22 degrees, a complete day of sunshine and setlists chock full of hits was exactly the right formula for 10,000 music fans to enjoy one perfect One Electric Day at Werribee Mansion on Sunday (24 November 2019).
Bonnie Anderson, Southern Sons, Vanessa Amorosi, Jon Stevens, James Reyne and John Farnham performed more than 40 hit songs over seven hours in the Melbourne sunshine.
It has been more than 20 years since Southern Sons last played. Jack Jones voice is still very powerful. Southern Sons hits such as ‘Hold Me In Your Arms’ and ‘Heart In Danger’ featured some vocal aerobics that 50+ Jack delivered as well as 20+ Jack used belt out. Southern Sons were an example of 1990’s Aussie Rock songwriting excellence with their beautifully structured melodies. This band had no trouble transforming this show for thousands in a major outdoor event.
Vanessa Amorosi was full of surprises. Here we are 20 years to the month ‘Absolutely Everybody’ came out and absolutely everybody at One Electric Day enjoyed it like it was released yesterday. Vanessa recently released ‘Back To Love’, her first album in a decade. In the down time she was still busy working with Dave Stewart in the USA and paid homage to his band Eurythmics when Bonnie Anderson joined her for ‘Would I Lie To You’.
For Jon Stevens this must have been a difficult show as our thoughts go to Noiseworks guitarist Stuart Fraser and his battle with cancer. Jon paid tribute to Stuart calling him “the best guitarist this country has ever produced” and performing the first song he and Stuart wrote together in the mid 80s, ‘Love Somebody’. This show was also a tribute to INXS, the band Jon fronted for three years following the death of Michael Hutchence. Out of all of the frontmen to continue the INXS legacy Jon was the only one who could honour Michael with the same standard of performance. Lets hope he continues to keep both Noiseworks and INXS in front of us.
James Reyne has an incredible legacy of songs both solo and with Australian Crawl. His set had a dozen classics in a row giving the One Electric Day crowd a complete hour of songs they knew. James has so many songs that have become Australia Rock Classics that letting go of ‘Beautiful People’ at the start or ‘Reckless’ in the middle did not diminish from later when ‘Errol’, ‘Oh No Not You Again’, ‘Fall of Rome’ and ‘The Boys Light Up’ took us to the end.
The John Farnham setlist has become almost as iconic as the man himself. Farnham fans expect nothing but the best and with just over an hour to play with John delivers what they fans want. Farnham has worked with some of the greatest songwriters in the world over his 50 year career. Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart co-wrote ‘Chain Reaction’ with his former wife, Bananarama’s Siobhan Fahey so with Vanessa covering Eurythmics earlier, we had two across the day from David A. Stewart.
Ross Wilson wrote ‘A Touch of Paradise’, Kiki Dee wrote ‘Love To Shine’, ‘Chris Thompson of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band was one of the writers of ‘You’re The Voice’, Shane Howard wrote ‘Talk of the Town’ and Todd Hunter and Joanna Pigott originally earmarked ‘Age of Reason’ for Dragon so each Farnham song has also been careful crafted and curated.
Farnham works with the best musicians, the best singers and the best songwriters so it is no surprise that he enjoys working on the best festival One Electric Day to attract the best audiences.
John Farnham setlist, 23 March 2019
We Will Rock You (Queen cover from One Voice, 2003)
Hearts On Fire (from Romeo’s Heart, 1996)
Age of Reason (from Age of Reason, 1988)
Chain Reaction (from Chain Reaction, 1990)
Everytime You Cry (from Anthology 1, 1997)
Reasons (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
No One Comes Close (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
Love to Shine (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
A Touch Of Paradise (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
Talk Of The Town (from Then Again, 1993)
Two Strong Hearts (from Age of Reason, 1988)
Pressure Down (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
That’s Freedom (from Chain Reaction, 1990)
You’re The Voice (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
It’s a Long Way to the Top (AC/DC cover)
One Electric Day has become the big day out for families who want a great day of music without the added expense of babysitters and those of us a little older who occasionally need reminding that the second half of the 20th century delivered some incredible Australian music.
There is one more One Electric Day to go.
One Electric Day dates
7 December, Barossa, Seppeltsfield
John will also headline the Hay Mate charity concert for farmers at Mornington on 15 December 2019.
Get Hay Mate tickets here.