For anyone who knows me personally, they will know I am a HUGE concert goer and live music fan. I’ve seen a modest genre of bands from the glam rock of Kiss to rocking it out with Motley Crue and then to the swaying ballads of Rod Stewart or Chris Isaac and then there is Ricky Martin, FLOP… the one and only concert I was happy to walk out of mid concert. Anyway, I thought I would just do a bit of a recap on Saturday nights event, the Australian icon band of Cold Chisel, supported by some amazing local talent including the LIVING END!
Hanging Rock in its own right is an Australian icon, a picturesque back drop to a concert stage, or day at the races. What a great place to have a concert. I had never been to this venue for a gig/concert/bash before and I have to say, seeing 17,000 people in that context was bloody remarkable. Most concerts I see are at Rod Laver in Melbourne, which can seat up to 16,000 people, but it’s an arena setting and very different to the crowd layout at Hanging Rock, which is more like a grass amphitheatre, with layers and layers and layers of people fanned out, up the slight hill. It comes with its problems though, and this is where last night fell down, in my own opinion.
The hour drive north to Hanging Rock from Melbourne is the first hurdle most need to endure or get over. You either stay locally the night, catching a bus to and from the venue, or you drive. If you drive, you do one of two things: one, someone stays sober and you drive home battling the traffic, or two, you arrive early and ‘camp’ the night in your car. Both scenarios mean that generally you arrive early, to get a good park, which on the quiet doesn’t necessarily mean you want to be closest to the venue gates. Getting out of that area looked mental, aside from the dust that the 34,000 feet have scuffed up and covered your car in. It was like a scene out of The Walking Dead, lines and crowds of people sprawling out of the gates back to their cars.
Walking through the crowds and cars on our way into the venue we all remarked on just how many were already hitting the turps. Happy light headed people swaying and singing to ‘Chisel’ pounding from the car stereos at 4pm and clearly a LOT of them had been there early. This is point two in my observation of how to fuck an event up. Don’t let people bring alcohol into the gates. Yeah, yeah, I know, I am hearing everyone saying, hang on, what about those who can manage their grog and just want a couple before they go in? Well that’s fine and dandy. If that’s the case, then don’t serve full strength alcohol inside the event.
I am all for a great night, and I love to have a drink, but Saturday night I witnessed the shit part of people who have indulged all afternoon and then keep drinking inside the gates. We were lucky enough to have “Really Obnoxious C#@t Of A Woman” sitting in front of us. The ‘middle-aged-unmarried-slag’ kind who thinks she is too hot to tell off and can use her skinny arse face to get what she wants. I’m sorry Love, but you’re just a c#@t, nothing more, nothing less. So after she got pushed off a chair and dobbed on, and elbowed and evil eyed a zillion times, she seemed to get the point.
The problem with the venue at Hanging Rock is simply not enough security to stop people moving from their seated area and down to where they crowd in on the front isles and ruin the experience for everyone else. The pushing and elbowing clearly raising tempers. I can’t remember ever seeing so many drunk people at a concert, clearly most making a statement as the alcohol was stopped early. Young drunk or drugged-up girls flirting with old security guards for a better vantage point and people standing on plastic chairs in front of people already standing. It was seriously out of control in the area we were seated. Seats we paid $150 each for. So thank you for that, you bunch of obnoxious fuck-head morons who can’t handle your piss. Next time I’m going into the Mosh-pit!
Besides those points and braving the chilly air, we had a great night. The Living End were brilliant and when they tour, because they will, I am SO going! Those guys fucking rocked the crowd and were a great lead up to the star act Cold Chisel, which I can say I have now seen, and they were okay. Not fantastic. Mossy was fantastic, but Barnsey did his screaming Jimmy Barnes thing that he does and sort of lost it for me. The Cold Chisel of old wasn’t a screaming yelling band, and it’s a pity that he did screech a bit, just doing his thing I guess. They sung a bunch of their new stuff and most of their oldest hits that we all love; Khe San, Flame Trees and Saturday Night and it all resulted in a great show with a crowd who sang along to all the songs, loud enough to hear over the band. That was pretty cool, I must say.
Australia seriously has a wealth of great bands and music artists. We breed people who can really, really sing. People who can belt out a tune from their own lungs and create the most spine tingling experience no matter how well ‘concerted’ you are. When a band or artist can make the hairs on your neck stand up, they’re something special. Cold Chisel, Aussie Crawl, Mental as Anything, Hoodoo’s, ACDC, The Living End, Inxs, Crowded House, Bee Gees, Ice House, Silver Chair, Split Enz, H&C’s, Jet, Powder Finger, Divinyls, Savage Garden, Wolf Mother, Little River Band, Kylie, Guy Sebastian… to name just a few, they all have at least one iconic song and call Australia home. Talent bleeds from our shores and we are truly so lucky to be able to claim all of those I could think of and all those I couldn’t lol.
So, to Cold Chisel, the icon and legend that you are, you did okay. Not the fantastic, WOW that I was expecting but certainly something I will remember and be able to say later on, “I saw Chisel live” if not anything else. They were worth the money along side the Living End and I am glad I went.
Make sure you turn the teapot twice clockwise and once anticlockwise!