As dusk fell upon the Botanic Gardens Plain Tree Lawns, perfect conditions were set for a night of orchestral music under the stars… rock-fuelled, anthemic, orchestral music.

Rock Orchestra Under The Stars promised a night of classic rock with an orchestral twist and delivered. Sweeping and majestic in its intent, Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony eased us into the night, as the combined ensemble forces of Point05 and Akoustic Odyssey, along with special guest Kat Jade, delivered a night of strings, searing guitars and soaring vox, all underpinned by some great tunes from the past 50 years.

Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd), The Chain (Fleetwood Mac), Iris (Goo Goo Dolls) and Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix) were amongst some of the tracks which washed over the sold-out audience in attendance.  It was during the first of two Bowie tracks, Ziggy Stardust, where the ensemble truly spread their wings, the combined sounds of rock and classical musicians gelling perfectly with a brilliant vocal delivery.

There were other standouts of course, Wings’ Live And Let Die leant itself perfectly to the evening.  Similarly, rousing renditions of the Deep Purple classic Smoke On The Water and Europe’s The Final Countdown had the crowd cheering.  Everything came together both musically and vocally on the evenings highlights.  As you closed your eyes it was almost as if Bowie had taken to the stage for Moonage Daydream, delivered phenomenally and to perfection, as was the epic show closer Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven, as the final strains of music left the air, you felt as though you had just witnessed something pretty special.

Review by Peter Lanyon

Rock Orchestra Under The Stars at Adelaide Botanic Gardens returns for a second shows on March 17. Tickets from Fringe Tix.

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