Powderfinger at Rod Laver Arena
Well, well, well. Powderfinger have decided to call it a day, before risking being one of those never-ending bands touring every 'Best Of' release… and for that, we shall see. My tip is a reunion concert at some stage down the road. Anyway, with the threat of never playing again, I figured it be an apt time to pay my respects, and with live juggernaut The Vasco Era opening the show, the deal was made.
After running into Bernard Fanning just after Paul Kelly's set at Splendour, I said 'Hello' and told him I loved his work. Then, starved of ideas of where to take the conversation next, I said, 'How good are The Vasco Era?' He replied 'This good', spreading his arms out and that was that.
I imagine it would be an interesting feeling playing a show at 7pm but there was a decent crowd in to witness the three amigos from Apollo Bay, who were clearly not fazed by the stadium environment. The set list was nearly completely taken from their latest offering, the immortal Lucille, which I imagine the Jet and Powderfinger fans would have appreciated. I Am A Chosen Vessel, apart from having roughly the greatest song title ever, got the rousing crowd moving early, but it was Already Won towards the end of the set that was really appreciated. Apparently, according to Sid, it's some of their best work. I concur; do you concur? I bet you concur. Concur or else. All concurring aside, the beastly Honeybee from their debut album was, as always, phenomenal, and a cover of Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay saw the lads off the stage with a big cheer and clap. Good times had by all.
Jet did their thing, I quite like Jet, but if I hear their drummer comment on their second album being all about cocaine and alcohol again, I will scream. Do your drugs quietly, you flog, you're not Oasis, it's not quite endearing for you yet. Anyway, as I said, I do like Jet and their infectious rocking and rolling, and I believe people were too quick to write them off when they went from The Espy to world tours, which isn't I'm not sure is entirely fair. They played some of the better songs from their new album Shaka Rock, but it was the oldies that of course, got the biggest response.
Next, obviously, were Powderfinger. The crowd were buzzing and clearly excited, however, that buzzing and excitement quickly turned into a dull roar and standing still. It wasn't until that back half of the set that things perked up when they kicked into My Happinesss and got the crowd involved. They followed up with Passenger and then left the stage, claiming to be finished for the night. I don't think so, pal.
Surprise, they came back out and played a couple more songs including Pick You Up and Baby I've Got You On My Mind (which I decided is a pretty darn rocking song - because it is). Off they went again, but I had an inkling, a feeling if you will, that they would be back once more. Amazingly (cough) they were back and played the ever lovely These Days.
That was very enjoyable and group hugs were aplenty. A quality night of music, with a slightly weird vibe from the crowd. I am happy to say I saw the lads at least the once, even if it was their 'last tour' and in a stadium. Vale, Powderfinger.
Beat photographer Andrew Gyopar took some quality snaps of Powdefinger. Check the snaps page now. Maybe you got snapped!