There is no denying Midnight Oil is the greatest live band Australia has ever produced.
At 64 years of age frontman Peter Garrett still has the same energy and moves as when this band started 42 years ago. The guitar assault of Martin Rotsey and Jim Moginie is as threatening as the hey-day of the ‘10-1’ album. The rhythm section featuring time-keeper Rob Hirst and rhythm master bass player Bones Hillman creates a lethal injection of some of the most vital rock ever made in and about Australia.
Garrett, Hirst, Rotsey and Moginie are now all in their 60s. Hillman hits the landmark next year. These old buggers can whip the arses of acts half their age. It is powerful.
Midnight Oil has always been ferocious. From the opening seconds of ‘Read About It’ the audience knew they were in for a two hours of power.
The Melbourne setlist was arguably one of the best they have done on The Great Circle tour. Yes, Midnight Oil creates a completely different setlist for every show. When fan leave the show they can walk away knowing they have experienced something unique, something that will not be repeated again.
The sheer calibre of the songs is gobsmacking. Their albums were collectable. ’10 to 1’, ‘Red Sails In The Sunset’, ‘Diesel and Dust’, ‘Blue Sky Mining’ were an essential part of any music collection in the 80s, early 90s. That means when the Oils construct a setlist, they can dig deep knowing their fans will know, enjoy and appreciate songs like ‘Section 5 (Bus To Bondi)’, ‘Warakurna’, ‘Hercules’ and ‘No Time For Games’ as much as the hits like ‘Power and the Passion’, ‘Blue Sky Mine’ or ‘Beds Are Burning’.
The songs were anthems. The fans know every word and their audience is a community.
Midnight Oil creates urgency when they play. The message in the songs like ‘U.S’ Forces’, ‘Beds Are Burning’ and ‘When The Generals Talk’, some 30 years on, is a relevant today as when it was first released.
When Midnight Oil disbanded in 2002 it was time. For more than 20 years this band had given so much culturally that when they broke up they were worn out. The occasional reformation for some great causes reminded us of how great they were. There was never any question that they would one day get back together. What is unfortunate in all the time they were away no-one came near to replacing them. Welcome back Oils. Don’t limit this reunion to just one tour.
Midnight Oil setlist 7 November 2017
Read About It (from 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1982)
Don’t Wanna Be the One (from Place Without A Postcard, 1981)
Truganini (from Earth and Sun and Moon, 1993)
Hercules (from Species Deceases EP, 1985)
Section 5 (Bus to Bondi) (from Head Injuries, 1979)
Dreamworld (from Diesel and Dust, 1987)
Safety Chain Blues (from Redneck Wonderland, 1998)
No Time for Games (from Bird Noises EP, 1980)
My Country (from Earth and Sun and Moon, 1993)
When the Generals Talk (from Red Sails In The Sunset, 1984)
Short Memory (from 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1982)
US Forces (from 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1982)
Kosciusko (from Red Sails In The Sunset, 1984)
Now or Never Land (from Earth and Sun and Moon, 1993)
Warakurna (from Diesel and Dust, 1987)
The Dead Heart (from Diesel and Dust, 1987)
Blue Sky Mine (from Blue Sky Mining, 1990)
Beds Are Burning (from Diesel and Dust, 1987)
Forgotten Years (from Blue Sky Mining, 1990)
Power and the Passion (from 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1982)
King of the Mountain (from Blue Sky Mining, 1990)
Best of Both Worlds (from Red Sails In The Sunset, 1984)
Midnight Oil remaining shows
November 8, Melbourne, Sidney Myer Music Bowl
November 11, Sydney, The Domain
November 13, Wollongong, Entertainment Centre
November 15, Melbourne, Sidney Myer Music Bowl
November 17, Sydney, The Domain