REVIEW: Michael Bolton, Newcastle City Hall

Michael Bolton at Newcastle City Hall. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.
Michael Bolton at Newcastle City Hall. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

There was a lot of love in the air for Michael Bolton last night as he performed an incredible show at Newcastle’s City Hall.

The American singer, songwriter who was supported by Gabrielle has certainly still got it at the ripe age of 63.

Michael Bolton at Newcastle City Hall. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Michael Bolton at Newcastle City Hall. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Not only did he sound the part, but he looked the part too, dressed impeccably in a black suit with a single diamond stud in his left ear, which glistened under the stage lights.

Adoring fans cheered and sang along delighted as he interacted with them, shaking hands, answering questions and performing requests.

One he claimed he’d not done for a long time was Nessun Dorma, which he dedicated to the late Luciano Pavrotti, before delivering an epic performance which was executed in spine-tingling style.

Backed by a fantastic five piece-band and two female vocalists, the Grammy Award winner’s set was packed with original self-penned songs as well as several covers including Frank Sinatra’s That’s Life and Otis Redding’s classic Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay.

Michael Bolton at Newcastle City Hall. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Michael Bolton at Newcastle City Hall. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

His laid-back, humorous manner was entertaining, as he joked about how his career was a slow burner.

He reminded fans it “took 18 years to become an overnight sensation”, and referred to his teenage years being just 12 years ago.

His distinctive vocals were strong as he delivered hits such as How Am I Supposed To Live Without You, a song he co-wrote for Laura Branigan, which he performed with backing singer Sam Fly.

The duo took centre stage mid-show to perform a number of songs from his 2011 album, Gems: The Duets Collection, including The Prayer, as well as a cover of Adele’s Make You Feel My Love and Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell’s Motown hit Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.

Michael Bolton at Newcastle City Hall. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Michael Bolton at Newcastle City Hall. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

A string of classic power ballads, including Said I Loved You...But I Lied and Time, Love, and Tenderness were real crowd pleasers too. This man could sing the alphabet and make it sound amazing.

But it was when the legend made his way into the crowd to perform When A Man Loves A Woman that proved to be the icing on the cake as fans got the chance to grab a selfie with the star.

As the show ended, Gabrielle, who’d opened the show, joined Bolton and his band on stage to take a bow to a standing ovation.

It’s rare to see someone of her calibre as a tour support, and she delivered a fantastic set which felt like a show in itself.

Gabrielle at Newcastle City Hall. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Gabrielle at Newcastle City Hall. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Opening with the uplifting hit When A Woman created a feel-good vibe and before singing her ‘90s hit Give Me A Little More Time, the Hackney-born, Brit Award-winning singer-songwriter explained how she was pregnant with her son when it was released, and he’s now 21.

You forget how many great songs Gabrielle has released as she performed more hits such as Rise, Sunshine, and Out Of Reach, which she wrote for the film Bridget Jones’s Diary, before ending with Dreams Can Come True, which topped the UK charts in 1993.

She proved, just as Michael Bolton did, that good music stands the test of time.

Gabrielle at Newcastle City Hall. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Gabrielle at Newcastle City Hall. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.