Saturday, 26 March 2011

Santana works his magic at Acer Arena, Sydney, by Eva Rinaldi - 25th March 2011

To my mind it was perfect timing for Carlos Santana and his 10 piece band to return to Sydney on a black-ish, rainy night, full with musically magic.

The hip and cool 64-year-old Santana created harmoney, excitement, and took audience members, news hounds and photographers to a sensual and sexy heaven, if only for a few moments.

Santana, the Mexican guitar genious has been plying his trade for the better part of four decades, and the dedication to their craft is absolutely evident.

Adding to the magic was co-lead vocalists Tony Lindsay and Andy Vargas, as they treated us to Black Magic Woman, Evil Ways and more. As usual us photographers didn't get to stay to the conclusion, but we sure caught the vibe and Latin fever.

Santana might just be the most distinctive guitarist of all time.  A few notes, and you know its him.

Hipsters, 'Sin City' Sydney may have been black and wet tonight, but thanks to Santana's sensual, stimulating and inviting notes, I'm going to spend a few more hours on Cloud Nine once I return to my heaven scent home. Yeah - work hard, play hard, and party harder.



Michael Chugg

Acer Arena

Eva Rinaldi Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Friday, 25 March 2011

Cyndi Lauper: Girls And Guys Have Fun Today At Concord, by Eva Rinaldi - 25th March 2011

Photos by Eva Rinaldi Photography

I'd be waiting for this for what feels like a lifetime.

Today, via a live recording of Network Nine's 'Today' show, I got to enjoy a Cyndi Lauper performance, and boys and girls, did we have fun.

I knew that Cyndi was is Sydney, as the word of this good news was all the buzz with news media, photographers and fans, but fortunately I got tipped off about the Goodard Park morning appearance just the night before with an article appearing in The Inner West Courier.

The live 'Today' show started at 5.30am, however Cyndi and the band didn't appear on stage and kick off their performance until 7.15am or so.

The crowd was pumped, as were television presenters Karl Stefanovic, Lisa Wilkinson and Richard 'Wilde' (in another lifetime) Wilkins.

I was fortunate to get to the park earlier and was able to find a spot really close to the front of the stage. Soon after I got there, hundreds more flocked in and we started to feel like sardines for a while, but security was onto it and was able to reduce some of the stress.

It's amazing how good Cyndi looks and sounds for her youthful 57. Her vibrant energy radiated the stage and the audience, and genuine warmth and appreciation was reciprocated.

I was delighted to hear that the ultra talented New Yorker has a son of 13 years of age, the same delightful (most of the time) age of mine. Cyndi told the story to Nine's entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins, of junior who once partly took over her show with 'Do You Want To Shout', and how he definitely has some musical talent.

The singer performed 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun', Time After Time', 'True Colours', as well as a few new numbers that she will also perform on her current Australian tour.

My only complaints were that there wasn't an open bar and that the sausage sizzle finished about just as fast as it started. The lines for food and drinks were too long, but we weren't there for bites anyway. We wanted entertainment, and boy did we get it. Go girl, and thanks to Channel Nine - your still my One also.

Yes, we had heaps of fun, and I really look forward to seeing Cyndi's indoor performance in Sydney at the State Theatre, which will occur on the 31 March and the 1st of April. A double dose of fun. Can't wait.

Richard Wilkins and Cyndi Lauper

All photos by Eva Rinaldi


Cyndi Lauper official website

Network Nine: Today

Eva Rinaldi Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Chris Isaak does Sydney's State Theatre, by Eva Rinaldi - 23rd March 2011

Sydney has enjoyed the musical and vocal talents of many a male performing artist as of late - Michael Buble, Lionel Ritchie and Usher included, but Chris Isaak can stand strong knowing within that he doesn't have to play second fiddle as far as talent is concerned... even though he is not as big of a name.

Isaak signed a contract to Warner Bros. Records in 1984 for his virgin album Silvertone. The tracks 'Gone Ridin' and 'Livin' for Your Lover', from this album, were featured in David Lynch's classic movie Blue Velvet. Isaak's second self-titled album Chris Isaak was shot by fashion photographer Bruce Weber. Isaak's contract was renewed in 1988 when Warner Bros. shifted him to their Reprise Records label.

'Wicked Game' is his best known song by a country mile. Though released on the 1989 album Heart Shaped World, an instrumental version of the song was later featured in the 1990 David Lynch film 'Wild at Heart'. Lee Chesnut, an Atlanta radio station music director who was smitten with Lynch films, began playing the vocal version and it quickly became the station's most-requested number. Chesnut spread the word to other radio stations around America and the single became a US Top 10 hit in February 1991.

Take the time machine 10 years plus from then, and Isaak is still wowing them.

Isaak mesmerised the State Theatre tonight in a fashion rarely seen.

He knows how to intimately engage with the audience (and my camera) - lucky me... and lucky him. My camera loved his fashion sense too. Where did you get that sparkly shirt Chris? I loved it.

You would have to go a long way to find as hard-working and talented singer as Isaak. No one in the audience will ever forget his performance and will be looking forward to experiencing his magic again.

I just loved his seductively beautiful 'Wicked Game' which made me think of the music genius of Roy Orbison. His voice live is as good as a CD bought off the shelves.

My personal favorite songs were 'Wicked Game' and 'I Want You To Want Me'.

I also wanted to publicity thank the kind and talented journalist who spotted me at tonight's performance. It was nice to also have another journalist assist me, as opposed to having to endure more elbows in the ribs, taunts and gibes by other photographers, shooters, paps or whatever they want to call themselves. I just wish all media types were as nice and as generous as the journo I met tonight.

We only got to stay for three numbers tonight, due to enforced news media regulations, but I still feel immensely blessed to have experienced his gift live.

Chris Isaak


Chris Isaak

State Theatre

Eva Rinaldi Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Lionel Ritchie: All Night Long Indeed, by Eva Rinaldi - 22nd March 2011

I'd been looking forward to tonight for a long time, and Lionel baby didn't disappoint Sydney's Acer Arena.

It was Guy Sebastian, the multi-talented Aussie who rose to fame via the Australian Idol media machine, who opened the evening, sporting a new haircut that didn't do that much for me. Sorry Guy, but my heart and soul was here for Lionel, but I still like you lots too.

I honestly believe that Lionel Richie may be one of the most under-rated performing artists of all time, but what does a passionate music fan come pro photographer know anyway...well, that's what the knockers say. Let's see what the history books say about the musical genius in a few years from now, but back to matters at hand.

I was pleased to learn that Lionel is a great humanitarian who co-wrote 'We Are the World' and co-produced the remake 'We Are the World 25,' which was released during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Richie has raised a small fortune for breast cancer over the years, a cause that got on his radar when a family member was diagnosed many years ago.

The American singer-songwriter, musician and record producer is love on two legs, if I may say so (no offence to my man). Since 1968, he's been a member of the musical group Commodores signed to Motown Records. Richie made his solo debut in 1982 with the album Lionel Richie and number-one hit 'Truly'.

My son is probably going to be interested to learn that way back in 2002 one of his songs, 'Running with the Night' was featured on the Rockstar North video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, however the song was removed from later versions of the game.

Tonight Ritchie played most of his greats including the beautiful and genius 'All Night Long', 'Endless Love', 'Truly', 'Penny Lover', 'Stuck On You' and 'Three Times A Lady' and really connected with the audience (mostly couples), and my camera lens too, I'm pleased to report.

As I often do, I would like to publicly thank the promoter of the concert, Michael
Gudinski of the Frontier Touring Company.  Frontier, an arm of the famed Mushroom Group, has really been outdoing themselves as of late. Thanks also to Rowena and Jules for being of such a great assistance tonight.

Tonight's summary - wonderful, warm, loving, and the night is still young!


Lionel Ritchie

The Frontier Touring Company

Eva Rinaldi Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Monday, 21 March 2011

Optus One80Project Festival, by Eva Rinaldi - 20th March 2011

The Australian music industry got a welcome shot in the arm today thanks to media powerhouse MTV Australia, and many backers such as Optus.

The One80Project Festival was held in Sydney's beautiful and large (for the city) Prince Alfred Park.

The park was especially green as for the first few hours we were hit with on again, off again rain, with complimentary yellow beanbags and pillows for the public offering minimal relief. The bags and pillows offered colour and atmosphere, and the fans took to them like ducks to water. A visitor was overheard saying "It's Sydney Swampfest", taking a jab at the weather and muddy patches in the grass, but they said it with a smile on their face, and then went on to sink a complimentary cold beer.

The festival officially started at 5.30pm, but many fans and media showed up early. We think that at its peak there may have been 3,000 at the festival, however that can't be confirmed as the number seems to be a well kept secret and the powers that be are not saying. There was plenty of first aid officers on hand, thank god, as my mate suffered a cut on finger when navigating of boggy patch of mud, and the boys and girls in blue were also well represented, but sadly none on horseback, but that may have suggested that there was only a minimal security risk at the fest.

The VIPs, guest list and media were treated to an undercover - raised area, with an operating bar and bites, but more seating would have been handy. I want to say a big thank you to Paul and Derrick at the bar, who served us early, quickly and with a smile. We later learnt that comedian Rosso was delighted that the bar was open. Rosso also told us that he was impressed that MTV and co had created yet another opportunity to nurture and showcase Australian talent to the world. Rosso didn't mention his old comedian mate Merrick Watts, who went to school with my journo mate at Pittwater High, but he did say there were many beautiful women were at the school, as there was at today's event. The blokes, mainly dressed in smart casual, where mainly very good looking and very intelligent also, as you might expect from Sydney's entertainment, music and media world.

Being a pro photographer, I was delighted that there were plenty of photo opportunities and just some of the friendly souls who I was blessed to photograph included Tim "Rosso" Ross, Craig Wing (NRL player, currently having a season in Japan), Xavier Samuel (Twilight), David Wenham (Lord Of The Rings), Ali Daher (Hollywood Treatment), Georgia Gomen, Nathan Kake (Napoleon Perdis), Katrina McGarry, Maria Bodoeguaard, Andy Cutcliff (When The War Began), Matt Williamsen (Family Tree), Daisy McKenzie-McHarg (MTV), Joe Corrigan (Snobs) and Alana Bowden (Snobs)...the title of their show, not their attitude. Everyone was delightful, and if I forget anyone, sorry, there was so much going on. We loved you all.

It was great to see communications giant Optus get behind the event, but for their sake, I do hope Optus' current enthusiasm for MTV and the music world can be matched in a boost of customer service for their mobile telephone division, of which I've been having some considerable issues with of late.

Back to the festival, it was impressive (for a free fest), and everyone seemed to have a great time.

Aussie Twilight star Xavier Samuel was the guest presenter of the short film festival's Public Vote Award, details of which will soon appear here.

Celebrity judges included David Wenham, actress Kat Stewart, Joel and Nash Edgerton and Animal Kingdom writer and director, David Michod.

The One80project gives aspiring film and TV producers a genuine chance to turn their idea into a shot at the small screen, and then hopefully seeing them progress to the next level of AussieWood, if not Hollywood.

As well as the public vote, awards were passed out for the judges' choice and best student entry, with the judges' pick to be made into a one-hour drama for broadcast on MTV Australia. The full list of winners will soon be published right here!

The festival, now in its fifth year, screened the top 10 finalists and featured a live DJ set by Grammy award winner Mark Ronson with supporting sets from Bag Raiders and Softwar.

Oh, a big thank you to MTV publicist Milly Gattegno who helped get us access to a large number of celebrities with substance, as well as facilitating some top photo opportunities for my company.

A good test on the success of these type of things is to ask the question... would I do it again, and rain, hail or shine, the answer is yes, just as long as my every faithful media team came along with me again too. You rock, and so did the event.

Stay tuned for a confirmation of finalists and winners.

My inside knowledge of the going ons assures me that the substance did match the hype of this enjoyable project, and I'm betting that next year will be even bigger and better.

David Wenham


MTV Australia


Eva Rinaldi Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Pink Floyd Tribute Band: 'The Great Gig In The Sky’, by Eva Rinaldi - 19th March 2011

Paying tribute to one of the world's greatest ever bands, Pink Floyd, was never going to be an easy task.

I'd been hearing mixed reports for weeks leading up to the Sutherland Entertainment Centre show this evening, so to be honest, I was just hoping for the best.

With the rain bucketing down at Sutherland I was getting nervous about tonight, for both the band and the promoter, but I'm pleased to report that my fears proved unfounded. This tribute band is world class, at least in my estimation, but I'm sure that they're will be other critics and would be's, if they could be's, that will want to argue with me.

Sydney audiences can be such a spoilt lot, always looking for the negative - the glass always being half empty, rather than half full.

We entered the venue and the vibe was warm and inviting, the joint was packed. The show was very near capacity. There must have been a few insiders and media types in attendance, as after a song or two a few voices from the crowd called out "faster", followed by "louder, and many music types will know that there's a music entertainment website portal called Faster Louder. My friend was tempted to call out 'In The Mix', just to make it fair, but he someone resisted temptation.

The band comprises of Steve Balbi on vocals (Noiseworks), Peter Skelton (drums), Ian Tilley (bass), Paul Najar (keys), Aaron Michael (sax) Peter Northcote (guitars) and Joseph Calderazzo (guitars). They were also joined by an impressive section of vocal artists Krishna Jones (Juice), Mitchell Anderson, Miss Min and Robyn Laou.

I was delighted that they played some of the greats the original group was best known for including 'Another Brick In The Wall', 'Dark Side Of The Moon' and 'Money'. 'Brick' was a pleasant surprise with female artist Jones dressed in school uniform belting out the chorus, doing such a fine job that it didn't seen out of place.

Balbi put on a fine show and reminded me of a cross between Johnny Deep and lead from The Doors, Jim Morrison. Balbi had a dark side too him I felt, but also showed some light when he spoke to the other side with classic ballad 'Wish You Were Here'.

Speaking of dark, arguably the darkest song of the night was 'Nobody Home', performed by Robyn Laou.

It's needs to be said that the sound, lighting and video special effects were top class. The big screen effects added a lot to the performance aspect of the show, but at the same time were not a distraction from the bands fine talent.

The creative director was Joseph Calderazzo, who must be happy with his end result, judging by tonight's fine performances, and promoter Martin Contempree hit the mark, as did publicist Christina, who did a wonderful job of looking after my media requirements.

Oh, the homely venue also offered free tea and coffee for patrons, which we quickly took advantage of, and alcoholic drinks were also very reasonably priced. These aspects do make the event and experience all the more pleasurable, and make one more inclined to support the venue, brand and promoter again.

Tonight was proof that tribute bands can be world class and don't have to be seen as second rate knock offs. My favorite track may have been 'Just Another Brick..', but I can confidently report that this was not "just another tribute band". Judging by the audience reaction its a safe bet that even the original Pink Floyd would have respected their performance. 8 out of 10, and would I go again - Yes.



Sutherland Entertainment Centre

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Pink Floyd (Wikipedia)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Roxy Rocks Sydney Entertainment Centre, by Eva Rinaldi - 25th February 2011

Photography by Eva Rinaldi

Roxy Music rocked the house tonight - the house being the iconic Sydney Entertainment Centre, confirmed for demolition in about a year occurring to various Australian media reports.

Who could have missed the sharp dressing and handsome one - Bryan Ferry, who has being doing the media rounds in Australia over the past few days.

Yes, Australia certainly seems to be hooked on the Ferry 'love drug', and judging by tonight, we seem to have caught 'Roxy Fever' in a big way too.

Roxy Music showed Sydney just why they are seen as one of the most influential art rock bands of all time.  Ferry is essentially an artist, plus performer and musician, and since 2001 has reunited with the band - Phil Manzanera (guitar), Andy Mackay (saxophone and oboe) and Paul Thompson (drums and percussion). This arty and unique blend is yet another classic example of the ongoing resurgence of 80's popular music.

My favorite performances tonight were Avalon and Jealous Guy.

Oh, the rumour mill has been buzzing that Elle Macpherson aka 'The Body', was spotted backstage, and later seen jumping into a limo with Ferry, but its only a rumour and not confirmed. In days prior the two had been publicly spotted together, albeit at Ferry's CD and book signing at Myer Sydney, but only a fool would have thought it was all business - it was most definitely business with pleasure, pleasure being something Mr Ferry knows a thing or two about, judging by one or two of his hits.

For the record, the Sydney Entertainment Centre appeared to be close to capacity, and many of the paying public took up the 2 for the price of 1 offering, and in Sydney on a hot, sexy Friday night, that's not particularly surprising.

Ferry did perform some numbers from his new release, 'Olympia', but for my money you can't beat the classics.

Ferry and the band engaged with the audience and genuinely looked like they were really enjoying performing for Sydney.  If they keep up the standard, the rest of their Australian tour will be a success.

Thank you Roxy Music for giving it your all, and I dare say that for many folks in Sydney you have set the scene for a Roxy, loving Friday night and weekend.

We shall look forward to you doing Sydney again, but the question has to be asked... next tour, will it be Elle, Olympia (Kate Moss), or another lucky lady clutching onto Ferry.

'Let's stick together' you say. I say "Australia will stick by you for as long as you continue to brilliantly entertain us." Long live your music, Roxy style.

Rihanna warms up Sydney for Mardi Gras, by Eva Rinaldi - 4th March 2011

Australia had been looking forward to the return of Rihanna, and tonight she didn't disappoint with her 'Last Girl On Earth' tour.

Seven hours earlier she tweated 'Sydney U ready to play?'  Seems were certainly were.

Her hottest current hit is 'Only Girl' (In The World), but most major music press predict that it won't be long before she soon finds another number to eclipse it.

Sydney's Acer Arena looked to be near capacity and the crowd was pumped, as screams of joy were heard well before it was announced Rihanna was heading to the stage. The excited fans reached out forming a sea of hands.

For those of you still getting more familiar with Rihanna, let's groove into a bit of background.

Robyn Rihanna Fenty is known to the world as just Rihanna, joining that first name only required club.

R is a Barbadian R&B recording artist and songwriter. Born in Barbados, Rihanna moved to the U.S at the age of 16 to pursue a recording career under the tutelage of record producer Evan Rogers. She went on to sign a contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning for then-label head Jay-Z.

It was in 2005 that Rihanna released her debut studio album entitled Music of the Sun, which reached the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart and features the Billboard Hot 100 hit single "Pon de Replay." Less than a year later, she released her second studio album, A Girl Like Me (2006), which peaked within the top five of the Billboard albums chart, and produced her first US number one hit single, "SOS", as well as Billboard Hot 100 top ten entries "Unfaithful" and "Break It Off".

Rihanna's third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), peaking at number two on the Billboard 200, featured five top ten hits including three US number one hit singles—"Umbrella", "Take a Bow" and "Disturbia"—and the worldwide hit "Don't Stop the Music". The album was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, winning Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Umbrella," which features Jay-Z.

Rihanna has sold more than 25 million albums and 45 million singles worldwide. She has achieved nine number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 since first appearing on the chart on June 11, 2005, which is the most by any artist during that duration.

Rihanna has sold over 5,564,000 album units in the US. She has sold over 10 million records in the UK. Billboard named Rihanna the Digital Songs Artist of the 2000s decade. She has received dozens of industry awards and commendations including the 2007 World Music Awards for World's Best-Selling Pop Female Artist and Female Entertainer of the Year, as well as the 2008 American Music Awards for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist and Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist.

I was pleased to learn the she proudly serves as one of Barbados's honorary cultural ambassadors. In January 2010, Rihanna received two Grammy Awards for Jay-Z's 2009 single "Run This Town". In February 2011, Rihanna snatched a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording, as well as receiving a Brit Award for Best International Female Solo Artist.

Back to tonight, unfortunately as a photographer, I was only permitted to stay and shoot for 3 songs.  I didn't get to hear my favorite 'Te Amo', but I must say I loved her colourful and floral dress and her vocals. Her energy is also so radiant and just makes your want to dance along with her.

Rihanna's current release is entitled Loud, but the diva has a soft spot for Rated R, which went down well with fans and industry insiders. She says on her albums "I'm gonna miss the Rated R era too, but nothing compares to the album I just made," Rihanna said, adding, "I made sure not to let you down with my music. You guys are always defending me, so now you’ve got some great songs to justify it. I didn’t want to go backward and remake Good Girl Gone Bad. I wanted the next step in the evolution of Rihanna, and it’s perfect for us".

She's strongly rumoured to be appearing tomorrow night at the Sydney Mardi Gras but in what capacity I don't know. Mind you, she was spotted leaving a sex shop in Sydney earlier today, so she's should be well prepared.

Sexy, sassy, amazing talented and all diva... that's Rihanna, and boy can she move, groove and sing up a storm. The gods and goddesses above must have tipped her off about Mardi Gras, or was it some of the cleaver dicks at Frontier Touring and MG Promotions, that tied her into Sydney's sexiest event of the year. Rihanna and Mardi Gras less than 24 hours later. Now that's a sexy daily double if there ever was. Rumour is she's already planning another tour down under next year. Yes, the love (or lust) affair in mutual. Thanks Rihanna, and I will be looking out for you tomorrow. Something tells me that you will be wearing either a bit or alot of pink, and a dash of colourful flowers, matching one the dresses you wore tonight. Go girl.


Rihanna official website

Michael Coppel Presents

Acer Arena

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Rihanna Daily Fan website

Michael Bublé: Sydney, Australia Loves You Like Crazy, by Eva Rinaldi - 14th February 2011

I'd been waiting for this night for what must be almost a decade.  Finally, my night...our Crazy Love night.

Michael teased me this past Thursday at the presser conducted at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. I could tell then that his concerts in Australia were going to be very special, and tonight - the evening of Valentines Day, I can confirm that they are.

Even though Sydney's Acer Arena holds over 20,000, Michael's gift helps make the audience feel they are getting treated to an intimate experience. Well, he certainly set the scene and warmed me up beautifully for my intimate experience later into the night. On that vein however, I can tell you that his 'Crazy Love' CD does help set the mood.

By my estimation, the jazz sensation is certainly worth $149 plus. Like the greats, you have to experience a live concert to truly appreciate the musical genius.

The multi-talented performer is now close to two million album sales in Australia, with 25 million achieved on a global scale. Yes, us Aussies are raving fans. This tour was Michael's eighth trip to Australia, so the love affair is most definitely a two way street.

My personal favorite number is 'Haven't Met You Yet' which is already five times platinum in Australia.

His songs inspire love, warmth and affection, which was perfect timing for me, having rekindled my relationship with my special man.

Some of Michael's interpretations of other artists that really did it for me on this Valentines evening were Sway, Kissing A Fool, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?, and Heartache Tonight.

The warmth and love vibrated via Michael was experienced by young and old, and I witnessed a young fan who must have only been about 10 years old present Michael with a gift early into the concert performances, and he magically incorporated this into the show, making all of us feel that we received the present too.

He shared his thoughts on love with "My songs have always been about love. Mine and everyone else's. But this time it was a little more extreme, and I dug deeper - way deeper."

I had read earlier in the week that Michael said "I just love getting in front of people. It's so important to be in touch with your audience. They've paid their money, I want them to be entertained. If they want to cry or laugh or dance or sing or yell, they can do whatever they want. My responsibility is just to take them away." Oh yes, you took me away.

Michael, from my heart thank you for helping add some 'Crazy Love' intimacy to my partners and own evening and life. I would also like to publicly thank Buble's publicity team, Dainty Consolidated Entertainment and Live Guide, for helping make me one of the blessed and fortunate few photographers in Sydney to capture your gift close up. My love now has more focus, and its thanks to you. Let the passion, talent and performer bring out the performance in you, and if your single, that's ok too.


Michael Bublé



Michael Bublé official website

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Eva Rinaldi Flickr

Media Man Int