Word had spread throughout Australia like wildfire, about the new rock band by the name of Farm. This band were known to have an incredible set list and phenomenal atmospheres at their gigs. They were the talk of the country. Every family gathering, my cousin who was obsessed with rock music couldn’t speak highly enough of this band he had now seen on two occasions. Speaking of seeing incredible scenes, the likes of which he had never seen before at a rock gig. This coming from such a well-seasoned rock festival goer as my cousin was high praise indeed.
This made me begin to pay considerable attention to this band. Just as I started doing so the band changed their name to Midnight Oil. I remember thinking, well that’s a big statement. Just as the band is starting to make a considerable name for themselves, they decide to change their name entirely. However, this did not deter my motivations to see this band as I presumed there was no way the hype could possibly be false as I had now heard rave reviews from so many people. So as soon as I had my next available date which coincided with Midnight Oil having a gig, I was going to make sure I was at it.
In 1985, my opportunity arose. A gig on Sydney Harbour, at their best of both worlds concert on Goat Island, seemed the perfect opportunity for this band to prove themselves to me. The sun was shining, alcohol was flowing and the atmosphere was building. It really did seem like the perfect opportunity for this band to blow this crowd away who turned up in anticipation of a wild evening’s entertainment.
As the band walked onto the stage accompanied by the insanely loud sound of their guitars and drums getting warmed up, Peter Garrett struck an incredibly intimidating figure as he entered the stage. From the moment you set eyes on him walking onto the stage you knew this was a showman who was in territory which felt the most familiar to him. You knew you were about to witness the definition of a show. He did not disappoint. The second Garrett hit the first note the crowd roared in appreciation and the show began.
The band worked through their hit such as Blue Sky Mine and Power and The Passion which went down well with fans. The surprise package for myself was definitely the song Forgotten Years which as a fan I had somehow disregarded as not one of their better songs but this was certainly not an opinion which was shared by my fellow fans as it could be argued the crowd enjoyed this song the most and I must say that live this song sounded incredible. However, nothing could have prepared me for hearing Beds Are Burning live. It was a spectacle which I had truly never witnessed before and at the time I remember doubting if I would ever see one similar again. I haven’t. A truly exceptional performance which was one for the ages and will go down in history as the greatest rock performance of all time. In my eyes anyway, and for me that’s all that matters. I got my monies worth that day.