Monday, November 16, 2009

Music Monday: SoundRelief

Summer appears to have arrived early in Australia. Adelaide has already had more than 5 days over 35C (95F) with last Saturday being a scorching 40C (105F) and it's not even December yet. Here in Melbourne, we have had our hottest start to November in many years, and to be honest, everyone is a bit jittery. The events of Black Saturday, 7 February 2009, when more than 200 Victorians lost their lives during terrible bushfires in the country just outside of Melbourne, are still too clearly in the minds and hearts of many Australians, and with the hot weather on it's way, people are starting to prepare for what happens if the conditions are as bad this summer. At the same time as Victoria was burning, people in Queensland were suffering in flooding that lasted for weeks in some parts.

Australians are a generous nation whenever disaster strikes anywhere around the world. and once it became clear the magnitude of these disasters, the community rallied round, and everyone from sports stars to politicians to the normal Aussie in the street did what they could to support the people effected. At the time, I was working for a major charity and the response was amazing. Very early on it was announced that there would be a fund raising concert called SoundRelief and many Australian entertainers confirmed their attendance.

In the end there were two simultaneous concerts in Melbourne and Sydney on March 14 with the proceeds to be split between the fire and flood victims. There were big name international acts, as well as legendary Australian performers, and newer acts. When trying to choose what to post about for Music Monday, I knew that I wanted to focus on some Australian music, but then decided to revisit SoundRelief. I was lucky enough to attend the Melbourne concert along with about 80000 other people. If you are interested you can read my thoughts of the day here.

The hard part of this post is choosing which videos to include because there were so many amazing performances, but I will start with Jet, who are a Melbourne band, and so got a huge reception, despite the fact that we were absolutely drenched by that time! Both Jet and Wolfmother had a very busy day as they flew to the other concert and performed for both crowds.

One of the difficulties on the day was deciding when we wanted to eat because there were certain acts that we did not want to miss. We looked through the schedule and thought, hmm, Liam Finn. Famous family name, but we don't know any of his songs so that is when we will go and eat. We were standing in the food queue and I said to my friend, that sounds like Crowded House, and sure enough, Liam had been joined onstage by his dad and uncle, better known as Tim and Neil Finn along with Nick Seymour who were all part of Crowded House. Later in the night re-formed Split Enz performed. They were great live, but I didn't know as many of their songs as I do for Crowded House.

There was a certain amount of irony in that the sky was blue during this song. It wasn't really at many other parts of the day.

This happened in Sydney but we did get to see it on the big screens where I was in Melbourne. John Farnham is one of the biggest names in Australian music, and to see him perform with Coldplay was awesome. Among the other big international acts to perform were Kings of Leon, Jack Johnson and Taylor Swift. I am sure that I am missing some.

For me the two biggest highlights of the night were seeing the re-formed bands, Hunters and Collectors and Midnight Oil. It's hard to believe that these bands had played so little together over the years. Hunters and Collectors are a band that didn't really make it overseas, but they are Australian legends. This song in particular has been used in marketing for Aussie Rules football, and it is a song that nearly everyone would know here. The lead singer, Mark Seymour, is actually Nick Seymour's brother (from Crowded House)

The finale in Sydney was Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton-John, which would have been good, but in Melbourne we were treated to Midnight Oil, which was awesome! The lead singer of Midnight Oil, Peter Garrett, is now the Federal Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Arts (yep, a politician) so he doesn't get out in front of the band very often any more, but neither he nor the rest of the band have lost it yet! We all walked away hoping that we would never have to come together for another cause so tragic, but at the same time blown away by the performances we had seen.

Thanks to Kailana for allowing me to relive one of my favourite days of this year.


  1. Okay, I am literally green with envy!!!!!! Crowded House, Split Endz, John Farnam, Midnight Oil????? These names all brought me back to the late 80s, which I consider one of the best times in my life, personally and musically. Such great musical acts.

  2. Yay for Midnight Oil! I get someone to sing Beds are Burning for me at karaoke sometimes. :)

  3. This is a great post - thanks Marg! I loved reading about this concert on your blog back when it happened, and I enjoyed listening to all the music again today. This looks like it was an amazing event for a fantastic cause.

  4. It was an amazing day Heather, despite the weather! I had never seen some of these bands in concert before, and they were great! Whilst the cause was fantastic, I hope we don't have to do this again in the near future for the same reasons.

    Kelly, I was never really sure how big Midnight Oil got overseas. I also don't necessarily go straight for Beds are Burning on the singstar - it's not an easy song, especially when you are trying to dance around like Peter Garrett!

    Colleen, the late 80s are my time too! Glad you enjoyed the post and that it bought back some good memories for you!


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