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Hayley in Concert
banner - Odyssey
Maxwell King Center, Melbourne, FL 17th March, 2006

I have been listening to Hayley since December of 2004 when her special aired on PBS.  I had never heard of her until the show started.  I am not impressed with most singers in most genres and I listen to a lot of instrumental music.  Before Hayley sang her first note I was already expecting to hear “just another singer.”  I actually surfed through the channels one more time and missed the Maori introduction.  I arrived on PBS again when she began Pokarekare Ana.  I just about dropped my remote.  Hayley has the most beautiful tone I have ever heard.  I listened and at the end of the song I was breathless.  Hayley gave a flawless performance of a great song.  I still wanted to see if she could keep this level of performance up throughout the special.  She did and I was hooked on her immediately.  I bought her CD, Pure, in less than 24 hours and ordered the DVD from PBS.  I now own all of her CD’s including US and UK versions, a single from Japan and Disney’s Mulan II soundtrack (yes, for one song only).  I can’t get enough of Hayley.  She has the voice that I have always searched for.

I live in Knoxville, TN and had plans to see Hayley in 2005.  I bought tickets to Tampa and Detroit but both were cancelled because Hayley was scheduled to begin recording Odyssey.  This year I had planned to attend in Charlotte, NC but it was cancelled for some reason.  I almost gave up but the longing to see her in concert and meet her in person compelled me to go to Melbourne, FL.  I traveled 12 hours to see her and it was worth every minute and every mile.

Previously, I had planned to attend concerts with Hayley performing with a full orchestra.  I wasn’t sure if Melbourne had one.  When I walked into the auditorium, I saw a grand piano and 2 guitars on stage.  Since I usually hear Hayley with an orchestra, I wasn’t disappointed to know I was about to hear her perform in a different setting.  The excitement grew.  She opened with Pokarekare Ana.  The pianist and guitarist gave fantastic performances.  I first noticed, without the orchestra, that not one note was missing from the original score.  The arrangements with two instruments still sounded full, rich and complete.  I have always noticed that Hayley’s arrangements are scored with a lot of attention to detail.  Also, the arrangements may feature other musicians but the arrangements and performance always allow Hayley to be the focus.  This concert was consistent with that philosophy.  Hayley sang a variety of songs of pop, classical and sacred music from Pure and Odyssey.  She gave flawless performances throughout the night.  I like Hayley’s attention to detail and how she shapes the phrases.  Her interpretations are heart-felt and her music touches me in a personal way.

During the concert, Hayley joked about her being short.  Another time she was introducing “She Moves Through The Fair” and she told us that she would sing it a cappella.  I gasped for breath in anticipation of hearing her perform this.  The pianist and guitarist started to leave and she said, “You don’t have to leave…(unless you want to)”.  There was some laughter because of how playful Hayley was with her musicians and her audience.  After Hayley finished “She Moves Through the Fair” the musicians returned.  Hayley laughed and said, “I thought I got rid of you guys.”  She has a great sense of humor.  With Hayley’s fun-loving personality, I didn’t feel like I went to a concert.  I felt like I came to visit my friend Hayley along with many of her other friends and we were just having a good time together.  There seemed to be no barrier between Hayley and the audience.  She interacts with the audience and talked to us as if she knew every one of us.  This may be the reason so many people feel comfortable talking to her after her concerts.

If you are really a Hayley fan, you need to go to her concerts.  We received a gift for attending this one.  Our gift was a performance of “The Water Is Wide”.  It is to be on a new release for the UK but it hasn’t been released yet.  Hayley told us that it was the first time she had ever performed this song in public.  What a treat it was.  Thank you Hayley.

Just because the concert was over didn’t mean that she had stopped impressing me.  While signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, she never gives any indication that she is in a hurry or trying to rush the crowd through.  Some artists might meet the audience because they feel obligated.  Hayley seems to enjoy meeting her fans and spending time with them as much as she enjoys singing.  Thank you Hayley for spending so much time with us and especially spending time with me, signing my autographs and taking a picture with me.  I will cherish that moment forever.

If you ever get a chance to see Hayley in concert, please go.  You will not be disappointed and traveling any distance is worth the time.  I didn’t think that my affection for Hayley and her music could increase but it did…a lot.

Bob Frye

source : hwi
credits : review by bob frye
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