Robbie Williams Comes Out Swinging!

Robbie Williams Comes Out Swinging!

Perennial cheeky chappy, reformed bad boy and consummate entertainer Robbie Williams made a long overdue return to Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday night.

In the eight years since Williams has graced Australian audiences with his presence, he has fought off his demons (and won), traded in his Most Eligible Bachelor card and become a father. This tour also seems Williams leaving his pop roots behind in favour of his ever popular swing sound.

From curtain up, it is clear this is going to be a sumptuous affair, the lavish three tiered set adorned with musicians and the monster, ever changing back drop screen are a feast for the eyes.

Robbie Williams Comes Out Swinging!

Mr Williams himself appears a little older (though exceptionally fit) and a little wiser but still exudes that haven't-I-been-a-naughty-boy appeal that has seen him lusted after by schoolgirls and grandmothers alike.

Williams voice is on point from the very beginning, as he roars through "Puttin' On The Ritz" and "Ain't That A Kick In The Head". He smoothly breathes new life into "Supreme", giving it a swing polish before donning a fat suit and sailing high into the air for a side splitting rendition of "No-one Likes A Fat Pop Star". As he is held aloft and his manhood is squeezed up into his stomach, Williams cracks "I do this for your entertainment, bitches".

And entertain he does, whether it be marrying an audience member, performing a barbershop quintet arrangement of R. Kelly's "Ignition", or signing an excited fan's derrière (and giving said posterior a kiss), Williams is on fire. He also finds time to soulfully deliver "Mr Bojangles" and bring a children's choir on stage for a rousing rendition of evergreen favourite "High Hopes".

Robbie Williams Comes Out Swinging!

"Swings Both Ways", originally performed as a duet with Rufus Wainwright, is a technicolor explosion of camp delight, a buoyant end to the first act.

Act 2 sees the set transformed into HMAS Teddy Bear (a nod to Williams' daughter, Theodora) and the packed audience sets sail for a second instalment of good times. Covers of "Hit The Road Jack" and "Reet Petite" which while excellent, are eclipsed by "Go Gentle", a touching ode to his young daughter. The family affair continues when Williams is joined by his father Peter for a duet of "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me".

"New York, New York" tears the roof off, and the jubilant crowd are treated to a medley of Williams pop cuts including "Let Me Entertain You", "Rock DJ", "Come Undone", and "Candy" which the singer laments only reached "fifty-fucking-eight" on the Australian charts.

A giant sized "My Way" is matched by arguably Williams biggest single to date, "Angels". It is one of those rare moment when, hands aloft, you truly soak in a perfect moment.

Robbie Williams Comes Out Swinging!

From boy band villain to pop sex symbol, to his current incarnation of stylish swing crooner, there is nothing that Robbie Williams cannot do.

From whoa to go, the show is over the top but never self indulgent. Robbie himself is razor shop both in his technical ability, his voice has never sounded richer or stronger and good natured banter. His interaction with the crowd never seems forced and he is naturally hilarious.

Robbie Williams has once again proved that he cannot be rivalled and his polished performance is certainly not one to be missed. While he promised that he would be back in the near future, punters who decided to give this round a miss should be giving themselves a sound kicking.

Robbie Williams Comes Out Swinging!
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