Black T-shirt? Check. Headband? Check. Strepsils? Bugger. Worry about them later.
After a heap of indoor and outdoor shows up and down the east coast, Cold Chisel played a location served by public transport.
After a killer opening set from You Am I played, frankly, to not enough people, Chisel took to the stage, led by mainstays Phil Small, Ian Moss and Don Walker, and new drummer – ex-Divinyl Charley Drayton.
Jimmy Barnes followed shortly after, complete with headband, and the night kicked off with Standin’ on the Outside. It was the start of another Triple M Non-Stop-Block-Of-Classic-Rock, and it was ad-free.
Unlike the Chisel of old though, Barnsey wasn’t knocking back bottles of heavy spirits as part of the on stage show. Heart surgery and a newfound committment to clean living apparently doesn’t allow that.
It did allow him to cover the stage well though, and deliver the vocals with that customary Barnesy melody. After a couple of old favourites (Shipping Steel was up second), Chisel unleashed one of their new tunes on the 10,000 strong crowd – HQ 454 Monroe. With the crowd clearly after a bit of older stuff, Choir Girl kicked in and the stadium breathed relief.
When The War Is Over was given an acoustic overhaul that thankfully made the Cosima De Vito cover version fade from memory.
Tonight was about the hits. Flame Trees shone, Khe Sanh could have been performed by the crowd alone, and Bow River – whilst getting a bit of a makeover – remained faithful to the original.
This was a crowd that needed no converting. An encore of Four Walls was lapped up by the crowd. Everyone at Rod Laver Arena tonight knew what they were going to get, and left having received it in spades.
Now this site may not have the readership of the Courier Mail, but it’s important that this review is accurate and fair to Tim Rogers and his band You Am I. Why? Because he reads them. How do I know? Because sometimes he responds…
He’s got nothing to worry about from this writer’s pen however, an unabashed fan of Roger’s work over the past 15 years. Opening for Cold Chisel however is no easy task, with the fanbase of the latter proving a tough nut to crack early.
But crack it You Am I eventually did. With a catalogue of songs that even the predominantly Triple-M listening crowd had heard a couple of, Rogers talked, played and sang his way into the audience’s collective faces. Purple Sneakers was delivered early, following opener Deliverance. Cathy’s Clown presumably had a few thinking ‘oh that’s You Am I?’, Heavy Heart took this photographer back to university in 1998, and Rumble too got the growing crowd prepped for the main show.
Rogers was his usual chatty self, revving the crowd up for the headliners, poking fun at himself, strinking Jagger-esque poses and presumably wondering if everybody got the joke.
Whether they did or not was really irrelevant. The music written and performed by Australian rock royalty spoke for itself.