If you build it…

Many MANY moons ago – well, in the early-mid 1990s I spent 3-4 years working for the Maryborough City Council. It was at a time when local governments were realising that their responsibilities were broader than roads, rates and rubbish. The Bond Store Museum had just been completed and it seemed (to me anyway) that communities and governments were starting to think on a ‘regional’ basis with planning reflecting cooperative efforts and opportunities.

Oft-discussed at that point in time was the desire for the region to have a theatre to replace the ageing Maryborough City Hall and (hopefully) draw national and international acts to the region.

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 1.58.07 PMIt took some time and the fundraising barometer – on occasions – moved quite slowly… but the (then) Maryborough City Council eventually received funding from the State and Commonwealth and the Brolga Theatre was opened in July 2000.

I wasn’t around at the time but over the years have been regaled with updates of the myriad of shows and acts finding their way to the Fraser Coast. Indeed, my mother (also a “Friend of the Brolga”) at times seemed to attend almost anything and everything. The Queensland Ballet, Thursday Morning Melodies, local dance concerts and big bands… it almost doesn’t matter. Mum and her friends seem to be there.

I’d only been a couple of times before this week when I accompanied my mum and her neighbour to see Guy Sebastian. I’ve long been a Guy fan, although not overly rabid, as far as ‘fans’ go. In fact the only entire album I have is his first when – like gazillions of Aussies – I saw him as a most deserved winner of the inaugural Australian Idol.

I love that he’s viewed as a legitimate musician and has proved he’s FAR more than a reality TV show wannabe.

In fact, he seems to be quite the musical genius and I’ve enjoyed watching him as a judge of The X Factor.

collage guy

I was stoked to hear he was coming to The Brolga, and aware (of course) that he has/had a house in nearby Toogoom… so the Fraser Coast was – at least once upon a time – his home away from home.

At almost $80 tickets were reasonable in a world where one pays HUNDREDS for a show. And Guy did not disappoint.

His support act (and friend), David Ryan Harris was friggin’ amazing. So much so that I even bought his CD… something I don’t tend to do (and I cannot remember the last time I bought an actual CD rather than individual songs from iTunes!). His mesmerising talent was matched, of course, by Guy’s.

I know SFA about music and am not an avid concert goer. Indeed I was almost tempted to follow my mother’s lead – who was so startled by the noise of the band when it began – that her hands flew to cover her ears!

The band – though bloody loud – was tremendous. The back-up singers were great and Guy was majestic.

My fave song was probably Get Along, which he played on the piano; and his mostly acoustic partial version of Angels Brought Me Here was friggin’ spine-chilling.

Guy was surprised at how few of the audience had seen him previously and I suspect many of those present had NEVER been to a pop / rock concert. Indeed it was my 69 year old mother’s first concert of that sort. She was gobsmacked at the array of people there – from the grey haired to A LOT of kids.

I realise we’re lucky to have a venue which can house bigger shows (although even at 900 seats I gather the show sold out quickly and had a waiting list of 300+) and we’re even luckier that people of Guy’s talent take the trouble to tour regions and share a bit of their magic.

Oh… and I was kinda chuffed that Guy retweeted one of my tweets on the night.

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