The Red Hot Summer Tour (25 February) surpassed expectations this year at Bribie Island’s bayside gem, Sandstone Point Hotel.
Rocking the 6,000-plus, sell-out crowd under a clear, blue sky were headline acts Taxiride, Shannon Noll, Darryl Braithwaite, James Reyne and John Farnham.
2011 X-Factor winner, Reece Mastin, and Victorian singer-songwriter, Taylor Sheridan, kickstarted the day by performing some brilliant duets, readying the crowd for popular and recently re-formed Aussie rock band, Taxiride.
Taxiride - image © Kara Bust (Pixels & Spice Photography)
From their rhythmic folk-styled tunes of ‘Back Again’ and ‘Icecream’ to their well-known melodious rock songs of ‘Creeping Up Slowly’ and ‘Everywhere You Go’, band member Jason Singh epitomised the mood of the day when telling the Bribie audience they were “in the best spot, with the best people”.
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Confident, buff and endowed with what can only be described as a Jimmy Barnes-esque voice, Shannon Noll rocked the socks (and other intimate apparel) off the sea of people wearing straw hats and sunnies… even including his own shirt, by the end.
Shannon Noll - image © Kara Bust (Pixels & Spice Photography)
Opening with ‘Loud’, followed by ‘Who I Am’, Shannon turned it up with brilliant cover songs such as ‘Fortunate Son’ and a rock & roll rendition of ‘Waltzing Matilda’. Finishing with the 'Australian Idol' song that started it all, ‘What About Me’, he was eventually led off stage by two female coppers in a mock arrest, in jest at his previous day’s court case; only strengthening in our hearts the affection that we have for this Aussie wild child.
At the age of 68, Darryl Braithwaite followed with an almost equally energetic performance, reminiscent of those earlier days when he had numerous number ones in the Australian charts.
Darryl Braithwaite - image © Kara Bust (Pixels & Spice Photography)
With a song repertoire spanning four decades, this warm, gravelly-voiced father of Australian rock, performed many of his sing-along hits such as ‘One Summer’, ‘Rise’ and ‘Wild Horses’, as well as dazzling with a few songs from his most recent ‘Forever The Tourist’ album, like ‘Not Too Late’.
A few Sherbet-era songs were also thrown into the mix, such as the cool classics of ‘Summer Love’ and ‘Howzat’.
Like a king who reigns over his dominion, James Reyne subsequently took and commanded the centre stage, proving once again just how talented and nimble-fingered he is in merging both rock music and narrative-styled ballads.
James Reyne - image © Kara Bust (Pixels & Spice Photography)
Be it acoustic or electric guitar, James impressed with his emotional-rendering of familiar songs such as ‘Fall Of Rome’ and ‘Motors Too Fast’ plus some hits from his earlier days like ‘Reckless’ and ‘Boys Light Up’ when he was Australian Crawl frontman.
With the sun well and truly set, and the night dazzling with strobe-lighting and glamour, John Farnham took to the stage amid roaring cheers and raised cans. Black leather, tuxedo-styled jacket flapping in the breeze, this master of the night belted out 18 songs, beginning with ‘We Will Rock You’ and ending with a cover of AC/DC’s ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock And Roll)’.
John Farnham - image © Kara Bust (Pixels & Spice Photography)
With lungs and vocal cords something akin to operatic, Farnsey wowed with his signature songs ‘Pressure Down’, ‘That’s Freedom’, ‘You’re The Voice’ and 'Two Strong Hearts’.
For a small-statured man, his big voice and even larger presence only reinforced the legend of this country’s most successful solo artist, before rounding off the night with an unexpected, but spectacular display of fireworks over the bay; a sizzling finale to another fantastic, red-hot summer musical bonanza.
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