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Sound Relief a major success

Posted by: By Ben Wise, at the MCG | 14 March, 2009 - 1:16 PM
Thousands of people are already at Sound Relief (Fairfax Photos) Around 80,000 people braved rainy conditions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday for the Sound Relief concert, held in support of Australians affected by Black Saturday bushfires which killed over 200 people on February 7.

North of the border, the Sydney Cricket Ground hosted its own version of Sound Relief with Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin’s duet on ‘You’re The Voice’ with veteran Australian singer John Farnham – making a one-off comeback – the show-stopper.

Back in Melbourne, with Midnight Oil and Split Enz re-forming for the aid concert, and a host of stars, celebrities and royalty lending their support – it was always going to be one of Australian entertainment’s greatest ever days.

The Peter Garrett-fronted ‘Oils’ headlined the event and thrilled an MCG crowd which endured everything from torrential rain to gale-force winds and even bright sunshine for some periods.

Midnight Oil, following Split Enz to be the final act of the night, had help performing hits such as ‘Read About It’, ‘Blue Sky Mine’, ‘One Country’, ‘Beds Are Burning’, ‘Dead Heart’ and ‘Power and Passion’ – Garrett backed on vocals by almost every person in attendance.

Split Enz, wearing carefully tailored suits with split ends, turned back the clock for their enthralling set by belting out classics such as 'History Never Repeats’, ‘Shark Attack’, ‘I Got You’ and ‘Dirty Creatures’.

Before Hunters and Collectors took to the stage to perform songs including ‘The Holy Grail’ and ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’, Princes William and Harry lent their support to both Sound Relief concerts with a special message played to packed houses at both the MCG in Melbourne and the SCG in Sydney.

Paying tribute to all Australians affected by the terrible fires, Prince William told the nation ‘he couldn’t imagine what people were going through’.

After the message was played, Australia stopped for one minute’s silence at actor Toni Collette’s prompting as images of the devastating fires were shown on the massive screens erected at the two famous cricket grounds.

The minute’s silence came to an end as the petite figure of Kylie Minogue on the stage at the MCG was illuminated under the spotlight.

Minogue led the Melbourne crowd in a prolonged cheer for the volunteers who made the Sound Relief concerts a reality.

She then asked the thousands of fans to help her perform at her ‘biggest ever concert’, before singing Peter Allen’s unofficial national anthem, ‘I Still Call Australia Home’.

The highlight of the day for the fans up until 6pm was undoubtedly the joining together of a trio of Finns.

Crowded House lead singer Neil Finn welcomed his brother Tim and son Liam to the stage to perform three of Crowded House's greatest hits - 'Weather With You', 'Don't Dream It's Over' and 'Better Be Home Soon' - the latter receiving the biggest roar of the day.

Neil Finn dedicated 'Better Be Home Soon' to the Country Fire Authority firefighters and also made a special mention to the 'Kiwi fireys' who crossed the shores to help Australia counterparts out in their hour of need.

Their rousing effort was also greeted by the first rays of sunshine enjoyed by the sell-out crowd all day.

Before the Finns stunned the 'G, Melbourne local Paul Kelly played a typically poignant set, his classic 'Leaps and Bounds' - which includes the lyrics 'I'm high on the hill. Looking over the bridge. To the MCG' - was given a vocal boost by the raincoat-clad crowd who appreciated a rare dry moment on a wet Melbourne day.

Soon after Kelly finished, the announcer told the crowd 'all the fires in Victoria are now completely out' - the CFA website confirming the news on its 'Incidents' list, which had only the following message at 3pm:

"The Wilsons Prom Cathedral fire is now contained. It is estimated to have burnt 25,200 hectares."

"Crews will continue to patrol the area this week."

Red Cross boss Robert Tickner followed up with more positive news, revealing the charity's Bushfire Appeal has now raised over $245 million. More than $5 million was raised by the Sound Relief concert in Melbourne.

Earlier, after heavy rain fell from around 10am, Gabriella Cilmi's set started without rain at around 1pm and her worldwide hit 'Sweet About Me' went down well - particularly with the younger members of the audience.

But following her performance, Kings Of Leon brought the rain with them - a huge cheer greeting the US rockers as they walked on stage with rain pouring down on the arena. By the time they finished a powerful set the rain had, again, stopped.

The irony of today's weather was not lost on members of Melbourne band Jet, whose members were in Sydney recording a new album as fires ravaged their home state last month. Jet opened the event at 12:15pm.

For more coverage and a full rundown of who performed, scroll down.

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Sound Relief Rundown (Melbourne):

12:10pm: Jet
12:55pm: Gabriella Cilmi
1:40pm: Kings Of Leon
2:20pm: Paul Kelly
3:05pm: Augie March
3:50pm: Bliss N Eso with Paris Wells
4:35pm: Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson w/ Troy Cassar-Daley
5:30pm: Liam Finn
6:20pm: Jack Johnson
7:00pm: Wolfmother
7:45pm: Special Announcement & Minutes Silence
8:00pm: Hunters & Collectors
8:55pm: Split Enz
9:50pm: Midnight Oil
10.30pm: Finish

Sound Relief Rundown (Sydney):

12:15pm: Coldplay
1:00pm: Wolfmother
1:45pm: Hoodoo Gurus
2:30pm: Little Birdy
3:05pm: Architecture In Helsinki
3:40pm: You Am I
4:25pm: Josh Pyke
4:55pm: Marcia Hines (Special Performance)
5:30pm: Taylor Swift
6:15pm: Eskimo Joe
7:05pm: Jet
7:45pm: Special Announcement & Minutes Silence
8:00pm: The Presets
8:50pm: Icehouse
9:40pm: Barry Gibb
10.30pm: Finish

Blog comments Your Say

  • i believe sound relief should be a yearly concert and when other disasters happen proceeds from the concerts can go ti them

    Emily Saturday 10 October, 2009 - 11:10 PM

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