A Day on the Green Monster Tour in Adelaide. My review from the other side...
Hello from the other side! Oh, sorry – that’s Adele and she wasn’t at the latest Adelaide A Day on the Green’s Monster Tour but I sure was, and I was on the other side! Take that Adele!
How does a chick like me, also known as Bad Luck Chuck, manage to score BACKSTAGE PASSES to see a range of my favourite bands from the 90’s? Simple – I have a remarkable cousin who chose an awesome career path in sound. Lucky for me he was doing the sound for The Meanies on this tour featuring an impressive line-up of other old time favourites including Jebediah, Spiderbait, You am I and Something for Kate.
The Meanies required a driver for the evening – cue in my awesome husband and of course with him comes me. There was no way I could drive given this opportunity!
A Day on the Green is the ultimate festival making the ‘older crowd’ feel welcome and wanted and, of course, it’s held at a variety of delicious wineries making it even more of a pleasure fest for the young at heart.
If grandpa wants to dance like he’s a drunk chicken, he can! There’s no fear of it being videoed and spread all over social media with the spring chickens saying ‘LOL, look at this old fool’.
Okay, that last bit is a lie – grandpa probably will be filmed and probably will be the next Insta star (not in a good way). But hey, so will 100’s of other grandpas, grandmas, mums and dads and you know what – WE DON’T CARE! We were in a place that we fit in, we were reliving our glory days and the music from our past….to us the stuff that is known as REAL music!
Oh god, now I’m starting to sound like my dad whenever I played one of these bands at home on the good old CD player as a teenager. He would scoff and say ‘that’s not music….this is music’ while shuffling through his vinyls. Hmmm, getting off track.
Let’s just say A Day on the Green was like what Grab a Granny used to be like at Glenelg (Adelaide peeps you should know what I mean here?) But obviously on a much larger scale, with amazing bands, at a winery and not at all lame. So, maybe the exact opposite then?
Basically, you can be over 30, groove to the tunes and not feel like you’re trespassing on some 18 year old duck face selfie marathon, or is it porn face now? I can’t keep up!
Sorry, let’s get back to where my teenage self would have actually wanted to know me….
What happens backstage doesn’t always stay backstage...
So, we pick The Meanies up from the city. They’re all looking smooth, calm and collected like you would expect a rock group to look – leather jackets, beards, tight jeans etc. It’s early and I haven’t yet had my drinks of courage. Thankfully, not as the name suggests (sorry guys to ruin your façade) but they’re not meanies, they’re a great group of friendly people! I hope I didn’t just ruin the band by saying that?
We FINALLY get to Peter Lehmann Wines at the Barossa Valley, man that’s a trek, but what a beautiful setting. Lush spacious grounds, the stage is set and the excitement kicks in. Looking around I start to see some of the other bands arrive….holy cow, where’s the beer?
First up - The Meanies....
The crowds soon start to pile in and The Meanies are first up on stage. I didn’t expect it but I’m allowed side of stage access. OH MY GOD, I’m on stage with The Meanies! Well, kind of. Obviously I wasn’t up there as a backup singer or anything. The crowd (and my husband) thanks the Lord for that one.
People are still arriving so the mob is pretty mellow at this stage. For those that came late you need to know that you missed a classic set! Link pelted out the songs with a fierce enthusiasm and dance moves to suit – I still can’t get over how he managed to do half of those moves, or even get up from some of them?
The Meanies are seriously the veterans of Australian rock and when they played 10% Weird memories came flashing back from my teenage heydays and suddenly I was back in the 90’s again. The stage had truly been set, the sun was shining, the crowd was building up and the atmosphere was alive.
I turn around and nearly shit my pants – standing behind me is Ness from Jebediah. Jebediah is one of my all-time favourite bands from the 90’s and their songs were playing through some of the best memories of my teenage years.
By now the beers had set in giving me the courage I needed to trap her and force her to talk to me. But, it wasn’t like that at all, she was (there is no other word for it) amazing. I think I had perceived that everyone from all of the bands was going to be super stuck up or something but they weren’t!
Ness engaged in my conversation, laughed in all the right places and then let me take a selfie of us. She told me how The Meanies were one of her favourite bands. I mentioned that I came with them trying to impress her…I totally think it worked!
A major highlight of my day was Ness giving me a shout out before she went on stage – that was a nice touch to make a girl feel special! Chris from Jebs was also a top guy, he didn’t escape my selfie indulgence and happily obliged. Sadly, I didn’t get the chance to talk to Kevin or Brett, I’m sure they’re pretty sad about that too. Next time guys, there’s always next time. Wipe your tears away.
2nd act - Jebediah...
Jebediah now take the stage. The crowd has certainly increased and the drinks have definitely been flowing. Needless to say, they rocked it! The songs sounded as fresh as they ever did and it’s like a trip down memory lane. The energy is now buzzing and the crowd are jumping. Leaving Home and Harpoon were the highlights for me.
I will admit that I did miss watching some of Jebediah’s performance due to this time nearly peeing my pants (why didn’t I bring a spare pair?) when I noticed that I was standing next to Janet from Spiderbait….holy Aussie chick rock legend!
Janet is also fabulous. We chat for a while about life and kids – is this really happening? She gets in on my selfie taking. She loves me. There’s no need for her to say it out loud or anything, I just know.
I reference the duck face selfie marathons above and here I am doing my own marathon. But, I assure you, there was no duck face pouting going on. I couldn’t wipe the bloody smile off my face to even attempt it!
Time for Spiderbait...
Spiderbait are next to take the stage and they absolutely nailed it! The energy stepped up a notch and the crowd went mental when Kram started his fast paced drumming spectacular!
Nothing has changed since the 90’s. The vibe was electric and the grounds of the Peter Lehmann winery was now packed with a sea of jumping, smashing and smashed music lovers.
Buy me a pony and Black Betty went OFF and and the crowd sung along with gusto. Spiderbait – you guys still have it! (P.s they’re touring across Aus. again next year – get on it!!!)
Kram, Janet and Whitt had the crowd completely in awe and the band played all of the favourites. The chair salute was a must and there was concern when Kram threw his drumstick into the crowd that Calypso wasn’t going to happen. Of course it did and of course it was outstanding!
It was at this point that I wondered why Jebediah and Spiderbait weren’t set as the final two acts for the day?
Now it is time for cake….Happy 400th show ADOTG! I’m not sure where this cake went but it looked pretty tasty.
I head out into the crowd…..
During the break, I make my way out to where the crowd is. Boy, it is packed. It’s hot over this side I can feel the energy and excitement oozing out of everyone that I pass.
Of course, I bump into a girl who is clearly off her face, crying, alone and has lost her friends and everything she owns. I help her out by ringing one of her friends and screaming at them into the phone as none of us can hear the other. She finds her boyfriend, they fight. Guys, calm down and enjoy the bloody day. Turns out her friends were all pretty much standing right behind her the whole time. She can’t handle her drugs, drugs are bad – why the hell did I come out here again?
Oh, that’s right, I got the bright idea (way too late) to get some souvenirs for my girls to show them that their mum was once cool. I purchase a top for them each, it seems they only had kid’s sizes in the Spiderbait and Something for Kate tees.
My hope is to now get some signatures on these tops. Turns out that bands are slightly opposed to signing other bands tops, who knew?
Thankfully, the ones that I could find backstage still happily signed once I explained that my girls were only 2 and 5 and wouldn’t know the difference. Maybe if I was at a Peppa Pig concert then I’d have some explaining to do! Or, please start making kids tops for all of the bands, or the generic Day on the Green tee, and then we wouldn’t have this dilemma.
Sadly, I couldn’t locate everyone that I needed to (Ness and Janet were you guys hiding from me?) Either way, I am grateful for the signatures that I managed to obtain and it still shows that I was there when I pull the girls tops out during their teenage years for them to roll their eyes at me.
I signed a few posters myself also....that was exhausting! Feel free to send it back to me if anyone was lucky enough to get one :)
You am I and Something for Kate winding down the day...
You am I took the stage donned in matching baby blue jackets, backed by a new brass section and The Wolfgramm Sisters. To be honest I noticed the energy from the crowd dropped off slightly at this point – maybe it was from too much sun, too much booze, Tim Rogers’ turban, or just the unfamiliar feel of the set up?
Whatever it was, it certainly didn’t last long and the crowd were soon back in cracking motion once again with You am I pulling off a brilliant set as always. Cathy’s Clown and Berlin Chair were epic from this iconic Aussie band.
The wait was well and truly worth if for Something for Kate. I’ve never seen them live and was absolutely blown away. Paul Dempsey’s voice was soulful and melodic and his insane talent shone through. The lighting show was mesmerising and bright purples, pinks and greens filled the stage as he belted out some amazing tunes. They finished the night with an absolutely perfect performance of Deja Vu. It was the cherry on top of the entire day……INCREDIBLE!
So, there you have it. The written tale of one of the most fun days of my life to date at A Day on the Green in Adelaide. I met some truly talented people and made some great new friends. Apologies for this being slightly long winded but I have written this to be more of a memory for myself.
Thank you Morro and The Meanies for allowing me this opportunity. Thank you to my gorgeous husband for driving and staying sober (that would have been hard). And thank you to all of the band members for being so friendly and for putting on some truly outstanding performances and turning back time for the day.
I’d also like to give a huge shout out to Anthea and Michael Newton for starting A Day on the Green and providing us with phenomenal music line-ups in the ideal setting. If you ever need another backstage review in Adelaide call me – Spiderbait, don’t worry, that offers open for your upcoming tour too! I doubt any of you will even read this, but a girl can dream!
Ness – don’t forget to call me for that catch up beer like we planned when you’re back in Radelaide (yeah, okay, I just made that bit up!)
Regrets - not bringing my good camera and not taking more photos of people other than myself! Too much excitement going on for me to think clearly. I'll know for next time.
Signing out as I’m still getting over my hangover 5 days later. I’ve certainly lost my touch since I’ve had kids and don’t party like I used to, but it was all worth it.
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