musical terms ‘Been there, Done that, Ripped up the T-Shirt!’, and has found a great friend in his renditions of old Soul Classics. We discussed this with him when we interviewed him several weeks back, you can read it here.
The sound in the opening number might have been mixed a little better but this was quickly adjusted, and from that point on Barnes has the crowd up on their feet ready to dance the night away.
The first set consisted of some of the Soul Searchin’ album, with songs such as Cry To Me, Mustang Sally and Midnight Hour being masterfully delivered by that unmistakable smooth as silk, yet gravelly voice of Barnes’. It is a contradiction that works very well together.
He does though, mix it up with elements of the Soul albums coupled with the Blues, and a few oldies thrown in for good measure. It is very much a showcase of some of his best work.
The energy onstage is electric, as the 12-piece band, each of them, punch well above their weight and provide a class act for Barnes. His three backup singers -Jade Macrae, Juanita Tippins, and Gary Pinto, shine in their own right as they accompany Barnes on several numbers. He has picked a solid team for this tour, and the ensemble deserve mention for their energy and sheer coolness throughout the performance.
The end of the first act ended with a bang, with Barnes belting out a rollicking version of Bill Haley’s Shake, Rattle & Roll followed by Little Richard’s You Keep A Knockin’.
After a short interval Barnes returned with what we thought was going to be a mellow set. Commencing with Nina Simone’s My Baby Just Cares For Me, he quickly upped the tempo and thumped out songs such as Hound Dog, Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours, and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough with Juanita Tippins. Elements of Barnes in Cold Chisel mode were evident at times , as he was certainly enjoying the Rock numbers as much as the Soul. This was pure Jimmy Barnes, firing on all four cylinders, pedal to the metal. They say you can take the boy out of Elizabeth, but you sure as hell can’t take the Elizabeth out of the boy!
Welcome home Jimmy!
Reviewed by Dazz Hassan
Aug 13, 2016 Crown Theatre, Perth – All Ages
Aug 20, 2016 Jupiters Hotel & Casino, Gold Coast – All Ages
Aug 21, 2016 QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane – All Ages
Aug 25, 2016 Palais Theatre, Melbourne – All Ages
Aug 27, 2016 Enmore Theatre, Sydney – All Ages