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Have you ever had Karaoke to your favourite song with 10,000 strangers? Because that is what going to a Cold Chisel concert is like - joyous, drunken and great fun.
To set the context - I am a Cold Chisel fanatic. And yet I almost wasn't going to go to this concert, but holy crap I am glad I did. I live in Canberra and saw Chisel earlier this year, managing to wangle my way to front row for their warm up gig before the Clispal 500. I figured travelling to Sydney wasn't going to reap the same rewards and passed on an early ticket.
When The Perfect Crime album came out I changed my mind as I realised the band was still producing such great music. I snagged a single ticket up in the stands, for one of the greatest concerts a Chisel fan could hope to see. I've seen Cold Chisel in the Sydney Entertainment Centre before (seriously, who calls it the Qantas Credit Union Arena, what even is that?) in 1998 when the Last Wave of Summer Tour was going on.
Born in 1977 and coming into Chisel in my teens, 1998 was a great way to see the band live. The Last Stand was the first album I bought, and so I felt a certain sense of born-too-late, figuring I'd missed the best of Barnesy's vocals and Mossy's guitar licks. I've seen them several times since then - at the AIS in Canberra, the Royal Theatre in Canberra, Ringside at the Horden Pavillion (twice in 2 nights!) and so on. Always amazingly tight as a band.
The loss of Steve Prestwich was tough, and a reminder to us all that life on this earth is finite. Charlie Drayton is an amazing drummer and brings his own style to the band. His humility shows as the band often does promos without him, but I think he has earned his stripes and should be up front.
But enough jibber jabber, let's get to the 15 December 2015, Sydney Entertainment Centre, One Night Stand Concert.
Do you guys remember Grinspoon? Because they were the support act warming the crowd up and holy shit they did well. I'll be honest, I didn't realise how many Grinspoon songs I knew until they belted them out. But at the end of their 30 minute set I knew I'd already got my money's worth out of this concert.
While it has been 32 years since The Last Stand concert, and it showed in the fans, it felt like only about 3 years for the band. Yes, Barnesy was wearing the crazy pants from the NRL grand final (and earlier) that everyone was banging on about. The beauty of this concert was it was at the end of a tour, so the band was tight. There were only a handful of songs from beyond 1983, so the boomer crowd was pretty into it. Sure there were a few confusing looks as harder songs like Hound Dog, Letter to Allan and other non-radio friendly songs got a belting.
The set list was as follows:
Standing on the outside
Letter to Allan
All for you
Long Dark Road
One Long Day
When the war is over
Don't let go
Breakfast at Sweethearts
You got nothing I want
Merry Go Round
Lost (Perfect Crime)
Taipain (ears bleed volume)
I got goosebumps when Standing on the Outside was played, as well as Merry Go Round, both amazing songs.
But the highlights as a fan who has seen Chisel several times live - Don't Let Go, and the 90 seconds of Wild Thing they played. It was a shame that Wild Thing seemed lost on the crowd, but it quickly segued into Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye) which was a ball tearer as usual.
Barnesy said the 2nd set was mainly going to be songs that they played in 1983 and it was except for Lost, one of their new ones which feels a little bit like it should belong on Pysclone, Barnesy's solo album.
Overall it was a bloody fantastic concert, and a real back catalogue of their greatest hits without flogging their 'new' songs too much (anything from 1998 onwards really), which is a shame because there's some real gems there. But at the same time, as a way to relive the 1983 Last Stand Tour as a rotund 30 something dude, the One Night Stand concert at the Sydney Entertainment Centre was a belter.