07 February 2010

OFFICIAL Jury Comments for Antony and the Johnsons to follow shortly.

The Children's Choice Awards Jury is like a microcosm of the larger audience. So for every snoozing Jury member there's at least another 100 out there in the crowd...

Antony and the Johnsons with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra

The Jury-mobile is revealed for the first time upon arrival at Antony and the Johnsons!

Antony and the Johnsons with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra

Antony and the Johnsons with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (UK/USA/Australia)

Saturday 6 February 2010

Surprise opening act, Waso, featured a DJ with a solitary dancer wrapped in white tulle moving slowly across stage, winding and unwinding herself. An overall dark tone that blended soft and fluid gestures, countered by long silver knife-like claws and aggressive angular movements. Overall, the Jury was a bit unsure of what to make of the opening act, scared a bit, but taken by the wardrobe change that occurred from the silver bikini to the black shiny bikini, both of which appeared to look like they came from a spaceship.

As part of his Symphony Tour, accompanied by a 36-piece orchestra conducted by Rob Moose, Antony's voice and lyrics are spellbinding. As is often the case at the symphony (well, many art performances), a good number of audience members are lulled to sleep, through sheer ennui, or surrendering to the sounds that envelop them. One Jury Member was overtaken by Antony’s magical powers, falling into a deep trance that gave him super powers to sleep through two standing ovations and an encore, and which required fairly vigourous shaking to wake him. Bravo.

The range and clarity of Antony’s voice is astounding, as is the emotion he conjures, further accentuated by the orchestra. A highlight was his remake of Beyoncé’s Crazy, a more subdued version full of longing, which scored high points with the Jury. A generous and lively performer, he chitchatted with the audience, went on tangents about his love for his granny who wanted to (or maybe did) knit sweaters for little birds (I want to meet her), and his responsibility as a public figure to advocate for various underrepresented and marginalized communities and causes. His love of performing emanated from the stage.

Top points also go to the large crystalline sculpture suspended above the orchestra, which absorbed a rainbow of lights creating a chandelier one might expect in a palace on Mars.

PS. If you ever have the chance to hear Antony live, I beseech you, go. Recordings do not do him justice.