A Day on the Green
Mt. Duneed Estate, Geelong
Dark clouds loom ominously over the hillside at Mt. Duneed, as fans eagerly await the arrival of Australian icons Midnight Oil, on what is to be their last musical sojourn around this rock we call Earth.
Having been a main stay in the Australian music landscape since 1976, the band are winding down what has been an illustrious career spanning four decades. However, all good things must eventually come to an end and the hillside is crowded with fans here to see Midnight Oil perform for the last time.
Opening with ‘We Resist’ as black and white images of protests flash across the screen illuminating the band kicking things off, the Ukrainian flag hanging atop the stage in support of the embattled nation.Having been warmed up by support acts All Our Exes Live In Texas and Goanna, fans are more than ready to raise their hands and dance.
As a light drizzle begins to dampen the ground, falling softly on faces that are beaming with smiles, front-man Peter Garrett ignites the crowd with his iconic dance moves. The set list is a sonic memoir of hits, from King of the Mountain, Too Much Sunshine and Blossom and Blood, Garrett never stops his energy electric.
Pausing for a brief moment Garrett reflects on the loss of two cricket legends this week with the passing of Rod Marsh and Shane Warne. For a moment the crowd begins to chant ‘ Warnie, Warnie, Warnie’ and the band launch into Sell My Soul , a tribute to what has been a shocking and sad loss to the cricketing community. Had Shane Warne been present it would have put a smile on the much loved man’s face, to see a crowd unite in unison to remember him.
The original protest band, Midnight Oil have educated fans about political issues for decades, songs that were written almost forty years ago about Indigenous rights are still as relevant as ever, the situation for our First Nations people changing little since the songs were first penned. Beds are Burning a poignant reminder of the injustices that still face Indigenous people today.
This tour was never going to be a teary and sorrowful farewell, each anthemic song rousing the crowd into frenzied dancing, joy etched on their faces, many doing their best Garrett dance impressions as the rain continues to fall. This is a celebration of a much loved band, a band that has managed to maintain an illustrious career and a celebration only seems fitting.
Wrapping up with Blue Sky Mine, Best of Both Worlds and Forgotten Years for the encore the band have proven why they are adored by fans all over the world. Their ability to raise awareness through music, whilst still managing to entertain is nothing short of brilliance.
Words and images by Amanda Lee Starkey