Given that the Ten Tenors had just finished a 71 venue tour of their show, we could be forgiven for thinking that all of the glitches would have been ironed out. They weren't. For their first number "New York, New York" they bounded on stage, and sold the song with verve and enthusiasm. Problem was, they sounded as if they were singing through a mattress, and we worried.
We didn't need to. Presumably the sound engineer had been woken up, and from then on sound, lights, back projection, and choreography merged seamlessly.
Nor did the tenors limit themselves to Broadway songs. Finishing the first half of the show was Queen's "Somebody to love", recognised with delight by the audience. They nailed it. This was one song where multi layered harmonies, extraordinary range, and the sheer power of ten men giving it their all made for a foot stomping, hand clapping frenzy. The same applied to their rendition of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons' greatest hits. Simply wonderful.
Jared Newall (one of the tenors) says "We always try to find that balance between being hugely bombastic and finding subtle really beautiful moments in our shows where all our voices blend into one." I'm not sure that they achieve this. "Fortissimo" tends to be their default mode. But there were quieter numbers. "Falling Softly" from the 2012 musical "Once" was melodic and meditative. Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is almost a folk anthem these days, and the musical arrangement caught that beautifully, though I could have done without the inevitable fortissimo finish.
Highlights? There were many. "Bui-Doi" from Miss Saigon, "Bring him Home" from "Les Miserables" and "The Impossible Dream" fom "Man of La Mancha" were high on the list.
But the ten tenors were not going to miss the chance of being back in Australia to play to their audience, and their version of Peter Allen's "I still call Australia home" pressed all the right buttons.
I was looking forward to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" and it came as the encore. Everything came together in this number – choreographic and comedic excellence, superb backing on drums and keyboard, intricate harmonies, and the showcasing of individual voices. Just about everyone in the audience was singing and whistling along, standing, swaying and clapping.