BWW REVIEW: Channelling America's Great Country Music Icon, Tex Perkins Reprises THE MAN IN BLACK: THE JOHNNY CASH STORY For A New Tour
Friday 18th May 2018, 8pm, State Theatre Sydney
Tex Perkins returns to the Sydney stage to recreate Johnny Cash's famous songs in a new tour of his 2010 Helpmann Award winning concert THE MAN IN BLACK: THE JOHNNY CASH STORY. Delivering a surprisingly intimate concert in the 2000 seat State Theatre, Perkins shares his love of the late great Johnny Cash with music and stories and amusing banter.
For the two part concert, Perkins, well known for his own role in the Australian music landscape, is joined by Rachel Tidd who provides additional vocals, narration and fills the role of June Carter Cash. Perkins and Tidd are supported by The Tennessee Four which comprises Shannon Bourne on guitar, Shane Reilly on guitar, Steve Hadley on Bass and Dave Folley on drums.
THE MAN IN BLACK: THE JOHNNY CASH STORY stands out from other tribute shows because Perkins and Tidd weave in so much of Cash's history into the evening. This is much more than a night of recreating songs and it is refreshing to see a tribute concert refrain from using archive images, relying on the storytelling to create the pictures in peoples minds. Aside from the songs and direct quotes which are delivered in character, Perkins and Tidd present the story in their own voice which helps ensure the audience sees the degree of connection the performers have with their subject. There is a reverence and respect for the highly successful but rebellious singer that was known for not only his substance abuse and destructive behaviour but also his desire to give the voice to the people society forgot, the prisoners, the returned soldiers, and the poor.
Perkins, in Cash's signature black pants, shirt and jacket, captures Cash's measured bass-baritone beautifully as he moves through the range of ballads that made The Man In Black famous. Perkins ensures that whilst recreating Cash's sound, the emotion and Cash's gravitas comes through in the music and the delivery is infused with personality and an ease that makes it clear that Perkins is well acquainted with the underlying essence of the man he is paying homage to. Perkins' endearing personality comes through in both his playfulness and passion and his relaxed interactions with Tidd, which include jokes that at times forces Tidd to break character as she's taken by his antics, help give the concert an intimacy and personal connection to the audience.
Tidd, in a retro full skirt and cardigan and gorgeous quiff, is a lovely balance to Perkins' presentation of Cash as fills the role of June Carter Cash, Cash's second wife and musical collaborator. As with Perkins, Tidd helps recount Cash's history but also provides solid vocals that range from sweet, light backing vocals to strong duets with Perkins. The interaction between the two is delightful to watch as Perkins is the driving force in the show but treats Tidd with the care and respect that one would have expected Cash to have shown June, the woman he couldn't live without, having died less than four months after she passed.
THE MAN IN BLACK, THE JOHNNY CASH STORY is a wonderful evening of Johnny Cash's hits, along with a recreation of part of his famous concert presented within the Folsom State Prison. Regardless of whether you are a hardened fan of Johnny Cash or Tex Perkins or new to their music, this is a treat of both history, showmanship and iconic music and it is easy to see why it won the 2010 Helpmann Award for Best Australian Contemporary Concert.
Wednesday 9 May - Frankston Arts Centre, Frankston
Thursday 10 May - Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo
Friday 11 May - Wrestpoint Entertainment Centre, Hobart
Saturday 12 May - Palais Theatre, Melbourne
Wednesday 16 May - Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra
Thursday 17 May - State Theatre, Sydney
Friday 18 May - State Theatre, Sydney
Saturday 19 May - Civic Theatre, Newcastle
Thursday 24 May - QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane
Friday 25 May - QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane
Saturday 26 May - Twin Towns, Tweed Heads SOLD OUT!
Sunday 27 May - Twin Towns, Tweed Heads NEW SHOW!
Wednesday 30 May - Entertainment Centre, Darwin
Friday 1 June - Festival Theatre, Adelaide
Saturday 2 June - Regal Theatre, Perth
Sunday 3 June - Regal Theatre, Perth