At 72 years of age Leo Sayer proved on his Just A Boy Tour stop to Geelong that he is just as energetic, charismatic and vocally perfect as was in 1974 when his debut standout album of the same title was released – not to mention he doesn’t look a day over 50! In the foyer of Costa Hall pre-performance it was highly evident that I was amongst the very few attendees that didn’t fit the boomer demographic, something that would translate to a completely different viewing experience to that of my dad whom escorted me as my plus one for the evening. Let me explain.
No support act was necessary for the veteran musician who, in his own worlds, was already ‘superlative enough’. With Bill Risby, Paul Berton, Mitch Cairns and Mark Kennedy accompanying the Sayer, they exploded into the dance hit of the early 2000’s, ‘Thunder In My Heart’- a track brought into my generation of music, revived by European DJ, Meck. Sayer then took the time to let the ladies swoon over him with their rendition of ‘More Than I Can Say’, shaking hands with lucky audience members. In fact, he kept this tradition up all night with plenty of one on one audience interaction including popping down to the stage edge to take a photo with an adoring fan and sticking around for FREE meet and greets and signings after the show – yes Leo Sayer really understands a thing or two about how to treat his audience and boy was it refreshing to see!
Back to the stage show, we went wild to one of Sayers first hits, ‘Train’ followed by the catchy ‘One Man Band’, ‘Moonlighting’ and ‘Restless Years’. He pulled out a delightful cover of Buddy Holly’s ‘Raining In My Heart’ and went into intermission on the heart-wrenching ‘Have You Ever Been In Love’. After a brief intermission and wardrobe change, the humble performer brought the set back into this century taking on tracks from his 2019 album release, ‘Selfie’ for the title track and ‘One Step At A Time’. Perched upon a stool, Sayer delivered a powerful vocal and emotional performance of ‘Orchard Road’, but he wasn’t off his feet for long – no! Putting on his dancing shoes, Sayer and co burst out with ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’ (I’ll never not think of Homer Simpson with this song) and ‘Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance)’ and everyone was on their feet to boogie down. The Harmonica came out and let’s just say at 72 years old, Sayer has a exceptional lung capacity, belting out insane vocal lines and falsetto between soaring harmonica blues.
Another ballad section followed with ‘When I Need You’, ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You (Though I Try)’ and finally, ‘Just A Boy’ to end the show on a beautiful, nostalgic note.
But it wouldn’t be a Leo Sayer concert without a dramatic encore to set the oldies alight. To close out a beautiful show and a delightfully refreshing experience, Sayer pulled out The Beatles ‘Let It Be’ for a full on sing along.
For my dad, this was a trip down memory lane. For me this was an insight into how the classic artists operate and how much young performers can learn from the greats. It was recognition of Sayer as a talented musician, mind-blowing performer and overall sweet gentleman. And it was an acknowledgement that music is for pure enjoyment no matter what age you are.
Where: Costa Hall Geelong
When: Saturday 30 November 2019
Reviewed by Tammy Walters