Every now and then I feature Rochester area listeners as guest bloggers, and today, it is a woman that loves live music and getting close to the stars. I present Mellissa A. Sullivan with her Up Close and Personal story after seeing Hugh Jackman at the X-Cel last Saturday night.

All words and pictures courtesy of Mellissa A. Sullivan

Hugh Jackman, most famous for X-Men’s Wolverine, put his adamantium claws aside when he brought his “The Man, The Music, The Show” tour to the Xcel Energy Center, Saturday night.

Santa Clause was VERY good to my daughters Taylor and Raina, my Ma Jacque and I got to witness three hours of music, theatre and pure magic. Proving he is “The Greatest Showman,” he helped a man propose to his girlfriend (which was directly behind us and gave us our first up-close encounter), brought a Doctor from Wisconsin up on stage to sing “Sweet Caroline,” and paid tribute to Australian musical genius Peter Allen.

The first act began with two giant screens showing all of his movie roles as he started the show singing “The Greatest Show” and “Come Alive” from the infamous movie, The Greatest Showman. But Jackman also sprinkled in songs like “Gaston” from Beauty and the Beast and a mashup of “Valjean’s Soliloquy/I Dreamed a Dream/One Day More” from Les Miserables.

Like a lot of other of his youngest fans, my 10-year-old daughter Raina may have only known a few songs, but the awe and amazement in her eyes were not lost on him. Jackman reached out to the youngest of his fans, hopping off stage and handing drum sticks to two little girls dressed as P.T. Barnum and a sleeping Anne (Zendaya) whose mom surely filled her in.

He came along the stage towards the end, and “high fived” those of us close to the stage! It was a genuine touch and look into each person's eyes and something our group will never forget. I would love to tell you what song he was singing but time stopped when this happened. The rest of the family has joked we should have put Ziplock bags on our hands as a permanent souvenir.

When the author high fived him and nearly hit the Xcel floor!

His second act showed his singing chops with everything from “Arthur’s Theme,” “Don’t Cry Out,” “Over the Rainbow,” “A Million Dreams,” “Mack the Knife,” to “Once Before I Go.” He tap-danced to AC/DC and drummed to Van Halen. Even calling out his bestie Ryan Reynolds to top that!

Hugh Jackman proved he is the real deal. An entertainer whose talent and heart far exceeds the many I have seen grace the Xcel concert stage. HJ was the best gift Santa ever gave 3 generations of our family.

Or as my husband said it in one simple sentence. Four women went and saw “The Greatest Showman” and will never be the same!

Mellissa A. Sullivan, writer, social media fiend, wife, and mother to amazing children. started her writing career while attending Mayo High School at the Rochester Post Bulletin. She learned radio as an intern on the KROC-FM Night Show with James Rabe, Lord of the Night.

HUGH JACKMAN UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

Listen to James Rabe 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM