Sunday, March 15, 2009

What a weekend!

I am going back to work tomorrow for a rest! I have had such a great weekend! Haven't done any washing or cleaning or any of those other normal weekend tasks, but never mind. Today I went to Stitches and Craft show and managed to pick up some new ideas for making cards, as well as starting a bead bracelet that I am planning to keep building on! I can see this becoming a bit of an obsession, but we will try to keep this under control. The real highlight of the weekend was yesterday!

I mentioned that I was going to Sound Relief which was a fundraising concert for the bushfire victims in Victoria. There was also a concert happening at the same time in Sydney that also had some massive artists as well. I will try to summarise a bit!

As we were driving into the city it started raining. By the time we walked from the car to our seats we were already drenched, and because we were in the seat seven rows from the fence, we had no cover either. First priority was to buy some rain ponchos - a very attractive look I am sure you will agree! Little did we know that it was basically going to rain the whole day. Thank goodness it wasn't cold as well! (These photos are from later in the day but they show us looking a bit bedraggled! It was hard to know whether to leave them on or take them off. It was almost inevitable that every time I just about got mostly dry then it would start to rain.)Special shout out to the Channel V presenter who came out and announced that there was going to be no more rain at about 2 o'clock. She should probably stick to music!

I did attempt to take a couple of photos of my son at his first concert but I didn't realise that I had my camera on video soon, so there is a very quick picture of him, then some moving around, and then, the inside of a very soggy handbag! Whoops! I have to say that the concert experience wasn't a huge hit on the day, but today my son has done nothing but listen to Kings of Leon and talk about the concert (when he wasn't wingeing about being dragged around the craft show). Both the boys were bored pretty early on, and was over pretty early on for them. There is one picture of him looking a bit, um excited. I have to say a huge thanks to my friend, because I said to her that I would take the two of them home on the train because my son was complaining that he wasn't feeling well, but she took them back to my place instead and had a grand old time playing Buzz and SingStar. I felt a bit bad, but she said that she really only wanted to see Kings of Leon, and she offered so....

We arrived just in time to hear Jet open the concert and they were really great! Jet were one of two acts that were performing in both concerts, the other being Wolfmother. Even though the crowd was still building up, the fact that they are a Melbourne band meant that the crowd were really into them. When you are looking at the following picture of Jet, look at the sky and bear in mind that they came on stage at 12 noon.

Next up, Gabriella Cilmi, another home town act, and she did a pretty good set. I am a bit over her debut single which received massive radio airplay, but she did do a serviceable version of Whole Lotta Love. She can certainly sing.

During the day, we were crossing to the SCG where the other gig was going on so we got to see some Coldplay which was awesome. I was recording that at home, and when I was watching it today I have to say that their set was amazing, including a great version of You're the Voice featuring an Aussie favourite, John Farnham, and an unscheduled crowd run by Chris Martin during Fix You that had the security guys scurrying, but he looked like he had a great time. Unfortunately we didn't get to see that on the big screens in Melbourne but it was cool watching it back today.

Third act up and one of the highlights was Kings of Leon who were playing a sold out gig in Melbourne that night and so played relatively early in the day. They were awesome, and I will probably make an effort to go and see them if they come back again! The only disappointment was that they didn't sing Sex on Fire because it was the bushfire relief fundraiser, but I am sure that we all would have loved to have heard that.

Paul Kelly is a local legend, and he sounded great standing up on stage with his guitar and that was it. It was a complete change of pace to the other acts.

Augie March is another Melbourne band, and while I know a couple of songs, I can't say I know their music all that well. This is about where the kids gave up, but I did manage to convince them that it would be worth it to wander around to directly in front of the stage and have a look at the stage from that angle! It did look amazing to see all the people in the stands and on the ground. Absolute downpour during their set and we got wet...again!

Next up was Bliss N Eso with Paris Wells who are an Australian hip-hop band. I don't know any of their music, but they did really get the crowd going, up until the moment when they lost all sound. The crew did a great job of getting everything going again.

Another change of pace, this time from hip-hop to country and western with Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson. Kasey has such a distinctive voice, and when she sang 'The Captain' it reverberated right around the stadium. They were joined on stage by Troy Cassar-Daley, and they had a lot of fun, but I don't think the crowd was as into it as they had been for other artists!

The next artist up was Liam Finn. Now I will be honest and confess that I haven't heard anything that Liam has done before, so when we were planning when we would go and get some dinner and things we thought that this would be a good time to go, especially seeing as we didn't want to miss any of the acts that were coming up! I am not sure that we were actually right in that thinking because after singing a couple of his songs, he was joined onstage by his dad, his uncle and his mate, who are otherwise known as Neil and Tim Finn and Nick Seymour, who are otherwise known as Crowded House! We heard some of it while we were waiting downstairs in the queue for food! After all the rain we had there was a certain irony that when they sang Weather with You, the MCG was bathed in sunlight for the first time in the day! Not long after they went offstage, it rained again! They also sang You Better Be Home Soon which is one of my favourite Crowded House songs. I was trying to conserve memory on my memory card, but I ended up running out on both the card, and the camera, and ended up taking photos on my phone which I am expecting will be of very dubious quality, so here's a short (30 seconds) video.

I love Jack Johnson, and so watching him perform with just his guitar was amazing, and a bit mellow after the great excitement generated by the surprise Crowded House appearance.

Wolfmother was introduced by skate boarding legend Tony Hawkes. This was one of their first outings with a new line up and they were pretty good! They had played in Sydney earlier during the day, and the people in front of the stage were certainly enjoying themselves, but the sound was pretty average, where we were sitting at least. The highlight of their set was definitely The Joker and the Thief.

There had been a lot of hype around a special announcement that was introduced from Sydney by Toni Collette. It turned out to be a prerecorded statement by Prince William and Prince Harry. Not sure it needed to happen but the media has made a pretty big deal of it.

In the newspaper Kylie Minogue was being described as being a Special guest MC. The fact is that she didn't really introduce anyone, but she did come out and do a really good a capella version of I Still Call Australia Home. When I lived in the UK, this song used to be the theme song for Qantas, the Australian national carrier, and when it came on, it would be guaranteed to make me a bit emotional and homesick. I have posted a version of this song before here. Hearing 80000 people singing along was spine tingling.

For many people I am sure the next three acts were the highlights. They definitely were for me! Hunters and Collectors. Split Enz. Midnight Oil. All reformed especially for this gig and all sounding great! Hunters and Collectors are really my era, and they did fantastic versions of Say Goodbye, Do You See What I See, Throw Your Arms Around Me and The Holy Grail. This was probably THE highlight for me, along with Midnight Oil.

Split Enz were a bit before my time, but I did enjoy their performance, and definitely sang along to the songs I knew like I See Red, Six Months in a Leaky Boat

To close, Midnight Oil really rocked the place, in an awesome set that included songs like Beds Are Burning, Power and the Passion, King of the Mountain and Blue Sky Mine. The lead singer of the band is now our Federal minister for the Environment, Culture and the Arts, and has been in politics for a number of years now, but he has lost none of his energy when it comes to entertaining a huge crowd. It seemed fitting that the skies had finally cleared and just above the roof of an iconic sporting venue, there was a clear view of the Southern Cross star formation (this is the formation that appears on the right hand side of the Australian flag) and the moon.

I was wet for more than 12 hours (my trainers are still wet) and I don't think my handbag will ever be quite the same, but it was totally worth braving the weather, and the rush to leave the car park along with thousands of other people, to see such an awesome lineup. The reformed bands all sounded great. Over the next few days I am hoping to sit down and watch some of the acts that performed in Sydney, including at least one more reformed band (Icehouse) and what I suspect was an awesome closing set in Sydney that featured Barry Gibb (from the Bee Gees) and Olivia Newton John.

To give a quick taste of how awesome Hunters and Collectors and Midnight Oil were in their heyday, here are a couple of Youtube clips!

And one of John Farnham and Coldplay from Youtube:

I am assuming that there will be some kind of video release of Sound Relief and I am totally planning to buy it!


  1. Marg! I loved reading this post!!!! What a wonderful way to help out those who were affected by this tragedy. I loved Crowded House and Midnight Oil back in the day and it was good to hear about them on your blog.

    Jennifer @ Literate Housewife

  2. I'm watching some parts of the concert on TV right now, they're showing it in the news. I used to love Crowded House and Midnight Oil...

  3. A friend from work flew down and was at this concert too - she wasn't at work today so haven't had feedback from her yet - but she was really looking forwards to it

  4. Now that is dedication Sally! I am still singing some of the sings in my head from the weekend!

  5. Wow this looks like an amazing event! Back in the day my sister and I had Midnight Oil's cassette with Beds are Burning and we used to sing it ALL the time. What fun it must have been to see them together again ... LIVE!

  6. Midnight Oil probably would have been my highlight as well...all those years listening to them with my dad.

    I'm sad to hear wolfmother wasn't as good as I would have hoped.

  7. Serena, they were good once the sound got sorted. Their version of Joker and the Thief was kickass, but the early songs in the set just didn't sound right.

    Heather, it was excellent!

  8. Sounds like it was great day.

    I heard though that the concert had a no-replay clause so thats it. No more airings ever again. I highly doubt that but will have to see.

  9. Yes, I heard that as well. I am hoping for a DVD or something though!