With a highly-staged show like the Countdown Spectacular, you don’t expect particularly large alterations from venue to venue. Nonetheless, there were indeed a few changes between the Newcastle and Sydney shows, summarised below:
We’re obviously going to get bad ‘local’ Molly jokes in each city. The Sydney tale was a shaggy dog story about Molly visiting an Elton John party with Bette Midler and causing everyone to throw their drugs overboard, exciting the fish. Truly.
Shamefully, Jo Jo Zep was cut back to just one song, ‘Shape I’m In’.
There were a couple of costume changes — Mark Gable (Choirboys) and Grace Knight (Eurogliders) were dressed slightly differently.
The Countdown Dancers change in each location — there’s a core group of four lead dancers who teach the choreography to local dancers in each city. I’m still not that fussed on them. The intro to the first dancers segment this time was done by Molly, dressed in an Egyptian outfit and with the Bangles in the background (in Newcastle, Gavin had simply done a voiceover).
Alex Smith managed to get the entire audience, more or less, to stand up for ‘What About Me?’.
We were told it was only going to be a 15-minute interval, but it stretched to 25.
The Models moved into semi-medley mode, performing a truncated version of ‘I Hear Motion’ which merged directly into ‘Out Of Mind Out Of Sight’, rather than a full version. Sean Kelly didn’t look too happy.
Molly’s Humdrum segment was trimmed, with the references to the Motels and the Tourists removed.
Renee Geyer looked more into it — perhaps she was just having a shit day in Newcastle.
In general, the bigger venue and larger crowds made for a more impressive event, and I probably enjoyed myself more (if only because I wasn’t having to take notes at the beginning of every single song). I also appeared on-screen for about 2 seconds during the second JPY performance.
Interestingly, there seemed to be a weird crowd split — the floor seats appeared entirely filled with 70s enthusiasts (leaving me aside), while the 80s fans were seated slightly higher. That’s a good omen for my next visit, in Melbourne, as I don’t have a floor seat there.