Review by Natasha Wyborn
Photos by David Jackson
As Midnight Oil lead singer Peter Garrett belted out the lyrics to the Oils classic Blue Sky Mine “Hope the crumbs in my pocket can keep me for another night” to another sellout crowd on Friday night you couldn’t help but wonder that if the band was being rewarded exclusively in food this show would be worthy of a 10 course executive meal. Gateway Lakes Wodonga and a sell out crowd of over 12,000 was the current stopover on the bands Great Circle World Tour. The packed venue comprising of an audience of all ages was primed and ready for arguable Australia’s greatest band.
With the sun setting on a cool Friday evening Garret and his mates took the stage. Opening the evening with “Redneck Wonderland” it was game on from the beginning. Moving into “Dreamworld” the band took the crowd back to the 70’s and their second album “Head Injuries” with “Back on the Borderline”. The band comprising of Peter Garrett, Rob Hirst, Jim Moginie, Martin Rotsey and Bones Hillman were not only tight but you would swear they were not coming off a 17 year plus hiatus. Taking an extended break from serious touring allowed not only side projects from all band members but Garrett to pursue a somewhat interesting career in Australian Labor Party. There were references throughout the show of various political and environmental situations, this was nothing new from a band that built there reputation and inner philosophy on the same for nearly 40 years. Donald Trump got a very polite spray but overall it was all about the music.
The set consisted in a total of 22 songs spread generously over two hours. Garrett dominated the stage and has lost nothing in his movement around it. The 6’5 frame was pure power and took me back to watching the bands in sweaty pubs in the early 80’s, lets also not forget this guy is 64 years of age. I must say the songfest which is different every show had something for everyone. The song arrangements have been reworked a little to allow each number to breathe rather than being rushed into which is really special. The audience was vocal throughout the entire show.
For me the highlights was watching Martin Rotsey strum a 12 string acoustic guitar to the sell out crowd. “US Forces” “Kosciusko,” “Only The Strong” and “Beds Are Burning” all had a strong acoustic influence with all band members assembled at the front of the stage. Rob Hirst confirmed he remains one of the countries finest drummers and at 62 he continues to out perform players half his age. A trio of crowd favourites including ‘The Dead Heart”, “Power and the Passion” and “Forgotten Years” completed the traditional encore before returning to the stage for “Read About It”.
It was interesting above the stage during the entire show was the UN Declaration of Human Rights. These powerful words together with recognition of the traditional owners of our land remain the forefront in practice and passion for this great band.
Supporting the band was three piece favourites The Living End who warmed up the audience with a best of collection including “Roll On”, “Second Solution”, “All Torn Down” and “Prisoner of Society”.
Redneck Wonderland, Dreamworld, Back on the Borderline, River Runs red, No Time For Games, Feeding Frenzy, Sell my Soul, Truganini, Somebody’s trying to Tell Me Something, Short Memory, Luritja Way, US Forces, Kosciusko, Only The Strong, Beds Are Burning, Don’t Wanna Be The One, Blue Sky Mine, King of the Mountain.
The Dead Heart, Power and the Passion, Forgotten Years
Read About It