WEEKEND OF ROCK
Live Music Lives Again at Iconic Adelaide Oval!!
I’d bought our tickets months ago and had just interviewed Adam Thompson on Radio Adelaide when news came through that Melbourne were being locked down. Shortly after that South Australian/Victorian borders were closed. Not only that, but Rick Brewster had to come from Tasmania and Darryl Braithwaite and Jon Stevens were in Queensland. As community transmissions increased over the border, so did the nervousness that our much anticipated Weekend of Rock could even going ahead as planned.
Thankfully two days before, we received the media release that all border crossings for all artists has been approved and the Weekend of Rock was a go.
Father of Five and I were unable to book the new hotel the at the Oval as it was booked out, as was the Tricontinental – great news for our local tourist industry!!
Vibrancy and air of excitement returned to Adelaide, as always when our Fringe season approaches. This time last year little did we know that as our 2020 Fringe drew to a close, the horrendous year ahead for the entire world.
Twelve months on, with restrictions and border closures seemingly working and vaccines on the horizon, it seems life has returned to at least our new normal.
DAY ONE – FRIDAY
Having seen Melbourne based Chocolate Starfish a number times at our Sounds by the River annual event at Mannum as part of the Red Hot Summer Tour, we knew they wouldn’t disappoint. They transported us back to the 90s with their hits including ‘Mountain’, ‘Four Letter Word’ and the ever popular ‘You’re So Vain’ as a 12 minute long encore. Dynamic frontman Adam Thompson never ceases to entertain and had us all singing along to every word of every song. Joining Adam on stage were Zakk Zedras on guitar, Darren Danielson on drums, Norman Falvo on keys and John “Stone” Nixon on bass.
ARIA Hall of Famers, The Angels, started in Adelaide in 1974 as the Moonshine Jug & String Band, last playing at Adelaide Oval 43 years ago with David Bowie!!
The boys, fronted by energetic Dave Gleeson (celebrating ten years as lead vocalist of the group), gave their usual excellent, consistent performance.
John Brewster dedicated the beautiful ballad ‘Love Takes Care’ (which he wrote with Doc Neeson in a little room at Alberts Studios where Bon Scott used to sing), to the memory of Doc and Chris Bailey.
The Brewster Brothers’ guitar solo at the start of ‘Shadow Boxer’, proved that music is the fountain of youth and that they have more than ‘still got it’!!
The line-up was John Brewster on guitar, Sam Brewster (son of John) on bass, Rick Brewster on guitar, Nic Norton on drums and Dave Gleeson on vocals.
Singing and dancing like we were 18 again, we didn’t want the night to end and I think the band, having so much fun being back out in front of their home crowd, didn’t either.
“Fantastic night, excellent sound quality, the band gave 110% and Dave’s vest got the thumbs up from all the ladies. Excellent to see them in such an iconic setting.”
Mignonne Immesi – Administrator of The Angels Fan Page
DAY TWO – SATURDAY
THE MASTERS APPRENTICES
Fresh from their Bridgeway ‘debut’ gig, The Masters Apprentices, back as an original five piece line-up, the crowd loved this nostalgic walk down memory lane of hits.
Favourites included in the 50 minute set were ‘Turn Up Your Radio’, ‘It’s Because I Love You’, ‘Undecided’, ‘Hot Gully Wind’ and ‘Elevator Driver’.
Line up consists of founding members, drummer Brian Vaughton, Mick Bower on guitar, Gavin Webb on bass assisted by newcomer Bill Harrod, Rick Harrison on guitar and young whipper snipper Craig Holden (brother of carnation kid, Mark Holden) on lead vocals, filling the big shoes of Jim Keyes.
As a mark of respect, the striped jacket that Jim often wore (that was lost for many years and miraculously returned to owner Brian) was placed on stage next to the recognisable drum skin that held pride and place over the bar at The Kings Head Hotel, where the whole journey began back in about 1964.
The fact that they are revelling in returning to their roots purely for the enjoyment of playing together again, is palpable and infectious.
THE ZEP BOYS
Headed up by consummate showman Vince Contarino, The Zep Boys concept band from Adelaide have succeeded at the highest level in their genre for over 35 years. The crowd were given a two hour performance of Led Zeppelin greats, nobody leaving their seat from the opening of ‘Rock n’ Roll’ until the closing of ‘Whole Lotta Love’.
New line-up of Jack Stevenson amazing on guitar, Danny Leo on drums, Stuart James Day on bass (Stuart is also producing Vince’s solo album) and Vince on vocals.
At numerous times throughout the set, the chant “VINCENCO” rang out from the crowd.
Highlights were a massive drum solo, at least 13 minutes long, dedicated to Danny’s father Moby Dick, celebrating his birthday that day, and Jack’s use of the violin bow on his guitar during ‘Dazed & Confused’.
“Best rock show I’ve seen ….. superb.”
Mark Bennett – Visiting Rural Rock Fan
DAY THREE – SUNDAY
BOOM CRASH OPERA
This 80s pop rock band Boom Crash Opera never seem to age. Bare foot frontman Dale Ryder appears younger each time he performs. I’m supposed to be documenting the set lists, but hopeless at it because all I do is sing and dance. Thank goodness I can schmooz the occasional setlist from the stage after a show.
Favourite BCO hits they sang included in about this order were ‘Get Out Of The House’, ‘Hands Up In The Air’, ‘Great Wall’, ‘Dancing In The Storm’, ‘Onion Skin’ and for the first time sang live ‘Don’t Forget To Breathe’.
Line-up was Dale on vocals, Peter Farnan on guitar, John Favato on bass and Peter ‘Maz’ Maslen on drums.
Hard to believe this Sherbet singer is 72 years young!!
Another ARIA hall of famer, Daryl Braithwaite’s set was excellent and peppered with his usual Dad humour. By now you can sack me with the set list thing, but he played some solo, some Sherbet, some old, some new including ‘Not Too Late’, ‘Days Go By’, ‘Rise’, “Howzat’ and because there’d be mutiny without it, “Horses’.
Line-up behind Daryl was Simon Hosford and David Campbell on guitar, Mark Amato on keys, Gerry Pantazis on drums and Jason Vorherr on bass.
New Zealand born Jon Stevens, who fronted Noiseworks and played Judas in the Aussie production of Jesus Christ Superstar, still has the best arms in the business. Oh, and he can sing too!!
Jon’s set included INXS songs, who he sang with from 2000 to 2003 after the death of their lead singer Michael Hutchence.
The awesome band line-up behind Jon were Sammy Vincent and Tony Kopa on guitars, Glen Reither on keys and saxophone, Johnny Salerno on drums and Chris Bekker on bass.
By now I am so exhausted, I can hardly finish writing this review.
One thing every act had in common was their absolute joy to be back out playing their music for us again. Hopefully this is the start of rebuilding our music industry ….. do get out and support our local musicians if and when you can.
“What better way to celebrate the return of live music to our home turf than these high energy, smash it out of the ball park, Aussie legends. We could have danced all night! LOVED IT!!”
Cindy Brown – Lead Singer of Rokhouse
“How nice it was to finally be outside enjoying a concert as Adelaide Oval came alive with music.
What a night it was… three great bands, giving us their best.
All being from Victoria, and not playing for at least a year, it was a win win situation, as I think they were as much in heaven as we were!!”
Sue Tomlinson – Australian Music Fan