Observations & Photowalks

Perth farewell Powderfinger

When my favourite band, Powderfinger, announced that they were breaking up, I didn’t hold out much hope for getting to see them on their final tour, thinking tickets would sell out in minutes. If I did manage to score a ticket, I’d be going solo because as an unemployed student we could only scrounge together enough for one – and I’m the bigger fan of the two of us.

I didn’t get to keep my ticket so I’m glad I scanned it first!

Amazingly I did manage to get a ticket. Even better, it was to the final ever Perth show. All I’d have to do is to battle my fatigue, my lack of height and the crowd crush to hopefully catch a glimpse of the band from over the top of thousands of heads.

The information I’d been given was that the gates would open at 6pm. I was expecting something like when I went to the ATGD tour back in 2007. Horrible facilities, long queues etc. I got inside the gates, no queuing (just a bag check and the usual ticket, wristband, stamp stuff) somewhere around 5.30pm.

Lots of people were milling around buying food…and good food too like wagyu burgers and pizza. Not a heart attack chicken van in site (they must all be at the Royal Show). After mulling around a bit looking at merchandise I made my way to the tent. Notice I said I. Yes folks, I ended up going solo. In the end that probably worked in my favour.

The near empty tent when I arrived ~5.30pm

Again, I’m thinking, where are all the people? There was a small crowd of about 20-30 front and centre, a few people sitting on the floor eating and many heading down the back to the licensed area. I wandered up to the fence at the front left, right in front of the speakers and leant on the fence. Wondering if I’d be able to hold my ground 1hr until the first performer…let alone for 4hrs! That fence was a blessing really. Leaning against it for so long really helped out my energy levels. I was worried about water though, but I didn’t want to take the risk of moving. I just figured if I fainted then security would hose me down or something.

Standing right up the front ~30mins before Andrew Morris.

So there I was. Front row. I never, ever expected that. Not in my wildest dreams. Actually, in my wildest dreams I think I was dating one of the guitarists…but anyway.As the tent filled up I half expected that there’d be a rush and I’d get squeezed out of the way or that security would decide I had to move for some reason. But, it never happened.

Now you have to understand…things like this just don’t happen to me, so I’m still pinching myself.

The full tent – even more amazing that I’m at the front!

Security were really nice! You hear a lot of bad things about security and I was expecting a certain level of pig-headedness etc but I never saw it. They were amazingly alert and dealt with issues so quickly. They all seemed to be in a really good mood (I’m sure the lollies from those front and centre helped – nothing like seeing a burly man get excited over lolly snakes) and I chatted to a couple as they passed out water etc. One even told me (I didn’t ask) to jump up on the fence so I could see when Powderfinger went to play on the little stage down the back. I loved that! Although I did feel a little bad for those that didn’t get to. I wish there was room for all of us.

I really enjoyed the support acts, they really set the scene, unlike some other strange choices for support at other concerts *coughU2cough*. Andrew Morris is somebody I’d like to hear more of. His work was in a similar style to Bernard’s “Tea and Sympathy” so I’m taking note.
Jet were fabulous. I used to be really into them back with “Get Born” but had never seen them live. I only caught the end of their set at Greenday because we were late. This set certainly got the crowd going. Loved it. I had noidea the bass player was so spunky either! He had a bit of a Teddy Boy look – totally reminded me of Kenicky from Grease.

I got better close-ups than this but this sets the scene well.

Powderfinger came on and I was still down the front! I didn’t get pushed out of the way. I didn’t have to stay down the back because my husband’s 6’4″ (we ended up in tears once at a Jimmy Barnes concert because we were aggressively banished to the sides by some drunken fans), I got given free water by security and best of all, I could see 4/5 band members. Darren and Bernard were up my end of the stage!

They opened with “Love your way” and we were off. I even got filmed screaming my little lungs out at one point. I think it was during “Burn your name”. Seeing as there’s a potential for that to end up on the dvd, I just hope my makeup was in a better state than it was by the time I got home.

I don’t think I have a favourite moment or highlight from last night. I knew all the songs except Capoicityand I sang along all night. Nobody told me to shut up either. Bonus. 😉

I was really glad that they played Thrillology as that’s my favourite as are Pick you Up and On my Mind, both of which Jason and I used in our wedding ceremony. I turned to someone during Pick you Up and told them I said my wedding vows to it. Cue awwing.

I got to sit on the fence when the band moved to another stage.

The singalongs were very loud! We had a big, noisy singalong to “My  Happiness” as there’s a competition for the loudest crowd to go on the dvd (I made a little snippet of that in case we don’t win) and there was the usual belting out of “These Days”.

What did surprise me was how many people sang along to “Nobody Sees”. I love the song and especially love the guitar riff from it…which sadly was replaced this time with Bernard’s harmonica. I still enjoyed it, but not as much as I love that guitar solo.

The song I was expecting the most from and didn’t get it was Sunsets. Many of us here in Perth feel we own that song due to the sun actually setting over the beaches here but truth be told, it wasn’t as good as when they performed it at Across the Great divide (ATGD). That version was acoustic with three of the boys (I think it was Ian, Darren and Bernard) on a little stage. The music stopped at one point and we all sang along acapella.It wasn’t the same this time but that’s my only downside to an otherwise mind blowing show.

I’ve never been front row at a concert before, I don’t think GNW live in 1998 really counts, so it was interesting to see some of the stuff that goes on down there. There were a few incidents with people being evicted and some scrapping but they were dealt with really quickly. Those guys can move! It was slightly distracting, I don’t know how it affects a band but they stoicly played on despite it. When a lady passed out and had to be hauled out of the crowd to my left then carted along the front of thestage you could see the concern on Ian’s face as he was playing – not to say the others weren’t, it’s just I was staring at him at that time. He’s so lovely…but I digress. And no, I don’t have a favourite. It would be so hard to choose. If somebody ever said I could meet one band member only, I would have to tell them to surprise me.

Powderfinger take their final bows in Perth 24/9/10

I have a lot of photos that I took with my little Cybershot. That combined with my memories is better than any t-shirt I could’ve bought. I’m not goingto put all the band photos up as I feel they’re personal mementos and being on a snapshot camera they’re not the best evidence of my photographic skills. I’m going to print them out though and put them in a little album so if you know me in person I might show you the prints sometime.

Cheers Bernie, Hoggy, JC, DZ and Coggsy, I had a great time. I hope you enjoy the rest of your tour and impending new beginnings. =)

I’ve spent the last week carrying around a CD with a filmclip I made for “Sail the Wildest Stretch” in the vain hope I’d bump into the band and get to give it to them. I didn’t get to and probably went a bit mad walking around town in the sun “Is that Bernard? No, just some random in a sports jacket” “Coggsy! Oh wait, wrong nationality”, but if you are lucky enough to speak to them, please tell them I really appreciated them playing the song at the concert.

Now, after having annoyed everyone around me by talking non-stop about Powderfinger for weeks and even prompting my Husband to declare that he’ll change his name to Powderfinger so that I actually show some interest in him, I will return you all to regular programming. I have a study break this week so I hope to show you some new photos shortly.


3 thoughts on “Perth farewell Powderfinger

  1. Sounds like you had an awesome time Kell!I'm really short so I like to go to the front and stand to the side, it's a great spot and no-one else wants it 🙂 Glad you got to be there for your favourite band.

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