Saturday, February 20
Reviewed by Glen Anderson
Trekking north west after a long week of work to the beautiful Victorian town of Echuca, with the promise of two of my favourite bands headlining consecutive nights had me somewhat excited.
The Church closed out the first night at the Riverboats Music Festival . This band have consistently been the best outfit in Australia over a long period of time and hits like; ‘I`m Almost with You’, ‘Metropolis’, ‘Under The Milky Way’, the beautiful ‘Laurel Canyon’ and a cracking version of ‘Reptile’ to close out the night, reminded people of how awesome this band really is. The addition of ex-Powderfinger guitarist Ian Haug has detracted nothing from this psychedelic powerhouse and he fits like a well worn shoe. Definitely one of the highlights of the festival.
Mick Thomas graced the stage late on a stunning Saturday afternoon and surely this man is a national treasure with anthems like Father`s Day, Hobart Town, Gallipoli Rosemary and Away Away. The crowd loved him to bits and he warmed the stage perfectly for C.W Stoneking. What a highlight it was seeing this man and his band for the first time. I think the koalas in the trees were tapping along to this man and his band that contained a horn section, two wonderful female backup vocalists and a groove that seemed to come from a by-gone era. My God this man had the crowd fired up and rightly so.
However, the night took a turn for the worse with You Am I. Firstly, appearing on stage around 20 minutes late, which was a shame as the crowd was on a real high following the outstanding performance of C.W Stoneking, only to be followed by a disappointing show that seemed to be one big mess of noise. Understandably, You Am I are a rock band and very different to the aforementioned bands – dynamically speaking. Perhaps this makes their sound, at times, hard to tame in a production sense in a festival environment. However, I did leave the gig very disappointed.
Overall though, a great vibe, fantastic setting and a very well organised event. Get along next year if you can.