THE latest running of the popular A Day On The Green concert series at Mt Duneed Estate featured all-Australian headliners, with Paul Kelly and then Cold Chisel taking turns in entertaining the 15,000-strong crowd.
While there was no doubt the majority of the audience was there to see Cold Chisel tour their latest album, Kelly took command of the stage when he took over from opening acts Magic Dirt and Birds of Tokyo.
Starting solo, playing just his acoustic guitar, Kelly had the audience almost in a trance, as the stage slowly filled with his backing band.
Running through his extensive catalogue, Kelly alternated between stripped back versions of his best-known works and rollicking rockers, without ever losing control of the crowd.
Long-time collaborator Ash Naylor led the backing band, drawn from the cream of Australian musical talent, including drummer ‘Lucky’ Luscombe and backing singers Vika and Linda.
Kelly’s set included a powerful version of land rights celebration anthem ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ that confirmed his mastery of his craft, as well as ‘Dumb Things’, ‘To Her Door’, ‘Leaps and Bounds’, and ‘Deeper Water’, before surrendering lead vocals to Vika Bull for her rendition of his domestic violence protest ‘Sweet Guy’, eventually concluding with the de facto Christmas carol ‘How To Make Gravy’.
With the crowd suitably warmed up, there was an eruption of noise as Jimmy Barnes led his bandmates onto the stage, hitting the ground running with ‘Standing On The Outside’, to the audible delight of the audience.
A blend of old favourites and tracks from the new Blood Moon album, with the old stagers expertly varying the tempo and intensity of the set to ensure the crowd followed wherever they we led throughout the two hour set.
While some of the songs were nearing middle-age, Barnes, Moss and Walker were happy to refresh them for the tour, most noticeably a reggae-influenced presentation of ‘Forever Now’ that gave it a new lease of life, while staying true to its history.
With newer tracks forming the second half of the set, after a roaring rendition of ‘Khe Sanh’, Cold Chisel proved they can still produce the goods, even if they are old enough to be parents, or even grand parents, to their faithful audiences.