Review: TAYLOR DAYNE - The Juniors, Kingsford, Sydney, Friday 31st May 2013

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Has it really been twenty five years since Taylor Dayne captured our attention with her debut single, 'Tell it to My Heart'? Well, yes, apparently. And to celebrate this rather special anniversary, the lovely Taylor has returned to our shores to 'prove her love' for Aussie audiences once more. I had the pleasure of interviewing the singer earlier in the week and I was eager to see what she had in store for her fans on this tour so I went along to her show at Sydney's Juniors Club on Friday night and I'm so glad I did.

The show kicked off with a brief performance from another New York native, a young singer named Ashley Allen delivering some of her own pop songs, including 'Let's Go', 'You Ruined Love for Me' and the rhyming 'Mr Valentine'.And we had a taste of soul from Sydney's own soulman, Doug Williams and the Mix who warmed up the audience and, luckily for us, hung around to back Ms Dayne for the whole show. The young lady on keyboards also took centre stage for a couple of songs. Her face seemed very familiar to me but I don't recall her being introduced to us, which is a shame as she was quite good.

Then, after a short break, the Diva of Dance herself strutted on to the stage, dressed in an off the shoulder tangerine coloured dress and ready to pump up the crowd with a string of hits, taking us all back to the eighties and nineties. I have to say that I was greatly impressed by the power of her voice. It seems to be even stronger now than I remember from the early days of her career. I was also impressed with her energy as she moved around the stage, still maintaining that amazing vocal range without missing a beat.

While many singers of her calibre would have been content to perform to the audience, Taylor took it a step further to encourage audience participation and every now and then, stopped to chat and joke with the fans and her humour was natural and down to earth, especially when she took the time to point out a young lady at the front who looked somewhat like an Ellen Degeneris doppleganger, with her hair cut and styled just liked Ellen and wearing a white shirt and black vest, just like Ellen... Taylor couldn't help but mention the similarity and the jokes and innuendo kind of progressed from there. 'Ellen' and her 'Portia' took it all in the good fun in which it was intended and clearly enjoyed the attention from their idol. And it was pretty obvious that the singer was having fun too.

Opening with a medley, Taylor performed most of her biggest hits and more, including 'Beautiful', 'Prove Your Love', 'Don't Rush Me', and 'I'll Always Love You' but it was 'I'll Be Your Shelter' that really got the crowd going. And one of the highlights of the night was Taylor's heartfelt rendition of the song she refers to as her 'anthem', 'Born to Sing'. Sitting herself down on a stool, she poured her heart and soul into the song which, as she explained to the audience, she had written and recorded in Tennessee, as an expression of her 'journey'.

The finale for the set was Taylor's cover of the Barry White disco classic from the 70s, 'Can't Get Enough of Your Love', which sent the crowd into a bit of a frenzy. Noting that the fans were all singing along word for word, Taylor held the microphone out for those of us close enough to join in on the chorus and we did – with gusto! Taylor left us temporarily during the song, giving the stage over to her backing band, Doug Williams and the Mix to show off their rather impressive musical talents without her, before returning to thunderous applause to close the song and then left the stage once more... but not for long as the crowd weren't quite ready to let her go, and she returned to perform the hit that started it all for her, twenty five years ago, 'Tell It To My Heart'. She delivered her final song of the night, the powerful ballad 'Love Will Lead You Back' with spine-tingling emotion, and showing us all the full force of her unique voice.

After an impressive and most likely, tiring performance, the lovely lady took the time to meet fans, have photos taken with them and signing autographs before calling it a night, and leaving a lot of very satisfied (no pun intended, for those who know their Taylor Dayne discography!) punters in her wake.

Taylor Dayne is performing at venues along the east coast so you might still have a chance to catch her show and you'll be glad you did.

Click HERE to view gallery

Click HERE to read our interview

by Sharyn Hamey

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