It was a warm autumn night when I had the pleasure of seeing jimmy Barnes at the Thebarton theatre.
The concert was sold out and the die hard fans went way back to the Cold Chisel days.
The merchandise booth was extremely busy selling t shirts, his books, caps etc.
Everyone was excited to see Jimmy and listen to his story and songs.
He did not disappoint, from the moment he came on stage we were enthralled with his story which began as a young boy growing up in Elizabeth. His family was poor and his father was an alcoholic.
I enjoyed listening to how Cold Chisel came about, as a child I listened to their songs and reminisced when he sang them. His journey to stardom was not easy but with his voice and the bands talent they soon became famous. With their success came the drugs and alcohol, which Jimmy Barnes could not get enough of.
He wanted to change direction and become a solo artist. With his powerful voice and strong work ethic he decided to try. He talked about how he met his wife and how she was the most stunning girl he laid eyes on.
He released some great songs like “Working Class Man”. , that suited him to a tee as he came from humble beginnings and worked hard like a Mack truck, never giving up to achieve his goals.
The second half of the show showed a more emotional side to him. He spoke about his demons which he tried to forget with alcohol and drugs. His past always found a way to come into his mind and the more he fought the more worse he would become. These were his darkest days and having friends die to suicide made him more angry. He reached rock bottom by attempting suicide in Auckland but luckily not succeeding.
With the help of his friends and family he decided to take steps forward to address the demons. He went to see a psychiatrist daily which addressed the issues and cleared the fog.
What I enjoyed the most was how he incorporated his songs and his story. I found the end of the show very emotional as he addressed everyone in the audience especially the men to talk about their mental health. He told everyone to talk to anyone but just keep on taking as suicide is high. It is especially among men, as they keep it bottled inside. They do not want to be ridiculed and look weak, but the best decision he made was to talk to a psychiatrist as his healing process began to unfold. He was so compassionate. His wife joined him onstage as she was always by his side through his whole ordeal and kept the family strong.
It was nice to see the man behind the singer and Jimmy Barnes needs to be congratulated for never giving up.
I give the concert a 10/10 as it was a long entertaining show that kept the audience wanting more. If you have not seen the show he will be back in June, make sure you see it. You will be glad you did.
Words by Pat Bibbo