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Tim Minchin at HOTA

We were lucky enough to get tickets to see Tim Minchin last Saturday night as part of the opening celebrations of HOTA (Home Of The Arts, formerly the Gold Coast Arts Centre). I was pretty excited about this – my husband and I always managed to be away whenever Tim Minchin performed in Brisbane, so we’ve been wanting to see him for a while. To make it even more exciting, we organised the kiddos to stay the night with their Grandma, and took off into Surfers.

We caught a shuttle bus from the Cypress Avenue tram station into HOTA since we were staying in Surfers, but there seemed to be heaps of parking spots left an hour before the concert started. It was beautiful weather, and the new stage has a nice set-up. We managed to find our friends who  were also going, and found a spot to set up our chairs next to them. Although it looked full when we arrived, people were still fairly spread out, so there was lots of space.

The food trucks were lined up around the edges, and there wasn’t too big a line-up for most of them. Bringing in food was allowed (and encouraged if you have dietary requirements), along with drinks (but nothing in glass). It was nice to sit on the grass (on low beach chairs) and listening to the music playing, and wait for an hour.

There was a few welcoming speeches for the official opening, and then Tim Minchin came on to the stage right on time.

I took a few photos but iPhone photos taken at night are not quality (at least not the way I take them), so I’ve borrowed some from the HOTA Facebook Album of the night.

Tim Minchin opened with a few comments about Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate and how he has suggested that P!nk would be a more appropriate choice to open the concert, and that theme continued throughout. He also declined to play Come Home Cardinal Pell (a song mentioned by Tom Tate as offensive), stating that the song had done its job.

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He did play a range of songs though, and also did a lot of talking and random thoughts. The random thoughts were a bit off stream of consciousness stuff. Tim Minchin is very witty, and clever, and likes to play on words. I was also surprised at how good he is on piano – it’s one thing to play piano well, but it’s another to play well while not looking at the keyboard and chatting away to a crowd of a few thousand people. He had a band accompanying him for most of the night too.

There was some one-sided banter going on between him and the lighting crew (one-sided because they were without microphones), and I’m assuming that because he goes off on tangents, it would be hard to keep up where the cues were meant to be. Or maybe it was all planned. Because after all the lightning talk, and an epic smoke machine session, the audience was completely taken by surprise when Tim Minchin yelled out, “Fireworks!” and then ten seconds later, fireworks began. The lightning changed when he yelled at, so everyone assumed it was a lighting cue, and not a cue for actual fireworks.

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Then after an encore (“I’m going to pretend to leave now, and then come back in a minute to do the encore”), the concert was over, just before 9pm. So my kind of concert – it was Tim Minchin performing, we sat down for most of it, we got to bring snacks, and the weather was perfect (cyclonic conditions were forecast earlier in the week so I’d been preparing to be sitting on the rain the entire time). We decided to skip the shuttle bus back and walk, since it was such a nice night. It took about half an hour to get into Surfers, and there were lots of other people doing the same walk.

It was a really enjoyable night. The new outdoor stage is a really nice venue, and the concert was well organised. I’m hoping they will have more events that we’re interested in seeing in the future. Tim Minchin mentioned that he may be doing more concerts soon within Australia, so I’m hoping that he will return for another show.

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