It was a really hot day in Christchurch which I think our Australian fans appreciated. I arrived at the CBS Arena around 6:30pm.
While having a nice refreshing beer Rodney turned up (ScoobyDoo) and then Robert from HayleyOnline. I also saw JohnH there but he was part of the crew working for Hayley so he was pretty busy. Then later David turned up.
My seat in the arena was front row dead centre i.postimg.cc/9fYxy370/smilie-big-grin.gif
. Robert as usual was close to me one row back and Graeme and Marianne were already seated in the second row so it was great to see them again. In the next aisle were Jillian and her friend Nadia. David was a few rows back and Rodney was in the raised seating. Also in the stalls we spotted Gerald and Isaac i.postimg.cc/9fYxy370/smilie-big-grin.gif
Around 7:40pm the lights went dark and the band filed onto the stage.
Tim Evans at the Grand Piano on the left side. Beside him Lance Su'a with his guitars. Back Centre was Steve Harvie on his drums enclosed by a plastic shield. Then the first member of the string section on the right was Tom Dennison Double Bass as well as Bass guitar. Lastly the String Quartet consisting of Rachel Wells on Cello, Charlotte Featherston on Viola, Mahuia Bridgeman Cooper 2nd Violin and Jessica Hindin 1st Violin.
WE were all waiting in the dark except for the star lights at the back of the stage when an angelic voice off stage started sing A Capella the first verse of Prayer
before she arrived on stage to applause. Our gourgeous Hayley was wearing the nude coloured Milan dress and black high heels. It was so great to hear Hayley sing as it has been a while since she has toured NZ and her voice has matured so much and also how she expresses herself on stage has improved a lot too with the more experience she has had. It was the way she would move her hands to emphasize a lyric or how she lifted an eyebrow or closed her eyes (that was for you Simba lol). A lot of the times she would stand at the microphone but for a few songs she would also grab the mike and move around the stage. Sometimes you feel she is looking right at you as she scans the audience.
The second song was Scarborough Fair
Hayley then talked about how she was using this tour to raise funds for the Christchurch Earthquake Fund but also she said as goodwill ambassador for UNICEF she hoped we would support them in Africa with the famine. While talking about this she suddenly stopped and said "Oh you have come a long way" as she had seen Marianne and Graeme in the audience
She then talked about working with Ennio Morricone and how hard a life it was travelling between London and Rome to which everyone laughed.
Then she sang the very beautiful song Profumo Di Limone
. I think I loved her Paradiso songs the best as they showed off best how her voice and expressiveness has matured. Plus I love hearing Hayley singing in Italian. She sounds and looks like an Italian singer.
The last song in this section was the lovely song Songbird
Then Hayley introduced the guest artist, the very talented 21 year old Chase Douglas.
Chase sang a great rendition of Maria
. Chase has improved since the first concert and now he is superb, a great strong voice and a crowd favourite (it helps when he seems to have relatives at most concerts lol).
The second song will please Libby. It is Josh Groban's Per Te
and it was fantastic. Chase went off stage to great applause.
Then the 1st Violin started playing and soon Hayley appeared on stage to applause in her stunning red dress with nude coloured high heels. The song was one of my favourites Mummer's Dance
with Hayley dancing around the stage (well as much as Hayley would ever dance in those high heels lol).
Hayley then talked about how the album Pure was a launching pad for her career and she thanked the Christchurch audience for their support in the early years and then she said the next song was one of her favourites from the album and it was Who Painted The Moon Black
The another fantastic Ennio song La Califfa
. It almost looks like Hayley eats the microphone as she expresses herself in this song.
Then all to suddenly we come to the last song of the first half and for this one it is Hayley and Tim at the piano. It is the very beautiful song My Heart Belongs To You
and I think after that song every ones heart belonged to Hayley.
During the interval we chatted amongst ourselves before we quickly talked to Gerald and Isaac. My god Isaac has shot up in size, he is now the tallest in the family. Then when we went back to our seats we spotted Sophie and Jill sitting down. Apparently they arrived late and waited in the back stage area.
The second half opened with the band playing the opening of You Raise Me Up
before Chase came on stage to perform that song.
Then my favourite song of his which he explained was an operatic song by Donizetti called Una Furtiva Lagrima
. While the band did the opening verse Chase stood there and acted like he was lost in thought and then this most beautiful operatic voice appeared from him. I think it catches the audience out every time. I presume he his studying opera at University.
After Chase leaves to much applause the band starts playing again and Hayley appears in her purplish dress and those lovely red high heels. The song is that lovely pop song Summer Fly
with Hayley moving around the stage swaying to the music (lovely).
Then I think it is a crowd favourite any where in the world judging by the applause as she starts singing Pokarekare Ana
the first verse was A Capella.
Then Hayley introduced the next song by talking about Ennio and how she wrote lyrics to some of the songs including this one Whispers In A Dream
which was magic to hear live. The thing about the Paradiso songs is that on the CD Hayley is just part of the orchestra whereas here with her band her voice is at the front and it makes it more powerful and emotional in my opinion.
Then Hayley moved towards Tim at the piano where Hayley explained she would normally sing this song with an orchestra but that Tim will have to do instead lol. So unlike in the UK when she did this song with a guitarist it was instead with a piano. It was of course I Knew I Loved You
and it was superb.
Then one of my favourites of the concert was Metti Una Sera A Cena
which Hayley has sung beautifully at these concerts (her breathing has improved since that TV appearance).
Then Hayley talked about when she was 11 years old she won some CD vouchers and while listening to a CD at a store she fell in love with this artist. It was of course Andrea Bocelli. And for this particular song she said it needed two people so Chase came back on stage. The song was Vivo Per Lei
and they were both great with their voices blending well together.
Then another crowd favourite with applause at the beginning (they have done this at all the concerts so far) was the famous song I Dreamed A Dream
which I think Hayley sings the best of anyone I have heard singing this song.
Another song Hayley loved from Pure was Both Sides Now
Then finally the end of the show (always comes too quickly). We hear the start of Wuthering Heights
and the best rendition I think I have heard (even better than Kate). Hayley really expresses herself and when she sings the part about taking my soul Hayley is reaching out with her hand and then clenches it into a fist it feels like she has taken my soul with her.
And then Hayley thanks us before walking off stage while the band plays on. After much applause Hayley reappears and asks do we want one more song.
She heads towards the piano sits down and then looks at us and said "I don't think I can play in theses heels, do you mind if I take them off?" which we all agreed to lol.
Hayley mentioned that she loved Joni Mitchell and this was another song which while not being a Christmas song was a seasonal one. It was of course River
. Hayley plays the piano well and it is a lovely song.
Then Hayley said she will do another song and she started singing (to applause) Amazing Grace
before the band joined in the 2nd verse. At the end Hayley got a standing ovation (lead by Jill and Sophie). I think this song means a lot to us in Christchurch since the memorial service in March.
Even though Hayley left the stage we kept clapping and Hayley came back to do a third encore which was Never saw Blue
And another fantastic concert comes to an end.
The Sunday Star article mentioned Hayley as the littlest star but I think Hayley has now gone Super Nova.
I will write another report for the after show signing.