Walking up to The Forum, I was thinking I should have a stubby in hand for the night ahead of good 80s and 90s Aussie rock. Fist Full of Rock was ready for the older Australian rock lovers to enjoy a night of good tunes, good vibes and a Saturday night to remember.
Former Magic Dirt now indie rock solo artist, Adalita, came out sporting full black with a backing band in white. A good contrast to pull everyone to have all eyes on her. Starting with ‘Trust is Rust,’ the crowd started to fill up the floor and enjoy some of Adalita Srsen’s works from the last six years. Finishing with ‘Blue Sky,’ it was a much slower tempo than what was in store for the rest of the night but still brought the crowd in with a short, yet sweet, set.
Jebediah came out strong, hard and fast. It was hard to tell these guys have been around for 23 years as the energy on stage mimicked that of a teen punk band in their early days. ‘She’s Like a Comet’ had the floor start to move and sing along. Lead singer Kevin Mitchell also had time to throw in a few jokes in the set: “We only have 30 minutes. It feels like 1996,” before jumping into ‘Please Leave.’
The opening riffs to ‘Animal’ was enough to have the crowd cheer and have people jumping around and headbanging. It was ‘Harpoon’ and ‘Fall Down,’ though, that took the set with people trying to flood closer to the stage to sing along and enjoy the show from a better vantage.
With the crowd getting chatty and the beers flowing, it’s time for You am I to hit the stage. The lights go down and the band run on to massive cheers. ‘Junk’ gets the crowd going hard from the start. The Aus-Rock legends didn’t want to start off slow and get into the groove throughout the set. They wanted to start now and start loud! They showed this by following up with ‘Minor Bird.’
They waste no time going song to song with ‘Get Up’ jumping straight in with Tim Rogers‘ signature vocals and everyone chanting “GET UP!” during the chorus. The stage presence of the band controlled everyone and that easily showed when Rogers got the whole crowd to stamp their feet and clap along to the start of ‘Good Morning’ which had people going crazy.
Tim decided to joke around by saying, “You know…we broke up last night…” with people in the crowd screaming back “AGAIN?” to which he replied, “and well we got back together.” With the crowd laughing and clapping, they brought in ‘Soldiers,’ which the crowd happily sang along with. The singing and chanting didn’t stop there with the crowd either with ‘Mr. Milk.’
You am I’s full set was a greatest hits run and, for a night like tonight, it was a real crowd pleaser. The 28-year veterans held nothing back and if you had ever contemplated seeing them live, this would be the best time to see them!
Closing the set with ‘Cathy’s Clown,’ ‘I Want You to Want Me,’ ‘Rumble’ and ‘Berlin Chair,’ if it wasn’t for who was to follow these guys, it would be easy to say this set is hard to beat! Even with the signature guitar smash at the end!
It’s hard not to talk about Aus-Rock through the 1980s without mentioning the headline act of the night. With the likes of Cold Chisel, Australian Crawl and The Angels, Sydneysiders Hoodoo Gurus are one of the legends on the scene and on the night, they definitely showed it!
Hitting off their night with ‘Turn On,’ we were in for night to remember. ‘The Right Time’ had everyone moving and singing. We all knew that this was going to be an “All Killer, No Filler” set! After Adalita, Jebediah and You am I, this was a very fitting way to finish the night.
Usually a late set song, ‘Death Defying’ made the crowd happy by bring it closer to the start. Everything got heavier with ‘Tojo’ to much of the crowd’s delight!
With 36 years of catalogue, Hoodoo Gurus love showing just why they are legends in the Australian rock scene! Even with Dave Faulkner wearing the classic fluro mess shirt that was big back when they started.
‘Poison Pen’ had Brad Shephard jump on the harmonica and absolutely blow everyone away. With Shephard screaming out right after ‘Mind the Spider,’ they jumped right into it and flew through it quick to go into a fan request of ‘Castle in the Air.’
Deciding to pick up the pace and heaviness, ‘Axegrinder’ had people around air drumming and whipping out the air guitar and headbanging without a care. It was easy to see it was all good fun to everyone here. That fun continued into the much loved popular ‘Come Anytime,’ which even caused a few people to end up on shoulders to sing along and enjoy.
‘Bittersweet’ had the crowd start singing before Faulkner could even get a thought in and had everyone singing along with him in the end. The crowd could’ve done the song themselves if they wanted. This continued into ‘1000 Miles Away.’
Then the party really got moving. Wow. ‘Wipeout’ had the floor moving and I don’t just mean the crowd! With everyone jumping, you could feel it through your bones. I couldn’t tell who was having more fun though, the crowd or the band themselves. The Hoodoo Gurus have a way of reverting back to their 20s on stage.
But then, just as the party was in full swing, it stopped. Feet started stamping, the crowd started chanting the famous, “ONE MORE SONG.” That couldn’t be it and obviously, it wasn’t.
The party kicked back in with ‘Miss Freelove 69.’ Even those in the back seating booths of the Forum were up and dancing. That’s the best thing about encores. It’s always the band’s most loved songs and for Hoodoo Gurus, it also means some of the best songs in Australian rock history as shown with their penultimate song, the much known and much loved ‘What’s my Scene?’ Everyone sang out loud and it was the best way to bring the finish to this ultimate night.
To finish the night though was the hard, fast and loud ‘Where Nowhere Is’ and it was a very fitting way to close what was a very hard, fast and loud time.
We expected a fist full of rock and they delivered it as a night not to forget!
PHOTOS BY VANESSA JARVIS