Red Hot Summer – Series Two officially finished on March 17th 2019 with an epic ending at Sandstone Point Hotel in Queensland and now I can write about my experience in Canberra because there are no spoilers for those who had not attended an event yet!
Canberra didn’t fail to turn on the sunshine for the day…perhaps a little too much sunshine – she was pretty warm until it set! The crowd was well behaved and estimated at around 3000. ‘Kudos’ to the event organisers for the exceptional planning and facility availability on the day – not a queue in sight for most places except the occasional one at the Merch Van which can be forgiven!
Red Hot Summer Tour – Series Two …..
Wow…These guys wasted no time in coming on stage and starting with a kick!! Of course they are all a little grayer but obviously no love lost for their craft. Alex Smith came out with guns blazing and an energetic bounce in his step and I do mean BOUNCE!! Punters were drawn to the safety rail in anticipation as Smith came down to ground level and gave a more intimate experience to those on the front line. Moving Pictures debut album “Days of Innocence” peaked at number one in 1981 and the set included ‘Busting Loose’ and finished with enduring favourite ‘What About Me’ both of which are from that album.
Well hello “Mr Chocolate” AKA “Adam Thompson”!!! What a gregarious character oozing appeal to the crowds. Some really great covers among their originals, some fantastic interaction with the punters on ground level, even moving beyond the safety barriers to intermix with enthusiastic fans. Aside from Thompson himself the boys on stage commanded quite a presence of their own with audience pleasing antics and I loved their white outfits in contrast to Thompson’s black. The set began with a resounding interpretation of Meatloaf’s ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ and ended on a high with Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’ which is arguably their greatest hit.
I’m going to add a big ‘THANK YOU’ here to Adam Thompson who was the only artist to have a signing and photographic session with the public after their set.
Woah! Where did all these women come from? “It’s Jon Stevens” I was informed “How could you not see how sexy he is!!!” Ummm OK lady!! Of course then I had to look more closely…Musically he smashed it out of the ballpark as others before him had done to an adoring crowd. Jon paid homeage to his days as lead singer of INXS giving us a taste with ‘Don’t Change’ and what seemed to be the all time favourite among fans who went wild for the eighties Noisework’s hit ‘Take Me Back’. Proof that when you do things well fans never forget!!
Bringing back the ‘bounce’ – Dave Gleeson…energetic and rockin’ out! I’m not a huge Screaming Jets fan but I did enjoy this set….so did the other 500 or so people surrounding me and sharing my space. The punters were very vocal changing from singing to cheers and whistles of appreciation. Everything we wanted we got and in this heat I don’t know how anybody including the band who were now on a stage of sun managed to keep up the pace. The Screaming Jets favourite and final song of the set ‘Better’ produced a chorus of epic proportions from punters…If Gleeson had ever forgotten the lyrics this crowd would have carried him through!
The atmosphere visibly dulled for this set. I’m not sure if everyone had gone so hard at The Screaming Jets in combination with the heat that they had exhausted themselves…but that’s the only explanation I have! Suze Demarchi provided the first female lead of the tour and presented clad in a flowing black outfit complete with sunglasses and hat. It wasn’t long before the hat was disposed of obviously becoming an annoyance in the performance. From where I was situated there seemed to be some technical problems as her voice was not easily projected and was hard to hear by comparison to previous acts. Once that hiccup was over and fans had rehydrated The Baby Animals received applause and shouts fitting for their status. There was a great selection of hits from The Baby Animals reportorial such as ‘Early Warning’ and ‘One Word’.
Hmmmmm It’s hard to stay objective with this one! Dave Gleeson again fronted the stage as lead singer but there was something missing and a good portion of the punters around me felt the same and were vocal about it. It was just a hard set to stay focussed on and I watched the lines to the bathrooms and Merch Van grow during it. The diehard Angel fans of course were on hand to lend vocals during ‘Am I Ever Gunna See Your Face Again’ and ‘No Secrets’. I must admit I failed to get pictures of this set as I joined the bathroom line…they just didn’t keep my spark alive!
The day has gone, the night has come, the temperature has dropped and this little pocket rocket is warming our hearts!!! I’ve never seen Suzie live before as I suspect was the case with most of those in attendance. She’s much smaller than I had imagined but don’t let that fool you…she’s a big performer!! Suzie took us back with hits like ‘Devil Gate Drive’ and ’48 Crash’ then bought us forward to 2019 with her new hit ‘No Soul/No Control’. She invited Dave Gleeson back on stage to perform the ever popular duet ‘Stumblin’ In’. We all new she was a great Bass player but who knew she could play the drums as well??…A great duo with her drummer provided variety within the performance and was well received. Her experience and professionalism showed and she delivered this set as though it was her very first – well done Suzie!
I have to say this was a very long day from lining up at the gate at 11am to wandering back to our car at 9pm. Was it worth the money? Most definitely…I’ll be back next year to see a different series of artists.