LIVE REVIEW: Conchita Wurst & Trevor Ashley – QPAC

With Mardi Gras weekend about to kick off in Sydney, it only seems appropriate that a glamorous night of divas celebrates pride in one of the most flamboyant settings possible, a beautiful theatre. 

2014 Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst and Australian Cabaret queen Trevor Ashely have joined forces for an exclusive East Coast tour that sees them playing hits and seasoned favourites with special guest, Kate Miller Heidke. 

Opening night of this exclusive three night affair kicked off in Brisbane at QPAC with the Camerata Orchestra, and the dynamic trio didn’t shy away from giving one stunning evening of powerhouse vocals. 

As Trevor Ashely described during the show, every number felt like an encore. Each song was grand, dramatic and had those momentous soaring moments.

Conducted by Michael Tyack, the Camerata Orchestra made their way onto the stage for a brief overture before Trevor Ashley opened his solo set with ‘Rain On My Parade’. 

Performing show classics like ‘Windmills Of Your Mind’ by Dusty Springfield, ‘Quiet Please, There’s A Lady On Stage’ by Peter Allen and ‘People’ by Barbara Streisand, Ashley delivered strong punches of musical brilliance. But it was his renditions of ‘The Man That Got Away’ by Judy Garland and ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ by Shirley Bassey that really impressed as he took on their unique personality traits with such comedic timing. 

“Hello Brisbane! I’m so excited to be here tonight because I turn 40 tomorrow, but it’s okay as I look really good in this wig” he quipped as he welcomed the audience to the show. His in-between song banter was quick and witty, and it cemented why he really is an Australian Cabaret favourite. 

Walking on stage in a small silver dress, Conchita Wurst was less comedic with their solo set and instead focused on delivering a powerhouse vocal performance. Opening with Andy Williams’ ‘Love Story (Where Do I Begin’), they then delivered performances of their original tracks like ‘Out Of Body Experience’, ‘Pure’ and ‘Heroes’ as well as a stunning rendition of ‘Purple Rain’ by Prince. 

Graciously chatting to the crowd, Wurst explained how they were so excited to be in Brisbane as it was their first time in the city. But the conversation quickly digressed to how much they love Target because they don’t have it in Austria, which was a quirky little talking point. 

After a brief intermission, they returned with a costume change for a duet of Conchita’s ‘Where Have All The Good Men Gone’, Oleta Adams’ ‘Get Here (If You Can)’ and ‘Colors Of The Wind’ from Pocahontas. 

Bringing some more star power to the stage, they welcomed Kate Miller Heidke for a special performance of ‘Where’ from The Rabbits as well as a breathtaking performance of her Eurovision song ‘Zero Gravity’. 

The Brisbane singer-songwriter is a natural when it comes to live performances and can effortlessly hit notes that other artists only dream of reaching. 

Ashley and Wurst closed out the show with a performance of James Bond classic theme songs like ‘Writing’s On The Wall’, ‘Skyfall’, ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Diamonds Are Forever’. But as they were walking off stage, Ashley encouraged Wurst to take one final bow and perform the Eurovision winners single ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’ which the crowd got very excited about.

With Heidke and Ashley then joining Wurst on stage for a final bow, the three performed a candid performance of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ which felt like a fitting finish to a stunning and perfectly flamboyant show of powerhouse divas. 

With the crowd giving three standing ovations throughout the course of the night, there was no denying the raw talent that graced that stage along with the euphoric pride they shared with Brisbane.  

Conchita Wurst & Trevor Ashley Tour Dates

Thursday 27 February – State Theatre, Sydney

Friday 28 February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne