The Concert Hall was filled to capacity in the stalls and lower gallery and the audience rose as one to welcome the ensemble to the stage. There was a riotous response too from the true believers to the gospel songs with overhead clapping and swaying to the beat. Even the more subdued audience members were wriggling in their seats. Despite the keyboards and drums being somewhat overpowering there was no denying the vocals were awe-inspiring.
The promised Michael Jackson tribute was rather confusing as there were only a few of his numbers scattered through the programme rather than a dedicated second half as one would expect.
In the first half of the show there was a delightful medley of Jackson tunes starting with “ABC” and segueing into “I Want You Back” and other mellow songs from the gloved one.
From the start the audience participation was astounding. They were wooed and won over as the lights went up.
Surprisingly most of the spirituals were not traditional hymns. However they received an outstanding response from the audience who joined in with gusto wherever there was a “Hallelujah” to be found.
The Perth Concert Hall is renowned for it’s acoustics but I was surprised at the lack of clarity in some of the vocal ensemble work.
Overwhelmingly embraced by their audience the Harlem Gospel Choir swung into “O Happy Day” which was a familiar and delightful experience.
The polyester black clad ensemble adorned in glitzy gold waistcoats and oversize gold collars for the girls worked the room, gathering up at least 30 or so enthusiastic audience members to join in a sing along onstage which was adored by participants and audience alike. The show finished with a tumultuous finale which saw the members of the choir dancing up the aisles and embracing audience members before heading to the foyer for a “meet and greet” session with autographs and CD sale to support their missionary work.
HARLEM GOSPEL CHOIR
Concert of Hope
Remembering Michael Jackson
Perth Concert Hall - 2 May 2010 at 8.00 pm
4 May Gold Coast Arts Centre 8pm | Bookings on 07 5588 4000
6 May QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane 8pm | Bookings on 07 3840 7466
7 & 11 May State Theatre, Sydney 8pm | Bookings through Ticketmaster 136 100
8 May Canberra Theatre Centre 8pm | Bookings on 02 6275 2700
9 May Hamer Hall, Melbourne 5pm | Bookings through Ticketmaster 136 100