MUSIC REVIEW: People Get Ready: Human Nature with the MSO

The only reason that the sellout audience to the opening night of People Get Ready: Human Nature with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) stopped tapping their toes was when they jumped to their feet to dance!
MUSIC REVIEW: People Get Ready: Human Nature with the MSO
The only reason that the sellout audience to the opening night of People Get Ready: Human Nature with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) stopped tapping their toes was when they jumped to their feet to dance! The full showmanship of both the MSO, under the baton of Guy Noble, and that of lifelong friends, Andrew and Michael Tierney, Phil Burton and Toby Allen better known as the band Human Nature, resulted in show of nonstop energy and entertainment ranging from classics, moments of great tenderness to pure fun. The program included some of Human Nature’s first hits (Wishes, Every Time you Cry) right up to the more recent Motown albums and the some past songs rerecorded with the Prague Symphony Orchestra, so there was something for all fans. Included was a series of Beatle’s songs including Eleanor Rigby, which was a perfect choice for this occasion, with the MSO working to full effect. There were energetic highpoints contrasted with tender moments of great effect. Human Nature’s version of Curtis Mayfield’s People Get Ready was always good, but this was a very special moment, as was when they sung Danny Boy. This could have ended up being a cliché but was sung with great sensitivity, and I’m sure there would have been quite a few tears in the audience. Like everyone else in the audience, we knew that the evening would end with some Motown numbers, but this didn’t dampen the excitement when the moment finally arrived, lifting the energy even higher when the entire Hamer Hall audience showed that they all have ‘the moves’. Song after song demonstrated the Human Nature’s superb musicianship, which from past experience, is a key factor for successful performances with the MSO. These so called ‘crossover’ concerts are important means of outreach, by exposing audiences to the orchestra, as around a quarter to a third of the audience had never seen the MSO before, and I’m sure, will make many more people comfortable with visiting the Arts Centre precinct of Melbourne. Human Nature now joins the impressive past line of artists who have performed with the MSO: Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, John Farnham, KISS, Meat Loaf, Harry Connick, Jr., Ben Folds, Burt Bacharach and The Whitlams. If one of your favourite artists ends up performing with the MSO, put it on your ‘must do’ list. People Get Ready: Human Nature with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Hamer Hall, Melbourne 6 February 2009 For information on upcoming MSO concerts see www.mso.com.au

Ronald McCoy

Monday 9 February, 2009

About the author

Ronald McCoy is a Melbourne medico and educator with a passion for the arts. He is a singer and musician of classical and traditional music, and is the National Library of Australia, National Folk Fellowship Fellow for 2007-08. He has been a regular reviewer on the Melbourne scene for the past couple of years, has published on a wide variety of arts and medicine topics, but still spends far too many hours putting pen to paper writing.