Mushroom 50 Live Pays To Incredible Tribute to Historic Legacy -
Ross Wilson and Red Symons by Mitch Lowe Mushroom Creative House

Ross Wilson and Red Symons by Mitch Lowe Mushroom Creative House

Mushroom 50 Live Pays To Incredible Tribute to Historic Legacy

by Paul Cashmere on November 28, 2023

in News,Noise Pro

Mushroom 50 Live was an incredible tribute to the historic legacy of founder Michael Gudinski and at the same time worked as a ‘passing of the torch’ to the next generation of Mushroom by his son Matt.

The Mushroom 50 Live concert on channel 7 on Sunday night was met with approval by the television viewing audience rating three times more than the recent ARIA Awards broadcast on Channel 9. More than 830,000 people watched the show live on television while the ARIAs peaked at 230,000, its lowest rating ever.

Unlike the ARIAs, The Mushroom 50th Anniversary concert was only about the music. There was no fashion show and clown car red carpet. It was 100% true to the Mushroom and the Gudinski name. ‘Mushroom 50 Live’ paid tribute to Mushroom found Michael Gudinski with appearances along the way from his son Matt (who now runs the company) and daughter Kate.

The music selection was always going to be hard, covering 50 years of Australian music history and still managed to acknowledge each era along the way.

Ross Wilson, who produced the first three Skyhooks albums, performed the Skyhooks classic ‘Ego Is Not A Dirty Word’ with a surprise and rare appearance from ‘Hooks guitarist Red Symons. Earlier, Vika and Linda performed an incredible version of Skyhooks ‘Living In The 70s’, and as we’ve seen time and time again, it seems to only be female singers who can genuinely replicate that Shirley Strachan vocal.

Vika and Linda also performed their first hit on Mushroom from almost 30 years ago, ‘When Will You Fall For Me’, from 1994. The song was written for them by Mark Seymour, who ended the show, firstly joined by Ed Sheeran (pre-recorded) for a solo version of Mark’s Hunters & Collectors classic ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ followed by the full Hunters band for ‘Do You See What I See’ and ‘Holy Grail’.

Hunters closing moment was a powerful bookend to the opening punch from Jimmy Barnes with ‘Driving Wheels’ and ‘Working Class Man’. Ian Moss chiselled in halfway through the first set for his solo classic ‘Tucker’s Daughter’. Diesel was also there but instead of his own hits covered The Saints’ ‘Just Like Fire Would’.

There were some great covers from Missy Higgins doing The Triffids ‘Wide Open Road’, The Temper Trap playing The Church ‘Under The Milky Way’, Paul Kelly performing The Sunnyboys ‘Alone With You’ with Richard Burgman of The Sunnyboys, Amy Shark covering Kylie’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ (as a rock song), Gordi doing Split End, Mercy Mercy singing Vance Joy but the nights highlight was the breathtaking version of Archie Roach’s ‘Took The Children Away’ by Dan Sultan.

Yothu Yindi’s ‘Treaty’ and ‘Djäpana’ brought Part One of the evening to a stunning conclusion while Part two showcased the 21st century Hip-Hop flavour of Mushroom from Bliss N Eso, marking the Matt Mushroom introduction to the business. We were also treated to a new artist showcase from the latest signing Logan, and recent signings WILSN, Merci Mercy and Gordi.

It was great to see a rare live appearance from Fred Loneragan of Machinations and the synth pop hit that keep them in the chart of 1984 with ‘No Say In It’.

I cannot emphasis how with so many eras, and so many hits, and so many artists and so much diversity, what an operation this event must have been to curate.

Mushroom 50 Live showcased the music empire Michael Gudinski built. What started out a small indie label in the early 70s with first single ‘I Remember When I Was Young’ by Matt Taylor, first album ‘Sunbury Pop Festival’ and first artist release ‘Stillpoint’ by Madder Lake, Mushroom Group has become one of the great music empires in the world.

We’ve had the “all things to all people” show with Mushroom 50 Live in 2023. Comments on the socials are focused more on what people didn’t hear rather than what they did hear. I take that as a Positive. Let’s hope a few curated events covering the different eras and different genres pop up to dive deeper into the legacy in 2023.

Mushroom Live 50 setlist:

Part One

Budjerah, Mia Wray, Sam Smith and Youth Group – ‘Forever Young’
Jimmy Barnes – ‘Driving Wheels’ and ‘Working Class Man’
Vika & Linda – ‘Living in the 70s’ (Skyhooks cover) and ‘When Will You Fall For Me’
Missy Higgins – Wide Open Road (The Triffids) and ‘Scar’
The Rubens ‘Hoops’ and ‘Good Mood’
Christine Anu and Zipporah – ‘My Island Home’
Goanna – Solid Rock’
Diesel – ‘Just Like Fire Would’ (The Saints)
Ian Moss – Tucker’s Daughter’
The Temper Trap – ‘Under the Milky Way’ (The Church) and ‘Sweet Disposition’
Frente – ‘Ordinary Angels’
Deborah Conway and Willie Zyglier “It’s Only The Beginning’
Kate Ceberano – ‘Pash’
Alt j – Breeze Locks
Paul Kelly – Before Too Long’ and ‘Alone With You’ (The Sunnyboys) (with Richard Burgman)
Yothu Yindi – ‘Treaty’ and ‘Djapana’

Part Two
Bliss N Eso – ‘The Seas Is Rising’ and ‘Moments’
Leonardo’s Bride – ‘Only When You’re Sleeping’
DMA – ‘Silver’ and ‘Lay Down’
Fred Lonergran of Machinations – No Say In It’
Dan Sultan – Took The Children Away’ (Archie Roach) and ‘Old Fitzroy’ (With Missy Higgins)
Teskey Brothers – ‘So Caught Up’ and ‘Oceans of Emotions’
Ross Wilson – ‘Ego Is Not A Dirty Word’ (Skyhooks) (with Red Symons) and ‘Cool World’
Amy Shark – Can’t Get You Out of my Head’ (Kylie Minogue)
Birds of Tokyo – ‘Lanterns’
Logan – ‘Famous’
WILSN – ‘Heading in the Right Direction’
Merci Mercy – ‘Riptide’ (Vance Joy)
Gordi – Message To My Girl (Split Enz)
Mark Seymour and Ed Sheeran – ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’
Hunters & Collectors – ‘Do You See What I See’ and ‘Holy Grail’

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