Most fans of Alfie Boe and Michael Ball have been keen to see the pair tour again since the end of the last tour in December 2016 and I am no exception. After reading Carole Hunt’s wonderful review of the opening night, Cardiff, I was doubly excited to head down to Brighton and I was not disappointed. Heather Crosskey, a guest reviewer from 2016 was also there and has added her review to mine.
Throughout 2017, in the numerous interviews and promotional appearances, as well as the concerts, it has been clear that Alfie and Michael share a very warm bond of friendship and this collaboration has been nothing but good news for them both. This feeling is very much reflected in the structure and atmosphere of this set list and show – each song chosen shines a perfect spotlight on their voices, combined or solo, whilst also highlighting their friendship and differing personalities. This change is apparent from the start when Alfie appears in jeans and black shirt (untucked) as opposed to the suit of last year. However, the glitzy shoes that caused such excitement amongst fans have gone – perhaps they looked good but weren’t comfy? We’ve all been there Alfie!
Musically, the highlights for me were the duet of Michael’s signature song, Love Changes Everything, Hero (a song I’m warming to each time I hear it), He Lives In You and the Queen medley. You might think this list isn’t very long and you’d be right – although these were undoubted highlights, they don’t come close to the Les Mis medley, You’re The Voice and the Wham medley. I can safely die happy now I’ve heard and seen Alfie singing and dancing the music of Wham, just sensational and I’m a bit hoarse today after singing my heart out to these songs.
Seeing as many fans came to both Michael and Alfie through Les Mis, the pair have kept a medley in the set list but it’s much different than last year. Backing singers, Ulrika, Tor and Emma do a phenomenal job on At The End Of The Day before Alfie and Michael return with I Dreamed A Dream and a new addition, Master of the House. As with the summer concerts, the medley ends with One Day More but in between, we see two solo spots: Michael’s beautiful rendition of Stars and Alfie’s Bring Him Home. I am extremely lucky to have heard Alfie sing his signature song on numerous occasions and although I love it, there are other songs I love more. Last night, however, and perhaps because I haven’t heard him sing the entire song for a couple of years, Alfie sang so movingly he brought me to tears for the second time, the first being He Lives In You.
Although all the songs I have mentioned were special, for me, the icing on the cake (or doughnuts, I heard they like doughnuts?!) was Alfie’s two solo numbers. Both new for the tour and in those moments, as well as Queen and Wham, I felt I was truly seeing Alfie at his happiest and best. For those who saw the Storyteller tour, it was akin to that. Tiny Dancer was extraordinary but Wagon Wheel was just joyous:
It was also fantastic to see Alfie putting himself out there with a guitar – and doesn’t he play well these days?
Overall, it was a totally joyful experience and left the audience feeling on cloud ninety nine – love, love, loved it! And now over to Heather:
There is a sense of brotherhood between these two giants of the music industry. Their voices blend together, there’s no competition between them. Neither man trying to take the spotlight, and gives a wonderful, relaxed feeling to the
proceedings. The choice of songs is inspired – audience participation is guaranteed and encouraged. There are songs from the new album, a song from Hamilton, and songs from other West End hit shows.
Love Changes Everything, sung as a duet, was moving and earned the guys a standing ovation. Having only heard it sung by Michael in the past, the addition of Alfie’s voice and harmonies took an already beautiful song to an entirely new dimension. We were treated to a bit of soft shoe shuffle as Michael and Alfie performed Bring Me Sunshine – the song they sang at the Royal Variety Performance. Michael and Alfie each had a solo slot – we saw Michael relive his time in Hairspray with You Can’t Stop the Beat and then slow everything down with The Impossible Dream, which felt really emotional. A medley of songs by Queen was great fun and again had the audience joining in. The evening ended with the most beautiful arrangement of The Prayer, sung in both English and Italian – I’m not ashamed to say it reduced me to tears. Then, just as we all thought it was time to go home, a final medley, this time of Wham songs had us all dancing, clapping and singing. A wonderful finale to an awesome evening.
If you’ve got a ticket to the Together Again 2017 tour then you’re in for a treat – it’s fabulous!
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