The band will perform their only Victorian show at Geelong’s Mount Duneed Estate on Saturday March 20.
Midnight Oil are one of the most ‘Australian’ rock bands this country has ever produced. Born from the Australian pub rock scene that gave us AC/DC, Cold Chisel and INXS, the Oils were able to break out of that scene without compromising themselves in any way.
There is no doubt, they were more than just a rock and roll band. They stopped traffic, inflamed passions, inspired fans, challenged the concepts of “business as usual” and broke new ground.
It was their live shows however which truly set them apart. To witness Midnight Oil was to experience the full visceral, transcendent, kinetic power of live rock and roll… and it’s an energy that we’ll all get to see very soon when the band head out on tour early next year.
Taking to stages in Mount Cotton, Hunter Valley, Canberra and of course Geelong, Midnight Oil will perform a handful of special outdoor concerts called Makarrata Live, in support of The Makarrata Project – the band’s 12th studio album which shot straight to No. 1 on the Australian music charts.
At each show, a host of incredible First Nations artists will join the band on stage, playing songs from The Makarratta Project — a mini-album released earlier this year — as well as Oils classics on indigenous issues, such as Beds Are Burning, Jimmy Sharman’s Boxers, The Dead Heart and Truganini.
These gigs will seek to elevate The Uluru Statement From The Heart which calls for a Makarrata – or “truth telling” – to account for the theft of lands and displacement of First Nations people. The shows will take place in strict accordance with each state’s Covid19 protocols.
It’s because of the huge logistical challenges involved, these events will only be staged at one venue in SA, QLD, NSW, VIC & ACT making them each a unique live experience – so that’s big news for Geelong.
“We’re relieved and excited at the thought of finally playing music to live audiences again”, said Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett.
“Lots of the songs which have struck the deepest chords with our audiences over the years, like Beds Are Burning, Jimmy Sharman’s Boxers, The Dead Heart and Truganini, revolve around Indigenous issues so we’re definitely inspired to be playing a set that combines older songs like those with newer songs that share similar lyrical themes.”
“The most fulfilling part of The Makarrata Project came through collaborating with so many First Nations artists during those recording sessions”, adds the band’s guitarist and keyboard player, Jim Moginie. “I think everyone’s looking forward to seeing what shape all the music from different eras takes as those gifted singers add their voices to it live. We’ve never done anything like this so it feels good to still be pushing the envelope a bit despite everything that’s happened in 2020.”
Midnight Oil originally planned to play some Makarrata Live concerts earlier this year including a headlining slot at Splendour In The Grass. Unsurprisingly, those plans were delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but plans were then thrown into doubt by the harrowing terminal illness of long-time bass player, Bones Hillman, who passed away early last month.
“Bonesy leaves giant shoes to fill but we’ll need to find a new bass player for this tour”, said drummer Rob Hirst. “On this issue Bones was clear: ‘the show must go on!’, he said, ‘as soon as it’s safe to play gigs again’. We’re hoping that these Makarrata Live shows will increase awareness of The Uluru Statement From The Heart and further the reconciliation between First Nations and non-Indigenous Australians, we’ll also be dedicating the tour to Bones.”
We’re unsure as to what the capacity will be for this show. In the past, Mt Duneed Estate has taken up to 20,000 people for concerts, but it’s unlikely it will be allowed to operate at that capacity for Midnight Oil in March.
Midnight Oil will take to the stage on Saturday, March 20 2021. General tickets for that show will go on sale December 16 via Ticketmaster.