The Corrs came to Melbourne and left us Breathless

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The Corrs ★★★★
Rod Laver Arena, November 6

Although Australian radio hits have been sparse lately, half of Melbourne seems to have turned out to see The Corrs – there’s not an empty seat in Rod Laver Arena as a demographically baffling crowd files in and waits patiently for five hours of music to begin.

The Corrs perform at Rod Laver Arena, November 6, 2023.Credit: Rick Clifford

Warmup acts Germein and Toni Childs were warmly received. Full points to third support and national treasure Natalie Imbruglia, who served up her accomplished oeuvre of old and new in the face of friendly – if increasingly hectic – calls for her to hurry up and play her 1997 debut hit Torn. She persevered, but also, the hecklers were right. When she finally did sing Torn as her penultimate track, it was the best four minutes of everybody’s lives.

Until The Corrs took the stage and were unreasonably magnificent. The booming drum roll from Caroline Corr which led the band onto stage and set opener Only When I Sleep was eye-opening in every sense of the word.

The Corrs – whose blend of power pop, traditional Irish music, sibling vocal harmony and disarmingly horny lyricism – were one of those bands that seemed inexplicably popular in ’90s Australia. And still are. Which one only understands after seeing them roll out hit after hit in the arena.

The Corrs are polished, playful, and slightly anarchic without losing professionalism.Credit: Rick Clifford

Nostalgic bangers Forgiven, Not Forgotten and So Young sat alongside a break for Irish dance and several artfully done covers, including a four-to-the-floor house-inflected cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams that ached for a dancefloor instead of the sensible rows of floor seating Rod Laver Arena provided. With the energy way up in the rafters, they closed with I Never Loved You Anyway – and encored with Runaway and Breathless.

Polished, playful, slightly anarchic without losing professionalism, youthful despite the years. The Corrs sound amazing. They look amazing. As an ethnically Irish person past the point of no return myself, I can only assume The Corrs have a haunted painting in an attic somewhere. A very good time.
Reviewed by Liam Pieper

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