Review: APIA TIME OF MY LIFE CONCERT - The Star Event Centre, Sydney, Sunday 19th May 2013

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The APIA Time of My Life Tour brought together four legends of Australian rock and roll on the one amazing show for a night of classic hits, covering five decades of music from four of Australia's best and most loved performers.

The four had been touring the country together for almost a month and were on the final leg of the tour this week in Sydney, with a show at The Star Event Centre, at Darling Harbour. It was my first time at this venue and I have to say that I was impressed by the size of the room and the acoustics but the fun actually started out in the foyer before the show. Something called a Karaoke Activation Booth had been set up for a bit of hands on entertainment where you could have your photo taken with life size cardboard cut outs of the performers and even have a turn at singing along to their hits in the Karaoke Booth, with your own video to capture the experience. I opted for the photo but declined the offer to totally desecrate a Sherbet song and have the moment immortalised on video.

Once settled in our seats, the house lights dimmed and our appetites were whetted with a short promotional video, introducing the four performers we were about to see here tonight.

Ross Wilson kicked off proceedings with thirty minutes of hits, covering the Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock years as well as his solo material and that all covers a lot of decades! As Ross pointed out, he has been singing and playing music for a hell of a long time now. His set included the early songs such as 'Bom Bom', 'Honey Hi', 'Come Back Again', 'Bed of Nails', 'Cool World' and 'Come Said the Boy' which was definitely the crowd favourite.

I noticed that the backing band for the show included three members of Daryl's own band, Mark Amato on keyboards and guitarists Geoff Wells and David Campbell.

Next up, Joe Camilleri, dressed all in white, strutted on to the stage with his guitar and gave us a taste of his hits and a little bit extra. Joe's set included 'Hit and Run' from his days with Jo Jo Zep and the Black Falcons, and some Black Sorrows tunes, including 'Harley and Rose' and 'Chained to the Wheel'. There was also an extended blues number thrown in 'just for the boys'. Camilleri proved his worth as a musician not only on the guitar but, of course, his trademark saxophone.

Interval was just a fleeting fifteen minutes, barely enough time to walk down from the fifth floor balcony seats and relocate to a spot closer to the stage for a better view for the remainder of the show. I made it just in time to see James Reyne walk on to the stage with a high energy version of 'Fall of Rome'. Reyne delivered half an hour of both his solo and Aussie Crawl hits including 'Errol', 'The Boys Light Up' and a superb acoustic rendition of 'Reckless'. His good mate, Daryl Braithwaite, joined him on backing vocals for 'Hammerhead'. James was celebrating his 56th birthday on Sunday, which makes him the baby of the show's Awesome Foursome but he has certainly enjoyed a long career in the music biz in this country, as have the other three artists..

Finally, it was Daryl's turn to take centre stage and, by now, most of the audience were on their feet as he opened with 'Days Go By'. The lyric of this song includes the line 'My love of life just gets stronger.. as the days go by'. Braithwaite turned 64 in January and it seems that his love of life does get stronger each time I see him. In an interview I did with Daryl just a few days prior to the concert, he said there was 'a lot of happiness' on this tour and that happiness certainly did shine through on Sunday night as the singer seemed to enjoy every minute of his half hour set, packed with crowd pleaser after crowd pleaser, including 'Rise', 'One Summer', 'The Horses' and a couple of Sherbet songs, 'Life' and 'Summer Love', which really got the adrenalin flowing and brought back some great memories for this fan. And the voice that won me over forty years ago, when he was the lead singer of Sherbet, just seems to get better with age.

When Daryl left the stage, the fans started to get a little restless, demanding more and that's exactly what they got! All four artists and the band returned to the stage to deliver a very special four song encore, each one performing one of their biggest hits, with the help of his mates. Daryl was first with the  Sherbet classic, 'Howzat', followed by James who gave us the Australian Crawl hit, 'Oh No, Not You Again', and Joe served up Jo Jo Zep's 'Shape I'm In' and the closing number was a perfect choice: the Daddy Cool classic, 'Eagle Rock'.

As if that wasn't enough, the guys had more in store. They returned one more time for the finale, all singers contributing to a fantastic tribute to one of Australia's great ladies of Rock, the late Chrissy Amphlett who sadly passed away recently after a brave battle with both cancer and MS. The boys joined forces for one of The Divinyls' biggest hits, 'Boys in Town' which was definitely one of the most memorable moments of the night and I'm sure Ms Amphlett was watching and smiling.

Say what you will about the veteran performers of those great days of rock that our generation grew up with but you're never too old to rock 'n' roll and, at the risk of sounding corny, I had the time of my life on Sunday...

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by Sharyn Hamey

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