Tina ArenaA Google web search of Melbourne’s own Tina Arena returns almost a million hits. It is fair to say that Filippina Lydia Arena has become an international success following her debut as one of Johnny Young’s popular starlets from the tender age of seven on Australian Idol’s child ancestor, Young Talent Time.

The show began rather humbly and solemnly, with a low impact opening number after which Arena admitted she was nervous performing before a hometown crowd. In a crescendo like manner, and with the support of her patient and complimentary audience as well as her solid musical back up entourage, Arena revealed her confident, sassy, what-you-see-is-what-you-get, flirtatious personality and above all, her fierce vocal prowess.

Possessing an unbelievable vocal breadth and clarity, Arena displayed utmost flexibility and versatility, performing modified covers drawn from her Songs of Love & Loss albums through to her French compilations from her extended overseas jaunt. However, the hits from her first few records Don’t Ask and In Deep (Sorrento Moon, Burn, Now I Can Dance and of course, Chains) engendered a particularly emphatic response, everyone enjoying the retreat into the 1990s. The brief guest appearance from Kane Alexander, one of Arena’s many collaborators, was also enchanting.

Generously did Arena explain her musical influences, divulge her stories, and share her personal insights about her 30-year career in between songs: Tina Arena is no longer in chains. In fact, she is more comfortable in her own skin and natural curls than ever. Couple that with an ability to sing a house down, and it equals impressive.

Tina Arena In Concert

Venue: Hamer Hall, The Arts Centre | 100 St Kilda Rd Vic
Dates: 27 - 28 Mar 2009
Tickets: $99 - $125
Bookings: ticketmaster.com.au 1300 136 166

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