When I heard Shannon Noll was touring with his new album, I couldn’t wait to see him belt out his new songs live. The last time most of us saw him, was earlier this year gracing our TV screen from the hidden depths of the African jungle. An honest, raw and brave Nollsie wooed Australian audiences for the second time on a reality TV show. And yet again, came runner-up.
His album Unbroken, shows all the signs of the Aussie battler’s determination in the face of adversity and within its country-rock tones heralds a return to Noll’s roots – the country heart of New South Wales.
After local Adelaide Hills boys, Indiago, warmed up the crowd with their loud alternative rock, the main attraction took to the stage with all the swagger we’ve come to expect.
Starting the set with one of his newer tracks, Who I Am, Nollsie’s fans weren’t disappointed. While there were a few issues with his microphone, the AV guys got it right by the time Shannon belted out the lyrics “really don’t care what all the doubters say, we’ll win them over ’cause every underdog has their day. I’m done with second place!”
Continuing on the honesty theme, Everybody needs a little help from his third album, had the crowd singing along. A good number in this crowd had their Nollsie t-shirts on, some even sporting Shannon’s “I’m a Celebrity” hashtag. These fans were very happy when Nollsie took the time out to make a few jokes about his six weeks in the jungle! Another track from his third album followed, In pieces, which signalled that Noll wasn’t just on tour to promote his new album, but to celebrate his fifteen year music career thus far.
When the opening piano chords of Lonely started, the crowd went wild, and sang along with gusto to the chorus, in solidarity with this good-hearted bloke.
“Do you ever get lonely baby
Don’t you ever get tired of living that way
Don’t you ever wonder whether there’s a better life”
Noll then proceeded to sing some of his new tracks, introducing the history of some, saying he wrote Breath Of Life seven years ago and launching into Land Of Mine demonstrating an impressive higher vocal register.
Interspersing old favourites in between his new songs meant the crowd got to chant to his anthem-like hits such as Shine, Drive and Learn To Fly. Beautiful harmonies and a prowess on the guitar, all showed that Noll has indeed matured as a musician since his last album in 2011. An Aussie flag waved by fans in the crowd to Southern Skies heralded that Noll’s fan base is alive and strong.
Coming back on stage for the encores, Nollsie skulled a beer then launched into Lift, one of his most popular tunes. And of course, What About Me, sung as the final encore of the evening, truly delivered.
Most humbly and graciously, Noll thanked the crowd for all their support and continued welcome, perhaps alluding to the fact that his treatment the last time he was in town hadn’t been too flash. An impressive voice, entertaining performer and gratifying set list made this performance a night to remember. Whilst many fans waited around afterwards for a chat, I suspect Nollsie made a quick exit back to his hotel room for a couple of quiet and safe bevvies ahead of the rest of his tour around Australia. All the best mate, you’re first place in my eyes and in those of the happy crowd at The Gov on Friday night.
Live Review by Kim Burley