As we arrived onto the paddock of Mt Duneed estate we were greeted by a mass of 20,000 people all set up on picnic rugs with their delicious cheese platters and bottles of wine. Lucking a patch of ground with direct views to the stage, my dad (the ultimate plus one for the occasion) and I settled in to a huge night of entertainment.
Starting the electric evening in a special way was renowned homebrew, Magic Dirt, a sentiment shared by their glorious front woman, Adalita. The 90’s/early 2000’s staple group jammed their way through six larger than life hits, leaning in with ‘Watch Out Boys’. Their 2003 mammoth anthem ‘Plastic Loveless Letter’ followed suit with driving guitars that swirled their way through Mt Duneed Estate. ‘White Boy’, the title track to their 2009 EP, thundered through the crowd thanks to those drum heartbeats and Adalita’s aggressive growls. Dancing shoes came out for ‘Supagloo’ and their biggest hit, ‘Dirty Jeans’. Their set ended on the rocking ‘She-Riff’ and an appreciation shout-out of pure disbelief to Cold Chisel for having them, leaving the crowd revved up for the remainder of the evening.
Birds Of Tokyo
Birds Of Tokyo are one of those bands where you don’t realise how many songs you know of theirs until you see them live. Their Day On The Green set delivered just that realisation for me. Powering in with ‘Plans’, Birds Of Tokyo turned up to Mt Duneed in a big way! They soared through an eleven track set of their biggest songs, reminding the crowd (and me) why they are one of Australia’s finest rock outfits. ‘I’d Go With You Anywhere’, ‘Two Of Us’, ‘Anchor’ and ‘Silhouettic’ sparked sincere singalongs. ‘Wild At Heart’ was a huge moment in the centre of the set, following on with ‘Brace’, ‘The Greatest Mistakes’, ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘Good Lord’. Ian Kenny is undeniable as the front man of his heavier project, Karnivool, but at Mt Duneed and with his Birds Of Tokyo hat on, his vocals were in the finest of form to cover and warm the 20,000 person blanket. The stunning ‘Lanterns’ illuminated the stage and the paddock for the perfect close, and introduction to Australian legend Paul Kelly.
Being graced by the presence of Australia’s favourite dad and gravy maker, Paul Kelly is enough. But he went above and beyond to bring out legends, Linda and Vika Bull, to accompany him, as well as the incredibly talented Ash Naylor. ‘You Can’t Take It With You’, ‘From Big Things Little Things Grow’, ‘Before Too Long’, ‘Careless’, ‘With The One I Love’, ‘From St Kilda to Kings Cross’, ‘To Her Door’, ‘Our Sunshine’, ‘Dumb Things’; this is just half of the list of incredible career defining tracks that made up Paul Kelly’s set list. Closing out on ‘How To Make Gravy’, the only thing left to say about this set is that it was an honour to witness.
Cold Chisel are the only act that could ever top this incredible line up of Australian talent and they gripped the crowd from that first piano chord of ‘Standing On The Outside’. This time last year I was seeing Jimmy Barnes at the Red Hot Summer Tour, so this felt like a full circle moment witnessing the huge voice in his element back on stage with his roots. Jimmy Barnes and Ian Moss are a vocal match made in heaven and they still sink into each other so beautifully all these years later which made for some really special moments on stage, particularly on ‘Flame Trees’ and my personal favourite, ‘When The War Is Over’. ‘Choir Girl’, ‘My Baby’, ‘Forever Now’, ‘Saturday Night’ (including a electrifying 20,000 person choir of ‘do’s’ filling every space), ‘Shipping Steel’, ‘You Got Nothing I Want’, ‘Getting’ The Band Back Together’, ‘Khe Sanh’ and ‘Bow River’ were massive crowd pleasers but could you expect anything different? A double encore consisted of the previously mentioned and absolutely tear-jerking, ‘When The War Is Over’, ‘Cheap Wine’, ‘The Perfect Crime’ and ‘Houndog’, followed by ‘Breakfast at Sweethearts’ and ‘Letter To Alan’. Cold Chisel were infectious, filled with nostalgia and a magic for their music that captured Australia all of those years ago and continues to define the Australian music landscape.
Overall, A Day On The Green offered a showcase of four generations of rock royalty that have shaped and continue to impact the Australian music industry through a truly special event. Highlights were that I was able to allow my dad to relive his youth from the times he saw Cold Chisel at the Collendina Hotel in 1980, at Eureka, and at Waverly Park supporting Rod Stewart in 1979. However, that also came with some lowlights, including the female piranhas that preyed on my HAPPILY MARRIED dad all night and paying $9 for a VB.
When: Saturday 11 January 2020
Where: Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong
Reviewed By Tammy Walters
Photos by William Adam Russ