With the super cell of weather expected it was with trepidation that I made my way to the Palais Theatre in St Kilda, hoping we would make it through the night without the need of a lifeboat to bail us out. It is one of my favourite live music venues and I knew I was in for a real treat tonight, with a double bill of Australian music at its finest with Diesel and Icehouse ready to take on the town.
Diesel himself recently celebrating 30 years in the industry made for the perfect opener, his songs well known to all. I sat back and enjoyed his hits such as Man Alive, 15 Feet of Snow, and a slowed version of Soul Revival, which was very warmly received. His mad shredding skills on display and a huge array of guitars to choose from, it really showcased just how brilliant a musician he is. Tip Of My Tongue was a definite favourite and it finished out with a sensational sing-a-long for all. Diesel did some tricky knocking work on his guitar creating some incredible sounds that echoed through the iconic establishment. If I had a hat I would take it off to you Diesel, a first class performance and a great warm up for the main event.
I don’t know where to begin, pardon the pun, but in all honesty I was literally blown away by how good tonight’s show was. The ultimate professionals in every sense of the word, the most amazing light show I have ever seen at the Palais, together with the crème de le crème of stage set ups made for a superb night of Australian rock. Opening with Icehouse, it was hit after hit, Mr Big, Hey Little Girl and Crazy to name a few. The band is in impeccable shape sounding technically perfect on every level. Iva Davies like a fine wine that just keeps getting better with time. Michael Paynter lent some tremendous vocals to the tight knit unit over the evening and was a standout on Man of Colours, with Iva joining him for a cameo on the oboe. The huge screen a delight to the senses, this show was the complete package not one thing overlooked. Iva did mention that they plan at least 12 months in advance to make sure they bring the best possible show with the best possible team, and it really shows.
The tour has sold out show after show and with only a few left in the run this year it has seen them play to no less than 300,000 people.
What a massive achievement not only for Icehouse but to the Australian fans who have turned up time and time again to support their love of live music. The banter with the crowd was terrific, jokes a plenty and a fantastic feel in the theatre across the evening. Consequently we learnt that Electric Blue was co written with John Oates of Hall & Oates fame, and went on to be a number 1 hit in Australia.
I Don’t Believe Anymore was a favourite of the night, Great Southern Land a visual delight, the screens in overdrive showcasing the beautiful country that we are lucky enough to call home. A little bit of band improvising saw a ripping version of Bowie’s Jean Jeanie followed by the T Rex classic Get it On. Everyone on their feet, singing and dancing as We Can Get Together rang out, we knew time was going to be tight due to noise restrictions and there was one very anxious man side of stage watching the clock, but alas they came back for one more, the sensational I Cant Help Myself, finishing with mere seconds to spare.
With so many hits packed into two hours I couldn’t help but reflect on the fact that we really need look no further than our own backyard to find the finest musicians in the world.
Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale