Death bookended Tim Minchin’s first concert in 18 months, at a point in a pandemic that has cruelled touring artist performances and choked us all with visitations of mortality, contemplating a toll of 3.8 million lives and counting.

Minchin re-launched the postponed encore of his BACKtour – a retrospective of “old songs, new songs, f**k you songs”, which premiered in 2019 and will this week take him to New Zealand before dates around Australia and then the UK – with If This Plane Goes Down, contemplating a crash from 30,000 feet: “Remember me as someone who tried / To find a balance between self-loathing and pride.”

Tim Minchin. Photograph supplied

Three hours later, he was wishing for a bifurcated demise that might allot him two tombstones, one reading “Who’s the world going to revolve around now?” and the other, “I talked too much and stayed too long”, also the title of another song from Minchin’s 2020 album Apart Together. This is where a witness might eulogise the obvious: hell no, he didn’t.

Dressed in a white-collared shirt, tie, woollen vest and black jeans...