Midnight Oil brings controversy, power and passion to Rocky
Singer and activist Peter Garrett rolls back the years, delivers stunning performance
ROCKHAMPTON music fans turned out en mass Thursday night to see Australia’s finest exponents of political rock Midnight Oil, with the predictive powers of The Morning Bulletin earning a special mention.
The sold out gig promised full hotels, long beer lines, impassioned sing-alongs and a dash of controversy.
The Oils delivered on all counts.
Thursday’s edition of The Morning Bulletin predicted that Mr Garrett’s anti-Adani rhetoric would continue in Rockhampton after he launched a salvo in Townsville regarding their “reversed intellectual capacity” in supporting the Carmichael mine which he made reference to during the concert.
“I couldn’t help noticing the local newspaper had a piece about us playing, before we played, before I said anything,” Mr Garrett said. “I thought that was pretty good for the media, somehow they hot-wired themselves into my brain so I won’t disappoint them in that case, I’ll just reprise what we said before.
“We are on the side of the farmers in the Galilee Basin who are concerned about their water supplies.
“We are on the side of the planet that can’t take much more heating otherwise summer is going to be hotter and hotter than ever before.
“We are on the side of the renewable industry which will employ more Australians as the years go on as it does in other parts of the world – where they’ve got their act together.
“And we think giving a bunch of robots the opportunity to dig stuff out of the ground, that is not that good for you, is not particularly smart,” he said before kicking into their environmentalist anthem ‘Blue sky mine’.
Throughout the night, his political reflections also touched on supporting the old battle against sand mining at Shoalwater Bay, applauding the awarding of the Nobel Prize International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), lamented about Nick Kyrgios’ “piking out”, decried Pauline Hanson’s plan to raise the voting age and warned people to not listen to Tony Abbott before launching into their song ‘When the generals talk’.
The Great Western Hotel provided excellent acoustics for the crowd of thousands, consisting of a mainly older demographic, who were in good spirits.
When Midnight Oil first came out on stage, the veterans of the Aussie music scene were greeted to a rapturous ovation and the distinctive arms flailing dancing of frontman Peter Garrett were on full display as they kicked into their first song ‘Redneck wonderland’.
For the first half of the concert, it seemed that Garrett was quite prepared to let the band’s music do the talking but as time wore on, he gradually took aim at his political adversaries, changed into a ‘Stop Adani’
❝I thought that was pretty good for the media, somehow they hot-wired themselves into my brain so I won’t disappoint them in that case. — Peter Garrett
t-shirt and promoted environmental causes including coastal conservation and renewable energy implementation.
Some of the crowd favourites throughout the night were ‘US forces’, ‘Dead heart’ (which gave this reviewer goosebumps), ‘King of the mountain’, ‘Beds are burning’ and ‘Power and
One of the concert attendees, Mick Smith said it was worth travelling from Brisbane to see the band for the first time in 15 years.
“They’ve still got it, playing an excellent mix of classic Oils hits with still relevant massages in the songs for current issues,” Mr Smith said.
FULL HOUSE: The Great Western Hotel thanked the 3000 concert attendees for coming.
ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST: Peter Garrett on stage.
OILS GIG: Morning Bulletin reporter Leighton Smith (left) holding the Midnight Oil set list with Brisbane's Mick Smith.