As the Adelaide 500 officially crossed the ‘hump day’ mark, more than 75,000 fans spent another glorious day in the surrounds of Adelaide’s racing precinct as the rumble of not only the Supercars thundered throughout the day, but also the night’s concerts which were headlined by U.S Rockers +Live+.
A slightly different demographic than the previous evening which saw Cold Chisel fans swarm en-masse to the grounds, the Saturday crowd was a more subdued, discerning lot.
A special mention must go to ‘Bands On Track,’ the collaborative initiative between the Adelaide 500 and Music S.A that gives up and coming bands a chance to gain exposure by including them as supports for the after-race concerts. They’ve consistently provided a brilliant platform for emerging artists to get a leg up in the industry, and the acts they’ve chosen have all been well curated. Bravo!
Tonight’s openers were Kitchen Witch, a dark, sultry blend of ‘Janis Joplin meets Led Zeppelin’… with a bottle of Jack Daniels and a few joints thrown in for good measure. I meant that in the best possible way. They’re slightly hippy and psychedelic, yet not shy on the fuzz box, giving them a great hard edge. kitchenwitch.bandcamp.com
Young Offenders have always impressed this writer, having seen them live a few years ago. If you like Brit Alternative/Punk, then these are your guys. These lads turn heads wherever they go, and are well on their way to a successful career. They’re harder and tighter than the hairpin turn near pit straight, and although they’re only a 3-piece, they’re as loud and banging as anyone! https://soundcloud.com/youngoffenders
Needing little introduction, Birds Of Tokyo had a huge fan base judging by the noise when they hit the stage, and wasted no time in getting things happening. Their style is unique and articulate, and their ability to write, compose, and perform songs is of an exceptionally high calibre. The W.A lads definitely lit some ‘March Fires’ (pun intended) with their well-polished epic, cinematic tunes. They sound better live than on their recordings, which is saying something as their albums are pretty damn good, particularly the latest release ‘Brace’ which had some darker, emotive tracks. http://www.birdsoftokyo.com/
A quick drink break before shuffling up to the front of stage, and then it was time for none other than +Live+ to take the stage. It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 25 years since ‘Throwing Copper’ was released (1994), but those tracks still have a great vibe to them. Kicking off with ‘All Over You’, it was great to see Ed Kowalczyk and other originals Chad Taylor, Patrick Dahlheimer, and Chad Gracey along with an extra guitarist and drummer, adding another layer to their stadium sound. The chemistry between these guys is amazing, and it was great to see them sharing the stage together again. This was pure +Live+, and they stepped up to the mark for the incredibly appreciative Adelaide audience.
Lead singer Ed Kowalczyk (whom we interviewed not long ago) paid tribute to his hero Johnny Cash with some spoken word from the ‘Man in Black’ himself followed by a haunting rendition of ‘Walk The Line’. They played for over an hour solid, interacting beautifully with the crowd and even referring to our hometown as ‘Radelaide’, our unofficial moniker as the Nation’s party State! These guys were a huge part of the 90’s soundtrack, and were having a ball onstage as much as the crowd below.
Of course, an encore was warranted, and +Live+ signed off with some more mellow numbers, tributes to his family including daughters (Heaven, Turn My Head) and friends including the late Chris Cornell (I am The Highway), before finishing with the deep and emotional ‘Lightning Crashes.’
Like other fans of +Live+, I look forward to seeing them tour again and am certainly looking forward to their album release in the coming few months. An amazing band, and to sum up the combined concerts as we say here in Oz- ‘How good was that!’
Tonight, Robbie Williams delivers the grand finale in what has been another sensational chapter in Adelaide’s high octane weekend.
By Dazz Hassan
Pics: Dave Gartland