Review by Natasha Wyborn
With a stellar lineup comprising Hunters & Collectors, James Reyne, The Living End, The Angels, The Baby Animals, Killing Heidi and Boom Crash Opera the Red Hot Summer tour hit South Australian shores on Sunday. Playing to yet another sell out crowd off around 3,000 people. The audience demographic was mixed with a heavy focus on the 50 plus bracket who enjoyed a drink and settled in for an afternoon of fine music and memories. With the rest of the country sweltering in 40 plus heat the temperature dropped rapidly to a chilly 18 degrees by late afternoon. With old brick work and rusty razor wire from the days gone by as a backdrop the crowd was waiting for the fun to begin.
Hitting the stage first was a lively Boom Crash Opera lead by flamboyant front man Dale Ryder, there was no warming up of the crowd required in this set, all in presence were ready to go, and with a barrage of hits delivered from the onset it was just what the doctor ordered. Having seen this band numerous times over the years they were without doubt one of the highlights of the day. I am going to make it a point to catch a full show next chance I get. Highlights for me were the hits ‘Dancing in the Storm’ and ‘Onion Skin’
Killing Heidi were next on the bill with its hard to believe it’s been almost 20 years since the hit album Reflector was released. Jesse and Ella Hooper are sounding better than ever and this is “reflected” in the bands live stage performance. Its time for some new material and a national tour from this band. i have to say watching Ella hit the stage and go full throttle for their set was a pleasure to see. This band has lost nothing in regards to stage presence, if anything the audience simply wanted more. The highlight for me was the bands energetic version of their smash ‘Weir’ of course.
Suze DeMarchi and The Baby Animals continued the precession of bands that consistently deliver high octane performances to very grateful audiences. This set was no exception with DeMarchi firmly in charge centre stage on guitar. Highlight for me was the bands 90’s hit and second song of their set ‘One Word’
Still housing two original members from the 70’s The Angels complete with Dave Gleeson on lead vocals provided the audience with a collection of classics which allowed the band the luxury of having a 3000 crowd backing vocals to almost every song. Glesson is the complete package when it comes to a frontman for this band. Highlight for me?, you guessed it ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’ including a special sing a long just for the children.
When Melbourne three piece The Living End hit the stage, the crowd transformed into a tight knit pub crowd complete with a loyalty to every lyric only a true fan could know. The highlights were plenty including killer hits ’Til The End’, ‘Death of the American Dream’, Roll On’, ‘All Torn Down’ before ending with ‘White Noise’.
A slow down in pace with 80’s stable James Reyne taking the stage. The crowd got close together to combat the ever increasing wind and cold air. Reyne never disappoints as he cruised through Australian Crawl and solo hits. The crowd again did not disappoint with every song sung with passion and hearts on the sleeve, I even witnessed some tears when ‘Reckless’ was sung.
A rare chance to catch Hunters & Collectors live was what the crowd was waiting for. The sound of melodious brass echoed sweetly around the historical site, lead singer Mark Seymour acknowledging the brave souls that stayed and moulded together in the cold summers night. For me hearing ‘Where Do You Go’ early in the set took me back to a time when life was easier and simpler. Closing the night with ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ I can confirm they did strangers and all, such is the passion for these classic songs.
The Red Hot Summer Tour celebrates its 10 year of concerts, uniquely covering the entire country including rural areas that often miss out on the big shows. With most of this season almost sold out if you get a chance to go don’t hesitate, at the very least you will get an opportunity to transcend back in time when things were so much simpler.