Tina Arena @ The Tivoli

From innocence to understanding

Amongst the hustle and bustle of the delegates and festival goers at Bigsound, Tina Arena had taken the time from her busy schedule to play an intimate show at the Tivoli in Brisbane to a sold out crowd. Titled innocence to understanding, she had promised to play the greatest hits of her career and oh boy did she deliver on that promise. 

After a long wait at the bar I made my way to my seats, (you can guess the median age at a gig when there are seats!), and settled in for a night of pop extraordinaire. Right before 8pm the lights dimmed and the band entered the stage, which was illuminated by giant projectors reflecting upon the audience. The sweet melody of Destination Unknown rung out over the corwd despite Tina being nowhere to be seen - I imagined she was hiding backstage, adding to the suspense of what was about to unfold. As the projections transformed into videos from her past, the audience erupted with applause and she entered from the back of the stage, dressed in all white with a glittery gold cape trailing behind her. 

After a few more songs, she paused to greet the crowd, (which for some reason held a lot of hecklers), and then went straight into classic Heaven Help My Heart. What I wasn't expecting was Arena's sassy attitude in her on stage banter - she commented on how beautiful the Tivoli was as a venue, and how much of an 'architectural eyesore' the new apartment buildings that are plaguing Brisbane were. Sorrento Moon was accompanied by a chilling projection of a rippling lake and The Machine's Breaking Down saw her change costume into a glittery silver dress. Not Still In Love With You, (which was co-written by fellow Aussie Kate Miller-Heidke), Burn and Chains saw out the first half of her show to a high standard I wasn't sure she could beat in the second half. 

The second half went by in a flash with more costume changes and cinematic projections, with In CommandWoman and Only Lonely being highlights, before she exited the stage to a polite applause. The crowd were quiet and polite in requesting an encore, but nonetheless she returned, introducing her band and summoning the crowd to stand for the final song, You Set Fire To My Life

There is a reason that Tina Arena has had such a long and successful career, and this show was the pinnacle exemplar of it. From go to woe, Tina showed us why she is so deserving of her sucess. Put seeing her on your bucket list because you don't want to miss this one!

Olivia Shoesmith

Zed Facts

Before 4ZZ could start broadcasting in 1975, a transmitter was ordered from the U.S. But after it was lost on the dock in New York, 4ZZ's chief engineer at the time Ross Dannecker built the station's first transmitter.