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LIVE: RED HOT SUMMER TOUR (Barnes, Jett, Living End, Diesel & more), Perth – 13 Jan, 2019

| 15 January 2019 | Reply

LIVE: RED HOT SUMMER TOUR, Perth – 13 Jan, 2019
Featuring Jimmy Barnes, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, The Living End, Diesel, Richard Clapton & Chocolate Starfish
Sandalford Winery, Perth – Sunday, 13 January, 2019
Reviewed by Karl Infirri
Photography by Isabelle Haubrich

On Sunday I had the opportunity to check out the Red Hot Summer Tour as it hit the Sandalford Winery in the Swan Valley here in Western Australia, and with such an eclectic line-up it was sure to be a bloody ripper on a scorching Perth day.

The day’s proceedings began with Melbourne rockers Chocolate Starfish. What a way to start the show! From go to woe these guys really showed something, and it got the crowd HOT from the get go – no pun intended. Playing of their hit Mountain and their classic cover of Carly Simons’ You’re So Vain really got things off to a cracking start.

Next out was the chilled out vibes of Australian singer-songwriter and ARIA Hall of Famer Richard Clapton. His funky blues made for a relaxing atmosphere at the blistering hot Sandalford Estate, as the crowd settled into their chairs or their picnic rugs with a few die-hards up the front having a dance. Girls On The Avenue was the highlight, but it was a truly nice experience to see him live and enjoy the positivity and passion he and his band were emitting from the stage.

At what I would regard as the hottest part of the day, next out for the aptly named Red Hot Summer Tour was the one and only Diesel. Diesel’s performance was the next step up we all needed, and despite the soaring temperature he did not waver, delivering a set which was precise, passionate, and totally involving with everything he was doing. His backing band had a sweet groove going, and you can see the connection he has with them. Not a word needs to be spoken, they communicate just by looking at one another and feeling the groove. Cry In Shame set the crowd alight, love was in the air when he belted out Come To Me, but of course the ladies all went wild for the song notorious in the AFL for the old line, “if you don’t want to know the scores… then look away now” – Tip Of My Tongue, and it tore the house down. It was a really great performance from Diesel, a man who seems to not age in voice, power or even looks.

If I hadn’t already thought everybody had got their money’s worth at this point, The Living End was next and they definitely kicked this show into high gear. These guys are timeless, they still have that powerful spike in their gut that made them who they were when they first hit the scene 25 years ago. They demand the crowd’s attention and energy, making it nigh on impossible to just sit there and have a chinwag to somebody next to you. The trio played all the hits from top to bottom, with primal performances of White Noise and my personal highlight All Torn Down. Chris Cheney talked to and communicated with the crowd better than just about anybody all day, and was quite funny and entertaining throughout the set. The Living End ended the show with the ever-popular Prisoner Of Society, which is still the fan favourite among people young and old all these years later, and this was an absolute A+ performance from these punk rock icons.

Speaking of rock icons, the performance of the day was up next as Joan Jett and the Blackhearts put on a really great set of all her classics, along with some Runaways hits and some really awesome covers. Cherry Bomb was an early highlight, along with another Runaways banger You Drive Me Wild. Bad Reputation was irrepressibly fun, and I Hate Myself For Loving You was absolutely wild. The Blackhearts are as tight a unit as ever. Jett, the original riot grrrl, still has a cool attitude about her, and being 60 years old you might think she would be starting to slow down. Nope, here is another performer that has been able to continue to turn back the clock at a moment’s notice. I Love Rock N Roll was the crowd favourite, but my personal best was an absolute ripper of a cover of Iggy Pop’s Wild One, itself adapted from Johnny O’Keefe’s original. Jett and the Blackhearts really brought something out of the track, making it their own in the process, and many in attendance were thankful she made the trip out West.

The main event of the evening was Australia’s favourite (adopted) son, Jimmy Barnes. There’s a running theme here: a lot of these acts have been around for many years – many of the performers are in their 60’s. Jimmy is 62, but do you think that would stop him from being what he’s always been known for? He’s a hard rocker and that will never leave his soul. He’s looking slim and trim and from the outset it was obvious that many in the crowd were there for him. After most of the crowd had sat out the day, as soon as Barnesy took the stage almost everyone was on their feet.

Ride the Night Away was just one highlight, serving as a grand example of how Australians seem to really bond with one another over Barnesy. Everybody around me knew the words to basically every song, and I have to wonder if Jimmy is truly aware of the effect he’s had on generations of people in this country. Although I’ve never been one to delve into his discography much, I found myself understanding why everybody loves him. He’s a funny bugger, he’s down to earth, he’s… yeah, okay… he’s a working class man. He’s blue collar, just like you and me, and he can rock – and rock he did. He’s just got so many hits that it doesn’t matter whether he’s playing a solo song or Khe Sanh or another Cold Chisel classic, the crowd pops at each and every intro. Good for you Jimmy, you stole the show for many there, my friend.

Before we go, a couple of more generic points.

When you have this many thousand people at a place like Sandalford, they really should have more than one bar to buy refreshments from, and they really should be certain that they have enough stock of drinks to avoid running out midway through proceedings. I think another bar should have been set up near where the food trucks were, just so that it was spread out a bit.

It’s also disappointing that a touring show like the Red Hot Summer Tour doesn’t invest in local talent. This is an opportunity to give the rub from the older rockers to some new bands that should be given a shot to make new fans; and gain some momentum from a crowd the size it was on Sunday. Whilst I understand the necessity of using the proven money draws to sell out the show, in 10 years time they may not be an option, and who will take their place? In order to ensure there are future options, somebody needs to give local acts the opening slot on these bills as a way to invest in the future of Aussie rock n’ roll. These bands are out there, they just need to be given a chance. [and so say all of us – Editor]

Overall, this was an amazing day of rock n’ roll, punk rock and blues. There was a little for everybody, no agro between anybody, security had an easy job, and everyone had a great time. I look forward to heading back to next year’s instalment (hopefully with some added local talent.)

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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