Review: Lauren Sherritt
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[Photos: Charlyn Cameron]
|There are some musicians who blow us away with their musical talent and prowess, and there are some who whisk us along on a journey of high entertainment and fun. In a live show, David Campbell has a rare and optimum marriage of both features. His showmanship is second to none, his voice stunning and his persona endearing, making it a treat to watch him perform.
Campbell’s QPAC appearance on Saturday the 7th of August in ‘The Broadway Show’ began with an old favourite and ended with a well deserved standing ovation. The full orchestra, conducted by Guy Simpson, were positioned on stage as the audience filed in, and it wasn’t until the Concert Hall was darkened and the orchestra playing that Campbell himself appeared for a rousing rendition of “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ ”. With the show to promote his new CD, titled On Broadway, Campbell performed nearly every track from the album and a few more, and it was clear that he was overjoyed to share each of the eighteen songs he performed with the audience.
Including beloved Broadway classics such as “Luck Be a Lady” and “All I Care About” Campbell’s show had audience members singing along. It was a new tune though, taken from the recently debuted Phantom of the Opera sequel Love Never Dies, which came midway through the first set, in which Campbell really reached his peak. In classic Andrew Lloyd Webber style, “Til’ I Hear You Sing” contains soaring lyrics, the dark, twisted Phantom providing the ultimate dramatic character, and in his rendition Campbell supremely demonstrated just what a stunning voice he has and a marvellous command of character, leaving the audience stunned and enthralled.
With quick and fun costume changes, such as a sparkling jacket for Peter Allen’s classic “When I Get My Name In Lights”, Campbell adopted the various characters of each song with ease, showcasing his versatility. Never too dramatic, he avoided the clichéd cheesiness that Broadway songs can fall into, instead dancing about the stage with a self-deprecating smile and unbridled energy. Belting out hit after hit from musicals such as The Baker’s Wife, Carousel, Merrily We Roll Along and Company, he fully satiated the audience’s hunger for Broadway.
Besides his singing, Campbell delighted the audience with his charismatic nature. His happiness to be on stage was so obviously genuine and his love of Broadway shone through as he explained his personal connection to each song and composer he performed. He took the audience on a journey through his own Broadway career and ensured that every song he sang was given a context, thus enhancing the audience’s understanding and enjoyment of the music. Laughing at his own jokes and playing around with the orchestra, is was enchanting to watch someone having so much fun and being so passionate about their work.
After a touching version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, Campbell ended the night encouraging the audience to sing along to Al Jolson’s “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody.” He left the stage to a standing ovation, and the audience spilled out of the auditorium thrilled, many rushing to form a very long line in wait of Campbell to autograph CDs and posters as he promised to do during the show, yet again demonstrating his generosity.
Seeing a musician so in love with music and performing and so eager to share his passion is an enchanting and special occurrence. Throughout the show David Campbell proved himself to be a wonderful artist and master of what he does, as well as a genuine and beautiful person, and cemented any performance of his as an un-missable event for the future.
Review: Lauren Sherritt
Venue: Concert Hall, QPAC, South Bank – Brisbane
Date: 7th August 2010
– On Broadway – David Campbell