No amount of rain could dampen spirits last night, as a huge crowd gathered for James Blunt at the final A Day On The Green at Sirromet Winery for this season. Between questionable fashion choices, a lot of bare legs and ton of mud, punters came together to sing and dance their hearts out in the wet conditions. The sea of colourful ponchos denoted this season’s latest fashion accessory. With the wine free-flowing, a fantastic music line up and not a care in the world, the final ADOTG was a wild and wet celebration of great live music.
Karise Eden kicked the afternoon off with her powerful voice accompanied only by a keyboard and her acoustic guitar. Soulful and expressive, Eden’s performance was the perfect companion to a glass of wine. ‘It’s A Man’s World’, the song that launched her on The Voice in 2012, was a crowd favourite.
There was definitely something amazing going on when Alex Lloyd hit the stage armed with his guitar. There was something intimate in his performance, a level of vulnerability and honesty that echoed throughout his set, kicking it off with ‘Green’ from his 2001 album ‘Watching Angels Mend’. Highlights of his set included an incredible rendition of ‘Halleluiah’ that he made his own with some insane high notes. When he invited the crowd to sing along to his big hits ‘Coming Home’ and ‘Amazing’, the rain drenched punters did not disappoint, jumping to their feet to sing with the Aussie legend. Lloyd’s beautiful voice was a stand out and his performance a highlight of the afternoon.
Rockhampton boys Busby Marou made it pretty clear how stoked they were to be playing ADOTG and sharing the bill with one of their heroes Alex Lloyd. The dynamic duo gave a punch and energetic performance that really got the crowd riled up for the evening’s acts. Their cover of INXS ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ got a huge response from the crowd and showed off the guitar shredding skills of Jeremey Marou and melodic voice of Thomas Busby. Original song ‘Paint This Land’ was a stand out of the set, inviting a guest performer to the stage to play the digeridoo, in a song about bridging the gap between all Australians.
Having recently seen Pete Murray last year on his ‘Camacho’ tour I knew his performance would be nothing short of fantastic. And I wasn’t disappointed. With a perfect mix of new and old songs, Murray knows how to put on a show. Performing hits from his latest record, as well as the big hits that made his career, Murray had the crowd loving every minute of it. ‘Opportunity’ and ‘Always A Winner’ saw Busby Marou and Karise Eden respectively grace the stage again to sing. The crowd loved it, singing back word for word. There were a few technical issues due to the rain but being the top performer he is, Murray powered on through, delivering a solid show.
James Blunt gave us a ‘Heart to Heart’ last night just as the rain let up, kicking things off with the hit. I’ve loved Blunt’s music for years, but nothing compares to seeing him live. Packed with energy, self-deprecating humour and slick showmanship, James Blunt put on a performance that will be hard to forget. From the powerful sound of his band and voice, rocking out with guitar in hand, to the simplicity and beauty of playing by himself on the upright piano, every song oozed passion, heart and honesty. The layered meanings of ‘Someone Singing Along’ elicited a roaring response from the crowd with Blunt revealing it was inspired by current US President Donald Trump. The night continued with a playful ‘Postcards’, with Blunt breaking out the ukulele and making jokes about the comparitive size. Taking time for a tender moment, Blunt talked about touring with Ed Sheeran and the romantic song ‘Make Me Better’ he co-wrote about Blunt’s wife and family. Now there is something poetic about thousands of fans singing the lyrics to ‘You’re Beautiful’ as it starts drizzling rain late at night. Having already played well past 9.30pm (the supposed time end time) he closed with pop banger ‘OK’, getting everyone up off their chairs and dancing in the mud. After a roaring cheer from the crowd James Blunt returned to the stage to play three more songs, ‘Stay The Night’, ‘1973’ and ‘Bonfire Heart’, capping off a stellar night of live music.
You can’t deny Queenslanders are made of tougher stuff when the crowd still show up in force despite the rain and mud, and leave with big smiles, singing ‘You’re Beautiful’ drunkenly on the way to the buses to go home. Every artist gave their all and put on a well organised and thought out show that flowed beautifully. A big hats off to the organisers at ADOTG and Sirromet Winery for pulling off such a wonderful night and making it a memorable one. I’ll definitely be back rain or shine for another A Day On The Green next season.
Photos by Sonia Bettinelli