The Brit let it rip. That voice – it never faltered, song after song. But when the music stopped and that cockney accent blessed her fans with humour, humility and honesty, for me – that was the real inspiration of the night. That someone so talented was also so freakishly normal.
She could be chatting away like a long-lost friend, then morph into character and purge out a story you felt as well as heard. She defended swearing like a sailor (in her sequined ball gown) by the caveat to bad language – don’t swear to be mean, just to be funny, because it is funny. And so was she.
So how did our big-country- town cope? The decision for organisers to commit our cricket ground to host the biggest Brisvegas crowd ever for a ticketed event, had mixed reactions from locals and council reps, yet sixty thousand fans (and a few killer insects) flocked to witness the Brit belt out Grammy award-winning tunes in a faultless performance.
With everything from crisp audio-visuals, personalised confetti, giant balloons and fireworks, to t-shirts wrapped in cash catapulting across the stadium, no fan left the venue disappointed. Who could not fall in love with that stellar voice and the woman behind it?
But, did fans feel the same enthusiasm for the night after bustling in a sea of some 60,000 faces to find their ride home? I must say, an hour lining for a bus, followed by a second to exit the car park was not fun (but kid free, so still not the most infuriating part of my week).
You could bitch about the traffic. The lines. The crowds. Or you could forget all that, and savour the atmosphere, the joy, the cooperation of emergency services providing paramedics on every corner (just in case), the sophistication of a society that can move mountains in the name of entertainment.
Despite the odd arsehole, patrons were patient, waited their turn, and the council did what it could to get us home safe. I see concert-going as a little like travel. There are bound to be moments of madness. But that’s what you sign up for. Very few things in life are fabulous without fiasco.
The purest spring doesn’t flow by the roadside (and children; adorable creatures that enrich your life, but at other times make you want to drive off a cliff – am I right?) You need to sweat to experience the marvels of this world. And a marvel, she is.