Top Grown-Up Shows of 2008

Thanks to Andrew Robertson:

2008 was another great year for live music, even in little old Adelaide – although my highlight was on the other side of the world, at the Hollywood Bowl.

Trying to select my top five, I came up with:

1. Van Morrison – Astral Weeks live at the Hollywood Bowl (counting both nights as one, as they were both the clear highlights of my life, let alone 2008)

2. Sting – Songs from the Labyrinth at the Sydney Opera House (music from the ages, definitely music for grown ups)

3. The State Opera of South Australia – Turandot at the Adelaide Festival Theatre (our very, very good local opera company, doing a performance that was as good as any opera I’ve seen)

4. Philip Glass – The Book of Longing (Leonard Cohen’s poetry set to music by Philip Glass – deliciously, eclectically grown up – but to be surpassed in 2009 by Leonard Cohen himself who I saw only yesterday)

5. Billy Cobham & Colin Towns, with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra – A Celebration of the Mahavishnu Orchestra (an innovative collaboration between a very good classical symphony orchestra which also loves to stretch out into other genres, and a giant of jazz with Colin Towns as musical director and conductor to harmonise it all into one)

Honourable mentions:

* Ornette Coleman – another jazz giant

* John Mellencamp – my big surprise for 2008, a truly excellent show from an evolving artist


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