Perhaps my taste is eclectic, or maybe I’m easily persuaded, but either way the last two concerts I’ve seen live are Barry Manilow in Las Vegas and Robert Plant in Sicily. They couldn’t be more contrasting.

Manilow: Performance number 87 in a closed theatre in a soulless hotel, 3 “costume” changes, free glow sticks for every audience member, “helpful” karaoke style singalong lyrics on stage, elaborate set complete with aerial walkway to enable the audience to gaze upward in a worshipful manner, playlist was hit after hit after hit.

Plant: One off gig in an open, ancient, amphitheater, dressed down from his earlier appearance at the hotel bar, small band of four multi-talented musicians (I counted 15 different instruments played), minimal set – the Roman ruins needed no embellishment, no theatrics, indeed he interacted with the band as much as the audience, made a point of playing an interesting mix of new and old material but no Led Zeppelin classics.

Both have chosen an approach with risk and reward – as do many of us.

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