Like so many artists around the world, Taylor Henderson’s touring plans for this year came to a screeching halt as live music and arts venues closed their doors in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The Ceres-raised singer, who shot to fame in 2013 when he was the runner-up on the X Factor and now has two #1 ARIA albums to his name, had only just begun taking his The A-Team tour back on the road in what was to be his busiest year yet.
Only four shows into the tour, coronavirus began derailing the touring industry following the federal government’s decision to implement social distancing rules, travel restrictions and business closures, resulting in the postponement of all his remaining tour dates.
“I had over 40 shows booked this year, I had a lead role in a musical; this was going to be my busiest year in a long time. Instead, I’m just at home annoying my housemates and working on new music,” Taylor laughs.
The month to follow saw the nation adjust to the new reality of life under self-quarantine with a number of artists and musical institutions taking the show online to share some musical joy during these trying times. This Friday will see Taylor join in on the fun thanks to an initiative created by the Geelong Arts Centre in the wake of its temporary closure.
Continuing to bring a regular dose of creativity, direct from their theatres to our homes, the Geelong Arts Centre launched the #WhereCreativityMeetsAtHome initiative last month which has already featured two livestream takeovers by local folk singer/songwriter Hassall, award-winning comedian/songwriter Jude Perl, and cabaret star, Michaela Burger.
This month, the Arts Centre returned with an impressive lineup of Friday night performances featuring stars of pop, cabaret and music theatre. Already, the venue has seen Melbourne’s Queen of Cabaret Dolly Diamond and Australian musical theatre leading men, Bert LaBonte and Rob Tripolino, take to the live stream.
Now Taylor will take to the Geelong Arts Centre stage in what promises to be a powerful and emotive performance.
“I haven’t done a show in what really feels like a year,” the 27-year-old reveals. “I used to do shows all the time and now I’ve got one coming up, I’m oddly nervous.
“It’s really exciting though; I’ve never done a show that a live stream in this capacity. I’ve done live streams before, but this time I’ve got to go to the theatre and perform to an empty, over-800 capacity theatre. There’s going to be a whole tech crew, there are 4k quality cameras, there’s a full lighting rig; I’m not just going to be holding my phone.”
The live stream will feature some of Taylor’s award-winning hits from his platinum-selling albums Self-Titled and Burnt Letters, some brand new tracks, and even a few tracks penned by his dad, Cameron Henderson, runner-up in Australia’s Got Talent in 2010.
“I’m going to get my old man up on stage to play some tunes and have some banter so that will be fun,” Taylor reveals. “He is such an amazing singer-songwriter, he is just so incredible the way he expresses his story through lyrics and through melody so I want to sing some of his songs.”
While Taylor will primarily be strumming the guitar, it sounds like he might be showcasing some newly developed piano skills throughout the set.
“All I’ve been doing in isolation is playing the piano. I always wanted to get better at it so I bought a really good piano in the hope that I would learn and that never happened. Then isolation happened and it forced me to really give it a go. I’ve really dived into it so I really want to incorporate some of that into the show.”
If there’s one thing fans can count on, it’s that Taylor won’t be straying too far from who people have come to know him as. He’s also willing to take requests to make sure you get on that live stream and throw your best at the Henderson’s this Friday night.
To get involved, simply tune in at 8pm this Friday night to the Arts Centre’s live-stream via Facebook or directly on the Geelong Arts Centre website, then sit back and enjoy! We’ll also be streaming the live stream through our own facebook!
Audiences are encouraged to share their at-home concert experiences by tagging @GeelongArtsCentre and using the hashtag #WhereCreativityMeetsAtHome.