Forget about the spun-out global economic crisis, Lance Armstrong’s deception or the ubiquitous weather — as anyone who turned up at the Emirates Golf Club on Friday night to watch legendary Aussies soft rock duo Air Supply perform a one-night-only gig can testify. Life’s still good.
Fact is, Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell, made everything seem so hunky-dory when belting out their arsenal of hit songs to a highly appreciative audience. People who turn up their noses at two 60-something gentlemen shamelessly singing light ‘n’ frothy love songs haven’t noticed that their is an exultation of spirit, a joie de vivre for all us misanthropists to enjoy.
Romantic ballads have been their forte for over 38 years and the two Russells delivered a delightful 100-minute set of deceptively sweet and saccharine pop songs that included all their biggest hits from Lost in Love and All Out of Love to Here I Am and the wonderful Making Love out of Nothing.
It took a lot of courage in the early ’80s to embark on a pop-music career that would require them to croon romantic ballads at a time when most artists where going in search of more artistic and progressive frontiers to entice more people to buy their records. But soon as they burst on the scene Air Supply became a staple for the romantics scoring seven straight Top 5 singles not just in their native Australia but across the planet.
And Friday night’s concert, held under a beautiful night sky in the picturesque setting of the Emirates Golf Club, underscored their longevity, artisan spirit and general bonhomie.
Of course hundreds of cell phones were filming the lush arrangements and catchy singing of songs like Two Less Lonely People in the World, The One That You Love and Goodbye.
Of particular enjoyment was the interaction Graham displayed with the crowd whenever he hit centre stage or to stress the importance of love, as if singing about it was not enough.
He even talked about being inspired to write a poem about Dubai that he called ‘A Window to the World’ and thanked the fans generously for being around.
“I can’t tell you how excited we are to be back in Dubai. Thank you for remembering us and being a part of our music for so many years.” said songwriter Graham before launching into a trio of songs the also featured the wonderful I Can’t Wait Forever, which he co-wrote with the great David Foster.
Graham and Russell are polished entertainers and had the crowd on their toes for most of the evening before closing their show with the melodious All Out of Love.
Even is some songs passed by without catching the attention there was enough evidence on the night to suggest that Air Supply’s star has not diminished.