Sunday 25 June 2017

On Stage: Midnight Oil @ Paradiso

I am very fortunate that I am able to go see so many great bands now, that I sometimes even have to choose. But there are many band that I never got to see and some of them I will never see to my regret. But once in a while life throws you a bone and you get a second chance. Australian rock band Midnight Oil is one of those bands that have a big live reputation but I never saw them play. Until tonight!

  Midnight Oil @ Paradiso Amsterdam, June 23 2017

  I guess there are many people who don't know this band at all or simply don't remember them from back in the eighties. Because it is has been that long that they got their big break. Especially the live album Scream In Blue left a big impression on me and the band was known for their intense rock performance. The band went on a hiatus when singer Peter Garrett’s political career took off and reunited now that he has stepped back. There are some Aussie fans around us and they are excited to see this band play again, who are still huge in their own country. Hopefully they can still live up to that reputation.

The moment the group walks on the stage already answers that especially when front man Garrett comes up. The big bald singer’s appearance by itself is already impressive and the band sounds convincing from the first note. Like a young band promoting their first album the group go at it, with the tall Garrett as the centre piece. I don't know all of their songs but they do play a large number of tracks that bring back memories. The music has that typical eighties rock vibe: Bryan Adams ‘Summer of ‘69’ guitars with synths added to the spectrum.

  It does sound a bit outdated, but it may just become retro in a few years time. On the other hand the lyrics are still spot on. Midnight Oil always has been a band where political opinions and concerns strongly reflects in their music. Garrett addresses some of the issues that still need attention and are the subject of some of the songs. It's sad to see how relevant and actual some of the songs still are, thirty years later. You would think not much has changed there.


But Midnight Oil isn't a band that will sink into a depression and get everyone down, since they are true optimists as Garret puts it. There's still a matter of urgency in their music, a fighting spirit that energizes people to stand and speak up to injustice. Garrett’s t-shirt reads “To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men”, which says enough.


It's one of those shows where the crowd gets fired up and where band and fans become one and resonate in the same frequency. With a huge smile on their faces the band play their eighties rock with just as much heart and pleasure as thirty years ago. There's a wonderful vibe in the venue tonight with a kind of festive mood. In the end music is a celebration no matter how serious the subject. Midnight Oil prove that bands like them are needed more than ever in the world as a social conscious that can spread an important message with their music and at the same time have a damn good time.

All Pictures

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01. Progress
02. Truganini
03. Too Much Sunshine
04. No Time for Games
05. Under the Overpass
06. In the Valley
07. Best of Both Worlds
08. Read About It
09. King of the Mountain
10. My Country
11. Luritja Way
12. Ships of Freedom
13. Arctic World
14. Spirit of the Age
15. Warakurna
16. The Dead Heart
17. Beds Are Burning
18. Blue Sky Mine
19. Dreamworld
20. Harrisburg
21. Now or Never Land
22. Forgotten Years
Encore 2:
23. Power and the Passion
24. Sometimes

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