A few people were surprised that I couldn’t make it to this years New Years party hosted by Darren Hayes, but alas as married life sometimes commands, it was my husband’s year to choose the festivity in which involved some great clubbing and drinks with friends.  But secretly, I wish I could have made it to the show – but in relationships (as I’m learning) sometimes there is a degree of compromise that needs to be met.  I did however, have a stomping New Years Eve and it was nice to spend it with my husband (eeek – I love saying that) for the first time as a married couple.

My good friends Ema and Manu travelled from Rome and Milan to see the show and offered up their thoughts on it below – here is what they both had to say about the magical night…

“Many fans travelled from all over the world to see the show. Fans flew in from Australia, Japan, Holland, Denmark, Italy, USA and Canada. The joy in the room was like a special place where time stopped. There was no past and no future – just a special moment where there was a huge connection between
Darren & his fans. It was something magical & unique. Highlights included “BREAK ME SHAKE ME” the Billie Jean version – it was just extraordinary.
Darren also spoke about Michael Jackson and how he influenced his life inspired him to be the artist he is today. The crowd also went crazy for the Madonna mashup of “Insatiable/La Isla Bonita”. It was just brilliant. Thank you Darren for spending the last 10 years with us and thanks for a decade of great music.”

Sounds like a brilliant night indeed!  I did note however that he didn’t sing any new material, which is a slight disappointment, but then again, I’m glad I didn’t miss it!  The recently published setlist is available after the jump if you are interested.  I’m really looking forward to Darren showcasing his new album this year – it’s always an event for me and I look forward to seeing all my fellow Darren Hayes fans/friends at the upcoming shows.  

I found this great little video of the night by YouTube user Manca688 – enjoy it!  I especially love the swaying of the new rock star hair-do…work.

Ema also provided us a more in-depth account of the show that you can read after the jump…


1.  EGO
2.  TEARS OF PEARLS *Vienna Calling version
5.  I MISS YOU *unreleased Dallas Austin version
6.  BREAK ME SHAKE ME *Billie Jean version
   acoustic set

13. INSATIABLE *La Isla Bonita version
14. I WANT YOU *Tears of Pearls/Violet version
15. POPULAR *Ride on Time version

16. THE LOVER AFTER ME *Electric guitar and vox version
17. DARKNESS *When Doves Cry version
18. SPIN *Pjanoo version


Intro – Whitney Houston ‘Million Dollar Bill (FreeMasons Club Mix)
with 1999/Vogue/Wanna Be Startin’ Something/
Cheryl Cole ‘Fight For This Love’ (Moto Blanco Club Mix)
The Jacksons ‘Blame It On The Boogie’
Lady Ga Ga ‘Just Dance’ (Glam As You mix by Guena LG)
David Guetta (feat Akon) ‘Sexy Bitch’
Britney Spears ‘Circus’ (Linus Loves mix)
Yeah Yeah Yeah ‘Heads Will Roll’ (Atrax club mix)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood (Lockout’s radio edit)
Tommy Sparks ‘She’s Got Me Dancin’ (Bimbo Jones Remix)
Star Pilots ‘In The Heat of the Night’ (Extended Mix)
Human League ‘Don’t You Want Me’ (Derrick Carter Mix)
Madonna ‘Give It To Me’ (Oakenfold Drums In Mix)
Beyonce ‘Single Ladies’ (My Digital Enemy Remix)
Mind Electric ‘Dirty Cash’
Blondie vs Edison ‘Heart of Glass’ (Quattro Remix)
Wayne G feat Darren Hayes ‘Sweet Love Hangover’
Kylie Minogue ‘The One’ (Freemason’s Vocal Club Mix)
Prince ‘Kiss’
Ke$sha ‘Tik Tok’
Cobra Starship ‘Good Girls Go Bad'(Cash Cash Remix)
David Bowie ‘Let’s Dance’
Agnes ‘Release Me’ (Extended Mix)
Little Boots ‘Remedy’ (Wideboys Stadium Radio Edit)
Example ‘Watch The Sun Come Up’ (Fred Falke Remix)
Black Eyed Peas ‘I Gotta Feeling’
Morjac and Fred Falke feat Sarah Tyler ‘When We’re Together’ (Extended Mix)
Erik Prydz ‘Call On Me’
Utah Saints ‘Something Good ’08’ (Ian Carey Remix)
Madonna Vs Pryda ‘4 Minutes to Pjanoo’
Michael Jackson’ Wanna Be Startin’ Something
Calvin Harris ‘Flashback’
Tinchy Stryder feat Taio Cruz ‘Take Me Back’
Katy Perry ‘I Kissed a Girl’ (Jason Nevins Funkrokr Extended Mix)
The Editors ‘My Papillion’
Linus Loves feat Sam Obernik ‘Stand Back’

Review by Ema (Italian fan from Rome)

Darren got on stage wearing all black. Black jacket with sparkles on
the sleeves and shoulderblades that he kept on for the first songs,
then removed and put back on during his tribute to MJ and the very
last songs. Black shirt with sparkles on the chest and shoulderblades,
and the number “1981” on the back. (I wondered if it was a reminder of
the Off The Wall era – ok, call me obsessed if you want.. LOL) – And
black pants with buckles and belts (pretty much like the ones MJ wore
during the “Bad/Dirty Diana” videos) and a grey t-shirt with a skull
covered with sparkles (something he contributed in doing).
He talked a bit about.. George Michael keeping going on about being
gay during a show (I think he dedicated a song to him.. don’t remember
which one thou).. Richard asking him if his thing for Michael Jackson
was a homage or obsession and Darren pretending it was a tribute
(while he really thought was an obsession..LOL)… Introduced his new
drummer (if I’m not wrong) and new backing vocalist, saying what a hot
b*tch she was (in the good way! LOL), and what a hot b*tch her
boyfriend was (who was in the room) and what a hot b*tches their kids
will be.. And was absolutely no offence! LOL.. There were heaps of
moments when he reached out the public, touching hands, kissing,
hugging and laying his hat on one of the japanese girls.. And he kept
reaching out to the people, his people, all nite long… Getting down
in the room, chatting, taking pics, hugging and kissing and so on.. He
gave all of himself! And we all appreciated it more than ever!

1. EGO
“Ego” opened up the show. A renewed song, different melody and beat.
The only thing that stayed intact was the lyrics. You would have never
expected it was something you have heard so often and known at heart..
until he started singing, giving his all. And even there.. the
surprise kept going on.. I couldn’t even realize all of the effort put
in turning something “old” into a “whole brand new”. At the end he
added more lyrics. I don’t remind them well.. I think they were about
“That boy is a monster” (thx Lynne and Holly). I must say this version
is really strong and whenever that last piece gets in the back of my
mind.. I match it with another amazing song, that I just heard lately,
of a talented singer that I also treasure at heart!

2. TEARS OF PEARLS *Vienna Calling version
“Tears Of Pearls” followed. Second explosion of wonder at the
unexpected. Darren sang, danced, interpreted.. He can sing, he can
dance, he can interpret and surely can entertain and make the public
feel a whole thing with him. He threw out all of the energy he kept
inside, a burst of excitement, a bundle of joy. The stamina, the
power, the force within were all there to shower us with his soul (and
some yummy perfume too..LOL).
He dragged us all on stage and made us breath and live what he did..
still keeping our own place.

“Strange Relationship” and “Casey” came after and we were more into
the show.. And it was with “Casey” that we become an extension of
Darren’s voice. He started and we kept on. He turned on the key and we
drove the car (nothing to do with the way he did thou’.. ;)). A
neverending pulling and pushing. An everlasting feedback and trade of
emotions. I could sense that we touched each other and vice versa.

5. I MISS YOU *unreleased Dallas Austin version
The sweetest, melancholic and innocent “I Miss You” crossed the stage.
For all those who re-discovered a bit of trust, faith and hope in the
world throu a shoulder to cry on, and someone to share a laughter
with. It dragged you in the back of your mind, throu the memories,
warming up your heart in the most candid and simple way. Like a
comforting hug in times of need. Then the music switched on.. and some
recognizable, familiar beats spread in the room..

6. BREAK ME SHAKE ME *Billie Jean version
For an old MJ fan like me.. that was more than a renewed version of
“Break Me Shake Me”. As soon as the music started playing, the
emotions and memories of those sounds moved me.. I tried to keep my
tears from falling for more than a few times cuz I promised myself
that I would be strong. But surprise surprise.. it was only the
music.. At this point.. I would like to give a standing ovation to
Darren’s band cuz they were amazing and so professional! And when I
say “it was only the music”.. it was more than that I want to say.
There was so much talent and effort in that “only” and I want to
underline that! If I were in their shoes, both Darren’s and his
band’s, I would have serious problems to sing something on a different
melody from mine and viceversa.. playing something that doesn’t match
with the lyrics.. But it was so well done and I am not saying it cuz
I’m biased! It really had a brand new sprint!

“Unlovable”. That was one of those tracks that gave me hard times to
fight the tears that were coming.. There was so much to say about
it… I’m growing back like a star fish.. but why, why, tell’em that
it’s “Human Nature”.. Another homage to Michael Jackson… And its
lyrics also reminded me of his childhood and the way he lived his
life.. sometimes surviving rather than living! This song touches the
deepest chords of my soul. And you wonder why human nature gets to the
point of making you feel unlovable, untouchable, unlistenable,
hopeless, abandoned.. but we’re not unbreakable. We’re made of flesh
and bones like anybody else, we bleed like anybody else, we suffer
like anybody else, we’re only human.. like anybody else… Why can’t
we love one another or at least, why can’t we respect each other..
live and let live? Mother Theresa said, “If you judge people, you have
no time to love them”. We should try to put a little love in our
hearts and not waste a single second on hating!

“Crash And Burn”. Sometimes the only way to get out of it, when the
world turns its back on us, is to “crash and burn”.. if we are blessed
with someone who stops our fall. And that’s the way I felt. It was
like being surrounded by an invisible rope, a safety belt that kept us
all together, tied and united, preventing the fall from happening.. It
was like being under a wing of protection!
Acoustic Set

“Dublin Sky”. Another slow ballad, romantic and sad at the same time..
That was one of those songs that seemed to be there to soothe your

“Where You Wanted To Be”. Darren said this song was about Savage
Garden’s split and the way he felt about Daniel, even if things are ok
now. Doesn’t happen often to hear this song live.. It was very
emotional and Darren’s voice sounded like getting warmer and
melancholic. It took on a velvet sound.. if you can imagine what it is

“I Knew I Loved You/ Truly Madly Deeply”. It was a big “aww” for most
of us when he started singing the first few lyrics. And for all of us
who thought that maybe he was not going to sing these songs anymore..
the nth surprise come.
That was such a sweet feeling to hear them being sung again. It’s
almost a decade that these songs have been with us!
And I think they have made history for their romanticism and candid
sentiment. During “Truly Madly Deeply” as the lyric “and when the
stars that shining brightly in the (put the town here) sky” have come,
looking at the japanese girls, I think he said “Osaka” but was wrong..
so he asked them which town they were from.. pretending to know the
name, then guessing and messing up a few times.. but then, they were
all from the same region.. And then he realized the show was going on
with him talking to them.. He felt embarrassed.. and kept on
singing… It was hilarious..

“On The Verge Of Something Wonderful”. After a few slow songs… it
was time to get energetic again! I think “Verge” was merged with an
80’s song (which I don’t remember the name). One of those you could
hear playing in discos. We all jumped and clapped our hands, dancing
on our feet. I guess we could lose a couple of watery pounds just with
this song. And with Darren singing.. we were always on the verge of
something wonderful. I like to think about this song as a good luck
charm for 2010. The last 2 years have been crap (IMO) and I do really
need something wonderful to happen.. and I believe this gig was just
the start of it all…

13. INSATIABLE *La Isla Bonita version
“INSATIABLE *La Isla Bonita version”. When the first new notes
started, “La Isla Bonita” came, and I didn’t think for a sec that he
was going to sing “Insatiable”. In the middle of the song the music
mashed up. But don’t ask Darren to say those few words in spanish, he
just preferred the chorus (bridge). LOL.. I’m glad he chose that song
cuz it’s one of my favs of Maddie’s and I remembered all the lyrics…
even those in spanish.. 😉

14/15. I WANT YOU *Tears of Pearls/Violet version & POPULAR *Ride on
Time version
These version were even more energetic and strong than the ones we
were used to. Once again it was amazing the job they have all done. I
could never do it for a living!!! I guess, each to their own!!! LOL..
It was a mix, remix, mash up.. a whole jam of music and lyrics.. The
huge fan (not a big Darren-fan but the wind machine.. LOL) was always
aiming at him and the band. It was pretty much like the POP!ular
video. It was awesome how quick Darren was singing IWY.. everytime I
try.. I mess up and fail.. I happen to succeed with the first lyrics
and then I get lost.. in need of an oxygen tank..LOL
2009 has seen lots of losses and some have touched us more deeply than
we could ever think of.. Yes, they did!

Darren gave a wonderful speech about Michael Jackson and the way he
got the news and how he felt about his loss. He spoke about the way
Michael inspired him to do what he does. The day he first saw him on
stage, in the 80s, and decided that he wanted to be a performer. And I
know that I am not wrong in saying that we are also thankful to
Michael for that. And I’m sure He was smiling from up above… I’m
sure Darren made him proud to keep on the legacy and made us proud of
being there and living that moment with him! Yes, Michael was in the

To me, losing Michael.. even if he should be more present now than he
was before that 25th of June.. it’s been like losing a family member..
I never considered him an icon.. I sensed his talent and most of all,
his soul, a kind, naive, innocent soul.. mostly misunderstood because
of what medias wrote (even when they knew that there were no proofs
against him). Too bad, that good news never seem to do the
headlines… He was a pioneer who gave his all and more. He gave us
his singing and dancing.. And gave even more when it was about Loving.
Giving some hope to those who had nothing, a voice to those who were
voiceless, some tender loving care, attention and protection to the
lost children.. All those kids alone in the hospitals in need of help
and cure. All those children in the orphanages who never felt loved.
All those abused who’ve never known the real meaning of love.. a
cuddle, a caress and listen.. He was an OLD OLD SOUL! He knew more
than he thought he could! He was there for the world! He was there for
the children. He was there for his fans! He was there with a message!
But we weren’t ready yet, not all the world was ready yet. But he was,
is and will always be alive and living in our hearts.. cuz he touched
us, he loved us and didn’t abondon us.. Now I know He is somewhere
over the rainbow… living and tasting that peace he never found on
this earth. And I know he’s got his well deserved place in heaven!
Tvb, Michael! Thanks again, Darren! Love ya!

16. THE LOVER AFTER ME *Electric guitar and vox version
Darren dedicated “The Lover After Me” to Michael. He was back on stage
wearing a black hat (similar to Michael’s famous black fedora). That
song was so fitting (but maybe not..) and that’s why Darren chose that
song.. I could see those images, buildings, places, frames,
photographs and memories of love.. I could see his fans crying,
singing and dancing his songs, calling out his name but being not able
to move on.. And I feel exactly the same.. Life goes on.. Here I go
again, I promised myself, I wouldn’t think of you today.. but I’m
standing at your doorway.. calling out your name but I can’t move on..
Now he’s somewhere, somehow, in a far away place where he’s understood
and loved and nothing else matters anymore.. And we gotta learn to do
the same.. Those lyrics and Darren’s interpretation told so much about
it. And I really thank him for that.. once again!

17. DARKNESS *When Doves Cry version
Darren was thankful to all of those artists who inspired him to become
who he is.. Michael, Madonna, Prince and many others. The sparkle
turned into a magic flame and it shone. And it shines! My friend Manu
was sooo looking forward to this song and when she realized he was
going to sing it.. she was almost in tears with happiness.

18. SPIN *Pjanoo version
“Spin” was the last song! I loved it! I love singing it out loud and
dance (when I’m home alone)! It was like a battery recharger! It was
like summing up all of the show. I loved the video that came with it
(for the ones who have never seen it, they should google it and have a
look). It reminded me of a Time Machine.. If we could only stop time
and rewind.. and let the music do its job.. erasing problems and
giving us a new sigh of relief. A brand new year! And it’s 30 minutes
later that Darren got back on stage to do the countdown, saying he had
a special watch coming from Space, which made it official, and gave
the perfect time.. Hoping we wouldn’t blow up as the new year came.

10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..1.. Happy New Year!

Let’s all hope for a brand new one!

Thanks from the heart, Darren, and thanks to all the people who helped
you to make it happen.. and thanks to all the familiar faces I met and
the love you all brought and shared around! Thanks for making this year!