I am quite a big live music fan. 2009, though, has been quite sparse for me in terms of the gigs I’ve seen.
As it’s nearing the end of the year, I’m going to think back on my most memorable gigs I’ve been to. This is pretty much in order of my favourites, and may not include all gigs.
1) Sound Relief – 14 March, MCG
In support of the Black Saturday bushfires, a massive concert was held in Melbourne and Sydney. Jet, Kings of Leon, Bliss n Eso, Paul Kelly, Kasey Chambers, Crowded House, Coldplay, Midnight Oil and Hunters and Collectors were a few of the acts. My favourite acts of the day were Kings of Leon, Paul Kelly, Crowded House and John Farnham with Coldplay. It poured with rain the whole day in Melbourne, apart from when Crowded House played Four Seasons in One Day. It was brilliant to see Hunters and Collectors live as I’d not seen them before. All of the bands got into the cause, giving it their all. And the spirit of Australia was in force – I loved how we banded together to support such massive tragedy. When John Farnham and Coldplay’s You’re The Voice was screened from Sydney, the whole MCG were up dancing and singing. One of the other things I recall was when Paul Kelly sang Leaps and Bounds and he sang the line ín the MCG”and the crowd roared. We were IN the MCG!! It was an amazing feeling. I felt so proud to be Australian and to be supporting the bushfire appeal.
2) Kings of Leon – 13 March, Rod Laver Arena
After loving Because of the Times, and then Only By the Night, I was so excited that I had a chance to see Kings of Leon live. I was a latecomer to their music, and it was only after this concert that I began to listen and love their first albums. I was fortunate enough to win tickets from Nova 100 radio and the tickets were in the general admission area of Rod Laver. My friend and I were lucky enough to get a view from the second row. I’ve been in the front mosh before (Placebo and Screaming Jets were the roughest) but wasn’t sure what to expect with Kings of Leon. It was exhilerating and exhausting at the same time. Some girl, possibly high on drugs, was throwing herself around and pushing and hitting people. I was very annoyed the security were more interested in stopping me from taking photos than getting this girl out of the crowd. It took me and others around me four songs to get her out. After that I had a much better time, but I was overheating so I wasn’t able to stay in the front of the mosh for the last two songs – my favourite – Knocked Up and Manhattan. Other songs that were great were Black Thumbnail, Charmer, Closer, and Taperjean Girl. However, the next day was Sound Relief and I was very tired in mind and body after those two gigs.
3) Steve Poltz – 20 June, Northcote Social Club
I was first introduced to Steve Poltz at a Bob Evans gig in May. He is a brilliant storyteller, comedian and generally all round nice guy. Did you know he’s written songs for Jewel? He wrote You Were Meant for Me. On this particular night he played for almost two and a half hours, and the concert was recorded. I purchased the CD at the end. He was amazing. The crowd was enthralled! a busload of people came from Flowerdale, they were survivors of the Black Saturday fires. He got some of them up on stage. It was brilliant. His ability to tell stories is a gift – if you ever get the chance to see him, do so. He’s playing on 2 January at Northcote Social Club and I will be seeing him! Can’t wait.
4) Bob Evans and Steve Poltz – 21 May, Corner Hotel
This was the night I was introduced to Steve Poltz. He played five songs before Bob Evans and I was captivated. I remember giving him a note saying he was my favourite support act ever.
Bob Evans was amazing too. I love his charisma, his passion for music, and his song writing. There was one point where he got down in the crowd during Pasha Bulker and he did a guitar solo. I helped wind his guitar lead back on to the stage. It was a great night, but I think I had something on early the next day!
5) Bob Evans – 26 May, Billy Hyde Music instore
Bob Evans played a short set at Billy Hyde promoting his album and Gibson guitars. It was beautiful – acoustic and heartfelt. I was the first audience member there and Kevin (Bob Evans) was there warming up and we had a bit of a chat. They got me sme water and I got a good spot. Disappointingly (but lucky for my friends and I), there weren’t many people there to support Bob Evans. But it was personal and intimate. After the show, he signed a poster for me, I asked him for the lyrics to my favourite song – Hand Me Downs. He didn’t remember the words, so I offered to play it on my iPod, but he asked me to sing them – hahaha. The lyrics are ‘Í got nothing darlin’, all I got are broken wings, and I need you more than ever now…’. Steve Poltz was there looking on and he recognised me from the May Bob Evans gig, so he said hi. And then when he parked behind my car, we had a laugh.
6) Pink – 22 June, Rod Laver Arena
Is there anything this woman can’t do?! She sings, she dances, she does acrobatics! Wow! A couple of years ago I won some tickets (thanks again, Nova 100) and was quite hesitant in going to see her as I wasn’t a huge fan of her music. But I was in awe and became a fan. When 2009 shows were announced, my manager asked me to get tickets for her as well, so I booked some for both of us. I was so excited to be going with her! This year she didn’t disappoint – the costumes were amazing, the set list was satisfying and her acrobatics were thrilling. I loved it! So glad I went! I had won some more tickets in addition to the ones I purchased (again from Nova 100), but unfortunately due to my operation, I was too unwell to see Pink a second time this year. She is amazing. If ever you get the chance to see her – do it!!
So those are a few of the gigs I have been to in 2009. The most memorable ones. Other honourable mentions were – Bertie Blackman at the Toff in Town, Bob Evans for Myspace Music and Paul Kelly at the Melbourne Writers Festival.
In 2010 I’m booked for Steve Poltz, The Temper Trap, and Angus and Julia Stone. Long live the live music and I hope in 2010 there will be more of it!