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Midnight Oil’s passionate goodbye to Newcastle

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Midnight Oil’s show in Newcastle last night was so much more than an incredible concert – it was the band’s way of saying thank you to the city.

The performance not only delivered a phenomenal experience but also sent an important message – we must protect the world in which we live – and marked the end of a chapter in the outfit’s book. 

They stopped in the city as part of their Resist tour – a series of what’s likely to be Midnight Oil’s last ever “live” shows. 

Their remarkable talent drew a massive crowd to the Newcastle Entertainment Centre where everyone could revel at the band that will forever be one of Australia’s best. 

William Crighton and his band during the show. Photo: Elizabeth Symington

Opening act William Crighton was welcomed with open arms. 

In his words, his job was to “warm the crowd up” and he well and truly did that. 

The Cessnock local set the scene with many of his tracks exploring Australia and the bush – his opening song Priest was spine-tingling good.

When he and his band finished performing they had definitely gathered some more supporters.

The crowd then had 20 minutes of anticipation waiting for Midnight Oil to perform. 

When they finally walked out on stage, ear-shattering screams filled the room. 

The energy from both the Oils and the audience was palpable – everyone knew they had to make the most of this show.  

Founding members Peter Garrett, Rob Hirst, Jim Moginie and Martin Rotsey alongside bass player Adam Ventoura and backing vocalists Leah Flanagan and Liz Stringer played for about two hours. 

They opened with We Resist, which set the scene for the incredible show.

After performing a number of songs they launched into Power and the Passion, followed by Blue Sky Mine, Beds Are Burning and Forgotten Years.

For the entire duration of these songs, everyone was on their feet – is there anything better than hearing a crowd sing the lyrics along with the artist?

I was so impressed by the band’s presence on stage, they didn’t miss a beat – given that they’re in their 60s they would have been forgiven for not hitting it quite so hard. 

Garrett’s kooky antics alongside Hirst’s energy behind the drum kit made them the two to watch.

What struck a chord with me though was seeing that, after all these years, Midnight Oil is still passionate about fighting for what’s right and protecting the planet. 

An impressive lighting display and emotive images and videos paired with the group’s meaningful lyrics left people “charged up about the planet’s future”.

Frontman Garrett even took some time to advocate for the protection of Nobbys Head and the Belmont Wetlands.

Launching the concert series here was deliberate, according to Garrett. 

The former Minister for the Environment of Australia reminisced about the role Newcastle played in the band’s early years – from shows at Redhead and Cardiff Workers to the Ambassador Night Club on Hunter Street and the Earthquake Relief concert. 

By the end of the show, the group had covered everything from the band’s greatest hits to the memories of their early releases and their more recent tracks from Makarratta Live and Resist

The band was met with a standing ovation at the conclusion of the show – a fitting end for their incredible performance.

I went in with high expectations and left knowing it was something I will remember.

Tickets are still available for their other shows around Aus, go to frontiertouring.com/midnightoil for more info. 

Set list:

  • We Resist
  • Nobody’s Child
  • The Barka-Darling River
  • Back on the Borderline
  • Dreamworld
  • Don’t Wanna Be The One
  • The Dead Heart
  • First Nation
  • Gadigal Land
  • In The Valley
  • US Forces
  • Kosciusko
  • Only The Strong
  • Rising Seas
  • At The Time Of Writing
  • King of the Mountain
  • Power and the Passion
  • Blue Sky Mine
  • Beds Are Burning
  • Forgotten Years

Encore:

  • Put Down That Weapon
  • Redneck Wonderland
  • Hercules
Photo: Kane Hibberd

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