As per last year’s tour, the evening kicked off with a candid and fun short film showing all the artists interacting and generally having a ‘good time’. I think it’s something the older audience appreciate but the cynical side of me does notice the marketing aspect to it.
Deborah Conway had a strong conviction to her performance that gave her good stage presence. She played predominantly newer songs with some good banter in between, but then left us hanging for her hits. Then Joe Camilleri hit the stage with the Bull sisters and band. They livened the night up by giving us ‘Harley and Rose’ three songs in, and then later had us standing for closers ‘Never Let Me Go’ and ‘Chained to the Wheel’. With his great guitar work and sax solo I realised how rockabilly the group are and drew comparisons to The Living End and Stray Cats.
Colin Hay appeared to want to say “fuck” heaps and be the rebel tonight. He played solo and enjoyed sharing a lot of (maybe too much) comedic stories and puns, at one point exclaiming that, “we’ll maybe get two songs tonight at this rate”. ‘Overkill’ was the highlight.
Mental As Anything hit the stage and gave us fun through their music, opening with ‘Too Many Times’ and ‘Live It Up’ and then the hits just kept a’coming. Greedy had a thermos next to his keyboard and continually filled his cup with steaming liquid throughout the set, sometimes spilling it.
Finally, all the artists joined the stage for the communal closing jam where we finally got Conway’s ‘Only the Beginning’ and a great version of ‘Friday On My Mind’.