Friday 21 June 2019

Drew Downing's Ultimate 90s Playlist - Music Review

What: Drew Downing's Ultimate 90s Playlist
When: 20 - 22 June 2019
Where: Theatre, Chapel Off Chapel
Created by: Drew Downing
Performed by: Drew Downing, the Ultimate 90's Band, 3BG
3BG and Drew Downing
The Melbourne Cabaret Festival has taken over Chapel Off Chapel for the rest of June and to get things going Drew Downing is rocking the Theatre stage with his retro concert Drew Downing's Ultimate 90s Playlist. As kitsch as it is, this concert has a sound system to rival the major arenas and Downing's choice of songs will have you up off your chair dancing and singing along!

I have always thought of my self as an 80's tragic but this concert had me realising how much of the 90s soundtrack had seeped its way into my brain. With slightly more sensible lyrics than the 80s (although Downing may disagree) and a pervasive hint of grunge Downing took me back to my love affair with bands such as Snow Patrol and classic pop hits such as 'Breakfast At Tiffany's'.

Yes, the concert is littered with such musical giants as The Spice Girls, Oasis, and The Back Street Boys and Downing is more than ably supported with an incredible 8 piece band. You might cringe a little inside as you sing along to Shania Twain's 'Still The One' but we are reminded the 90s was awash with some great guitar riffs and was an era of good harmonies and the occassional soulful ballad (although the days of the power ballad were nearly gone).

As Downing takes us through the era of Video Hits we are reminded of the classic Archie remake - Dawson's Creek. Stumbling through the theme lyrics of 'I Don't Want To Wait' we were taken straight back to the teen angst of Dawson, Joey, Jen, and Pacey as they searched for love and life awash with teenage hopes and hormones.

The second half of the night was something of a tribute to boy and girl bands and Downing organised a special opening night appearance of up and coming Burwood based boy band 3BG to wow the crowd. Someone might want to do something about their costumes, but the boys were great and seemed to really enjoy the big band, big sound, and big crowd.

Yes, I am a pop culture tragic but I was not alone in the room last night. Littered around the cabaret tables were pockets of people singing along, standing up and dancing, and at one point there was even a smart phone torch vigil. You know it is a hit concert when that happens!

4.5 Stars

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