Markus Hamence Presents Aretha! Whitney! George! Keep The Faith @ The Regal Theatre, Kensington Park SA 5/11/2022

Markus Presents has brought another musical spectacular to The Regal Theatre. Aretha! Whitney! George! Keep the Faith is a show with a trio of powerhouse vocalists ARIA chart sensation Greg Gould, Melbourne powerhouse vocalist Sarah C and The Voice Runner Up Faith Sosene to sing songs from the three legendry musical icons. With a sold-out show and a packed-out Regal Theatre, Sarah C kicked off the night belting out acapella Whitney Houston’s One Moment In Time before changing it up and breaking into a medley of Whitney dance songs to get the party started! Sharing the vocals between the three we got the biggest hits early; How Will I Know, I’m Your Baby Tonight and I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Sarah C is known in Melbourne for her Whitney tribute performances and its obvious she can match the vocal prowess of the soulful diva singing I Have Nothing which she dedicated to her late grandmother.

Only fifteen minutes into the show and people were already up dancing in their seats and the aisles. It was obvious that this crowd came to dance and party their Saturday night away! I’m Every Woman got them up on their feet before the tone slowed down again with Gould singing a sultry version of Father Figure, Kissing a Fool in true Bublé style then channelling his inner George Michael on Careless Whisper. But once again the crowd just wanted to dance. The minute Gould started to sing Freedom 90 they got back up on their feet grooving and singing away like it was 1990 all over again! 

The minute the immensely talented Faith Sosene came on stage she wowed and stunned the audience with her medley of Aretha Franklin hits. Her vocal range is insane! Singing with soul, it was like she was born to sing these songs; I Never Loved a Man, Ain’t No Way, Say a Little Prayer, Until You Come Back to Me and Chain of Fools. You can’t do an Aretha show without the most famous of her songs, Respect and once again as Sosene just blew it out of the park. Her restraint and delivery on each song was just a joy to listen. After a whirlwind of power vocals, the trio all came back on stage to sing a stirring rendition of Bridge Over troubled Water ending a sensational First Act of the show!

If we thought the big bang hits were over, well we were wrong! Second Act started with a rocking version of Queen of the Night with all three again singing together. They had ‘the stuff that we wanted and the stuff that we needed!’ Gould was back in George mode with Fastlove and Sarah C brought Whitney back with So Emotional.  The versatility of each performer whether singing fast dance numbers or softer ballads had the audience cheering for more! But we should reserve a cheer for the band who were on point and keeping true to each song. On keys was Raf Azaria, Jonathan Skovron on guitar, Nick Sinclair on bass and Thom Mann on drums.

When Gould sang First Time Ever I Saw Your Face there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen and he got a rousing standing ovation at the end. Sarah C only had one condition when she was asked to join the show, that she sings the Bonnie Raitt written song I Cant Make You Love Me. Safe to say she held her own and captured the heart and soul of the song just like the George Michael version. Sosens sang Don’t Let The Sun Go Down and had the crowd in awe with Gould and Sarah C joining in making it vocal force.

Whitney’s Step by Step had everyone back on their feet and Sarah C made sure everyone was up dancing, walking amongst the audience revving everyone up. Back to the ballads with When You Believe the Whitney duet with Mariah Carey and Sosene back to Aretha with the classic Nautral Woman. I can’t not say it enough; her vocals are insane! Again, she was graced with another standing ovation. Same for Sarah C for her version of I Will Always Love You. Standing ovations all night!

The night ended up with everyone up on their feet again ‘hitting those highs’ with Wake Me Up Before You Go Go and I Knew You were Waiting For Me. All the classic big hits were there, and no one was disappointed. In fact, the crowd wanted more stomping and cheering demanding they come back on stage, and they got it! I mean you can’t do a George Michael tribute show without Faith and the final song after a 3-hour show was Aretha’s Think. What a night! What a show!

Live Review By Anastasia Lambis

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