It was a pretty happy adventure when ‘The Masseuse’ (TM) suggested that we take in the Jersey Boys show last weekend. The idea was that we go to the show before we head out for a meal and spend overnight together for the second time in a month. TM seemed perhaps a little shy to suggest going to the show because it has been playing for a while and thought I might have seen it already. He was right, I saw the show early last year when it first opened in Melbourne but I was very keen to see it again and I am so happy he made the suggestion. I suppose, Frankie Valli first appeared on my (oh my gosh i’m a fan –OMGIAF) radar when he had a few hits in the movie soundtrack “Grease”, I LOVE that movie –I must have seen it about 10,000 times!

There were a combination of factors why I wanted to see this show again, the main purpose of my trip to Melbourne was to meet some (working) ladies that I had come to know online. The ladies had organised a luncheon get together and I was so very excited to meet them, really great people — all of them. Unfortunately it must have been the hottest day in Victoria ever and the location for lunch was way, way, across town. Factor in flights, hotel check-ins and taxis including trying to find a taxi back to the Melbourne CBD, well seeing the Jersey Boys show kind of got a bit buried under conflicting priorities, I’m sorry to say.

As TM had arranged the tickets to the show, we decided that it would be a good idea if I upgrade our digs to an executive suite with club floor access so we would both feel all the benefits of being pampered and indulged. We arranged to meet a little earlier than normal so we could have showers and change before heading off to the Theatre Royal. TM had arranged great seats and we beat all the mad crowds in which was great, he did a terrific job of navigating us to the venue only a short walk from where we were staying. I’m glad he did as I’ve come to recognize, sadly that my navigational abilities are as good as my singing *jawdrop *sigh.

The actual Jersey Boys set is this caged, grid metal affair with a urban backdrop, it seemed to be a pretty good visual representation of a struggling New Jersey working class lifestyle wanting to breakout into something better.

We were guided through an introduction to the characters, their strengths and weaknesses and the formation of the band the Four Seasons. The great thing about this musical is the storyline is as strong as the songs. The string of hits is impressive, one after another like ‘Sherry’, ‘Walk Like a Man’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Ragdoll’, ‘Who Loves You’, ‘Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye)’, ‘Let’s Hang On’, ‘Can’t Take My eyes Off You’, ‘My Eyes Adored You’ etc, etc. TM and I agreed the show, acting and songs delivery were really tight, probably as a result of delivering to a different audience night after night. I do think this was a better show than the one I saw in the early season in Melbourne. A nice touch at the end of the show the actors and singers fall away and only the band is left. It’s a really, really great band, I liked the horn section best. Ha!

TM and I wrapped up a terrific evening with dinner at a Spanish restaurant in Liverpool St, with TM in great spirits because his Rugby League team Manly Warringah had won the Grand Final and we celebrated with several courses of wonderful dessert in our swanky hotel room.

Oh what a night!

Wow, what a show this was!
As I’m of proud Irish decent (albeit a bit removed as these things go via Liverpool England) I just had to make my way to ANZ stadium the other night to join the many tens of thousands of fans in their excellent entertainment choice.

Now, I was hoping for a nice sit down meal at one of the many restaurants around the Homebush Bay area but to my disappointment, all were booked out. The only option left was to join the hard-core take-away crowd.

So, I joined the enormous queue and muttered three Hail Marys and a Our Father as I awaited my fate to who knows what greasy, artery hardening, grossly wayward offerings were on the menu?

As I made my way through the queue I could see that Dagwood Dogs were the order of the day. Honestly, just the thought of the kind of ingredients that made up these deep-fried yet cold missiles left me wondering what kind of internal damage was being done to the consumer. One can only imagine what Jamie Oliver, the naked chef would have made of it all. Weapons of Mass destruction had nothing on tonight’s dinner! Absolutely Bleurgh!

Anyway, back to the entertainment.

U2 were the main act but I always like to experience the pre show and take in the atmosphere.
Jay-Z the rapper was the special guest and his set was pretty exciting, especially when he did In New York. I enjoyed the later part of this performance more as it became more musical to my ears.
Perhaps I was also feeling less queasy as my digestive system was starting to settle down after the earlier treacherous assault on it via the Dagwood Dog. *cringe*

As the sun went down and lights got brighter the anticipation was growing and everyone was very excited with the thought of seeing Bono and the lads take the stage. I’ve been a big fan for their whole career but have never made it to the show before. So kindly armed with a recommendation from Amy Monroe@Twitter I knew this was going to be a sensational experience. Still in lead up to the show, I played You Tube footage of U2 live at Slane Castle and I did wonder how an international U2 show would compare with that level of Irish tribalism.

The set was just incredible and looked like something out of a Sci Fi movie from the likes of War of the Worlds.

The ground of the ANZ stadium where footy is usually played had been filled in to hold more people. ANZ stadium really was holding a capacity crowd.

The countdown came and went… U2 made their grand entrance with the classic Bowie “Space Oddity”. I guess it was an appropriate mental link to the spaceship theme and that magnificent set.

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U2 played all the usual faves and more, so many excellent songs Beautiful Day, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Mysterious Ways, Pride (In the Name of Love) and Discoteque to name a few.
The crowd on the floor went wild not to mention a very enthusiastic guy a few seats away jumping up and down like Skippy mmm or maybe more like Iggy Pop, who knows?
The encore was so very awesome. Set to the beautiful and haunting “With or Without You” the spire on top of the spaceship now sported a disco ball that projected lights all around the stadium. What an incredible ending, it was such a magnificent sensory overload and provoked such an emotional response.

I can recommend this experience to anyone that likes a great sound awesome set and an atmosphere in an open stadium like no other. I managed to sneak out during Bonos last speech to the fans and hop on to the shuttle bus to the carpark and beat the crowds.

I’m still buzzing and singing their songs to anyone that will hang around long enough to experience my sensational vocal repertoire. Unfortunately I’m a little low on fans at the moment but surely that’ll build up when I get some voice lessons.

Now to plan my exciting camping trip to the Woodford Folk Festival over the Xmas and New Year break.

Merry Christmas to everyone and thanks for reading my blog all year.
I very much enjoy reading other ladies blogs/journals and so this is my contribution to the blogosphere.
I hope you have had as much fun reading my blog as I have putting it together for your pleasure.
Speaking of pleasure hope to see some old friends and make some new ones too in 2011.

Karen x