Aussie pop act Savage Garden kicked off its North American tour at Sunrise, Florida's Sunrise Musical Theatre on Tuesday night with a large stage production that managed to keep the crowd's focus on the group's two figureheads, singer Darren Hayes and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Jones.
Hayes, decked out in the first of many flamboyant costumes, played rock-star as he covered the multi-tiered stage during early numbers like "Break Me Shake Me" and "To The Moon & Back," both from the duo's self-titled, six-times-platinum debut. While Hayes strutted, Jones, wearing a much simpler outfit, was content to stick to one spot onstage with guitar in hand.
The concertgoers in the small theater showed their appreciation for the group's early, upbeat tunes, and glow-sticks seemed to be the only common accessory between them. Of course, many of the fans didn't know what to do with their fluorescent toys during a set of ballads which saw the duo dispatch with its six-piece
backing band, Jones take a seat behind a grand piano, and Hayes serenade the mostly female audience.
Ranging in age from preteens to 40-somethings, it seemed as if every audience member let out a shriek at least once during the show; when Hayes made eye contact with the crowd, there was an instant, high-decibel response. The singer made it clear he was enjoying the attention. "This is a two-way street; it's not our show, it's your show," Hayes said, his face flushed red from exertion.
The intimate vocals-and-piano interlude featured a rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine" along with some storytelling between songs. While Hayes chatted, Jones just kept beaming a smile that seemed to have been plastered on his face for the entire show.
For the encore, Hayes traded in his black leather pants for a white-on-white disco look, complete with Elvis-styled sunglasses, for the high-energy "Chained To You." Quickly shedding the glasses and disco jacket for the group's
breakthrough hit "I Want You," Hayes looked as contemporary as possible.
But the crowd favorite was undoubtedly "I Knew I Loved You" from Savage Garden's double-platinum 1999 release, "Affirmation," which featured the entire audience singing along throughout.
To catch Savage Garden on the road, here's the duo's current itinerary:
- 7/20 - Myrtle Beach, SC @ Palace Theater
- 7/22 - Philadelphia, PA @ Mann Music Center
- 7/25 - New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
- 7/27 - Troy, PA @ Troy Fair
- 7/28 - Boston, MA @ FleetBoston Pavilion
- 7/29 - Bristow, VA @ Nissan Pavilion
- 7/31 - Montreal, QC @ Molson Centre
- 8/1 - Toronto, ON @ Molson Amphitheatre
- 8/2 - Ionia, MI @ Ionia Free Fair
- 8/5 - Columbus, OH @ Ohio State Fairgrounds
- 8/6 - West Allis, WI @ Wisconsin State Fair
- 8/9 - Bethlehem, PA @ Bethlehem Musikfest
- 8/11 - Fairlea, WV @ West Virginia St. Fair
- 8/13 - Springfield, IL @ Illinois
- 8/14 - Midland, MI @ Midland County Fair
- 8/17 - Sedalia, MO @ Missouri State Fair
- 8/18 - Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre
- 8/19 - Lima, OH @ Allen County Fairgrounds
- 8/21 - Interlochen, MI @ Kresge Auditorium
- 8/22 - Rochester, MI @ Meadow Brook
- 8/25 - Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
- 8/26 - Pueblo, CO @ Colorado State Fair
- 8/28 - Saskatoon, SK @ Saskatchewan Place
- 8/29 - Calgary, AB @ Canadian Airlines Saddledome
- 8/30 - Edmonton, AB @ Skyreach Centre
- 9/1 - Vancouver, BC @ General Motors Place
- 9/2 - Seattle, WA @ Bumbershoot Festival
- 9/3 - Portland, OR @ Tom McCall Park
- 9/6 - Concord, CA @ Chronicle Pavilion @ Concord
- 9/8 - Universal City, CA @ Universal Amphitheatre
- 9/9 - San Diego, CA @ SDSU Open Air Theatre
- 9/10 - Las Vegas, NV @ House Of Blues