If someone thought the 80’s were dead and buried no-one told the sell out crowd at Wagga Wagga on the weekend. The Murrumbidgee Turf Club opened its gates to over 3,000 people on Saturday to celebrate some of the best 70’s, 80’s and 90’s Australian music had to offer. Taking the crowd back to a time when a beer was a dollar and the most songs you could fit on a cassette was 12, social media and the internet were years away but somehow we survived.
From the moment David Sterry (Real Life) belted out the smash “Send me An Angel” the afternoon marathon came alive. Sunshine, great wine and a concert on the side of a race track, what more could a punter ask for? Paul Gray and Steve Williams, founding members of Wa Wa Nee gave the crowd some “Sugar Free” complete with guitar synthesiser and the hype continued.
The afternoon was full of ARIA winners, Hall of Famers, and a lifetime of memories. Mark Gable got full audience participation during “Run To Paradise”, complete with Screaming Jet Grant Walmsley on guitar. Adam Thompson was well received with the Chocolate Starfish frontman belting out the Carly Simon classic “You’re So Vain”.
A short wait between songs and “Heaven” with a dominant audience chorus had a profound effect on originals Grace Knight and Bernie Lynch.
GANGgajang frontman Mark ‘Cal’ Callaghan complete with didgeridoo gave the crowd an opportunity to sing a true Australian classic with “Sounds of Then”.
Just as the crowd was coming up for air “What About Me” from Moving Pictures again took their breath away.
A brief break saw music royalty enter the stage. Glenn Shorrock gave the audience an insight into just why he remains one of Australia’s premier voices. “Reminiscing”, “Cool Change” and “Help Is On Its Way” were all on the menu.
John Paul Young continued the 70’s theme with “I Hate The Music”.
Dragon played “Are You Old Enough” and “April Sun In Cuba” and The Radiators finally confirmed it was a “Summer Holiday” at the racecourse.
A finale dedicated to Michael Hutchence and INXS including Don’t Change” led by Gable, Williams and Callaghan was a fitting end to the night.
Sell Out Crowd Enjoy 14 Australian Acts
Rock At The Races at Murrumbidgee Turf Club – Wagga Wagga, NSW empiretouring.com.au