Review: Powderfinger @ Rod Laver Arena Melbourne, Sep 2010
Powdefinger @ Rod Laver Arena Melbourne, Sep 2010. By Travis Parnaby.
The curtain may be fast-drawing to a close, but Australia’s much-loved rock band Powderfinger were on top of their game at a sold-out Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne last night.
Powderfinger, set to disband after their nation-hopping ‘Sunsets’ tour concludes in November, were at ease in the stadium surrounds, confidently belting out their canon of hits as well as a few oddities.
Lead singer Bernard Fanning was particularly chuffed, noting this as the biggest Melbourne show of the Brisbane band’s storied career.
“We’ve been coming to Melbourne for 20 years. We started out at (shoebox-sized venues) the Punters Club, the Tote, the Sugar Shack,” Fanning fondly reminisced.
“What an amazing place (Rod Laver Arena) is, these are the biggest shows of our career.
“Thanks for having us and taking care of us.”
The night was a joyous affair albeit tinged with a hint of sadness.
As one would expect from a 20-year career, Powderfinger littered their 18-song set with several decade-defining pop gems, including the ubiquitous "My Happiness," "(Baby I’ve Got You) On My Mind" and poignant show-closer "These Days."
Radio faves "Love Your Way," "Lost and Running," ace new single "Burn Your Name" and "Sunsets" kicked off proceedings in fine fashion.
But a faux pas almost slowed proceedings.
After delivering the half-time ‘footy’ score from an NRL match to a typically-bemused Melbourne crowd, Fanning couldn’t resist a cheeky dig – “come on, you have your own cheating rugby league side down here!”
As the boos subsided, Fanning quickly recovered with some larrikin charm.
“Forget that, we’re friends again!... You’re by far the loudest crowd we’ve ever had in Melbourne – I’m not just saying that!” Fanning said, before urging the audience to help him with the chorus of the plaintive "My Kind Of Scene."
Relocating to a smaller stage at the other end of the stadium, Powderfinger got their rock on, with the frenzied "Like A Dog" and "Stumblin" bringing the house to its feet, and the smiles impossible to wipe off the beaming faces of Fanning and bandmates Darren Middleton, Jon Coghill, Ian Haug and John Collins.
Following the touching but downbeat "Whatever Makes You Happy," the crowd again lifted for the sugar rush of certified radio-smash "My Happiness" and the night’s crowning glory, "Passenger."
The hits kept coming in the encore, including raucous rocker "(Baby I’ve Got You) On My Mind" and "Pick You Up" from 1996’s Double Allegric, a song that Fanning noted the younger ones may not know but underlined Powderfinger’s longevity none the less.
A typically moving rendition of "These Days" proved a sad but fitting end for a band who will be greatly missed, but go out on top.