Midsumma Presents John Barrowman in Concert

Hamer Hall hosts a glittery Captain

By Owen James

While most of Melbourne was screaming at the Australian Open, 2500 people were screaming at international star, John Barrowman. For one night only Hamer Hall played host to the international star made famous by Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow and numerous West End and Broadway shows. Adorned in glitter from head to toe, Barrowman could say anything to his Melbourne crowd and have it received with both rapturous applause and cheers louder than the music.

Journeying across a world of musical styles, Barrowman never stayed in one stylistic continent for long. Over almost three-hours, we were treated to musical theatre, pop, rock, jazz and even a traditional Scottish ballad. His Australian seven-piece band were more than capable of seamlessly transitioning from genre to genre, backing Barrowman’s powerful vocals with punch and passion. This seven-piece band were in fact so capable that the pre-recorded backing vocals and synthesised strings were largely unnecessary and at times, distracting. Perhaps a second keyboard might have better provided those additional sounds – so that although synthesised, at least they were performed live alongside all other music.

Barrowman himself provided an unforgettably energetic performance, entertaining every seat in the house. The incredible power and timbre of his voice transcended genre and would have surely amazed those who knew Barrowman only for his screen roles. Scattered between songs were anecdotes and stories of what life as the famous John Barrowman is really like. His love and passion for all things important in his life: equality, music, his pets and his family, shined stronger than his sequins (if that’s possible).

After a third standing ovation, Barrowman conceded to an unplanned third encore – a simple piano ballad satiating his hungry crowd. Barrowman promised numerous times of his plans to come back to Melbourne soon with a “bigger and better” show, featuring dancers and more singers. So John, if you’re reading this – please do.

John Barrowman in Concert ran for one night only on 16 January, 2018 for the Midsumma Festival.