HOTA hosted a trio of great Australian Rock Energy on Sunday. On his ‘Shutting Down Your Town Tour’ Jimmy Barnes was supported by Thirsty Merc and Jet on a windy afternoon/evening.
Thirsty Merc were loud enough to overcome the strong winds and get the crowd warmed up with hits like ‘Twenty Good Reasons’ and ‘In the Summertime’ synonymous but not made famous by Bondi Rescue. Lead singer Rai Thistlethwayte thanked the crowd for coming to see live music “it means a lot to musicians that you guys turn up to these live gigs to support the industry”.
Melbourne band Jet were up next as the sun was setting and the wind finally dropped from a bluster to a breeze. They rocked the amphitheater with popular tracks ‘Seventeen’ and the classic guitar riff of “1,2,3 take my hand and come with me” on ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’ which got us up out of deck chairs and on the grass for a shake. Lead singer Nic Cester dedicated a song to his brother (drummer) Chris who was unable to perform with the band on the tour having recently had a bad accident. Special mention must go to the Bass player who had no trouble at all looking masculine in navy-blue jump suit.
The rush to grab a bite to eat and stock up on drinks before “Barnsey” had everyone buzzing to the bar and food stalls like busy rock n roll devotee bees. “Barnsey” stormed onstage opening with ‘Freight Train Heart’. A big energetic band made up of fifty percent family members included, keyboard, piano, four back up, three guitars and drums. The piano solo on ‘Ride the Night Away’ impressive and Ben Rodgers in his “Reject Fascism” t- shirt fired those familiar guitar chords of Khe Sanh to the top of the hill as young and old sang along. Jimmy played the title track to his new album ‘My Criminal Record’ joking that his real criminal record was way too long for a three-minute song. Although hard riffs dominated early Danny Spencer on blues guitar lead the crowd into a trance like rhythm on ‘Too Much Ain’t Enough Love’ joined by Barnes daughter Mahalia on vocals. ‘Flame Trees’ was, in a word, uniting, a song that has a place in Australian culture created one hell of a HOTA choir – chills. The crowd were loving it, I witnessed “Barnsey” autographed drum sticks being smashed on Jack Daniels cans and 17-year-old Cold Chisel fans singing alongside their Mums to their hits. “Barnesy” was joined separately by local Lisa Hunt and Nic Cester for encores, farewelling the crowd with the Chisel classic ‘Astrid’, we screamed “Goodbye Goodbye” as we left HOTA saturated with rock.
What makes the Jimmy Barnes so great, his energy and desire to smash us out of our chairs with music and that he did.
Words: Jodie Bellchambers
Images (C) Simone Gorman-Clark