Fellows Oval at ANU was the scene of Midnight Oil’s final ever performance in Canberra on Saturday, 1 October. The concert was their second-last live show ever, and boy did it go off.
The support acts warmed up the crowd from 4:40 P.M., with Moaning Lisa performing in front of fans who had braved the inclement weather. Rain continued to fall intermittently during William Crighton’s 40 minute act performing alongside his wife.
King Stingray then came out to wow the crowd with a sound I found similar to the music Yothu Yindi created back in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The rain dissipated just in time for the main act.
After a brief Welcome to Country, The Oils got the crowd pumping with their hit Read About It off their 1982 album 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1.
Led by singer Peter Garrett, the band played newer music from their most recent album Resist, mixed in with older hits from the early ’80s.
Garrett’s signature dance moves featured alongside the political commentary he’s been known for throughout his career. Every couple of songs, Garrett would talk about a different topic, whether it was Indigenous rights, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, or even a dig at the British monarchy (“respect the Queen, but we don’t have to accept the other bullshit”).
The clouds parted and the moon peeked through just in time for a true rock and roll climax including all the classics, including The Dead Heart, Short Memory, Blue Sky Mine and Forgotten Years. The show’s encore struck a chord with many in the crowd: King of the Mountain from their Blue Sky Mining album. Considering that the Bathurst 1000 race is only a week away, this was a particularly popular singalong.
The crowd was electric and were on their feet for the whole night, singing along and dancing in appreciation for all the music the band has produced over the years.
This show was the finale of the Resist: The Final Tour that Midnight Oil have taken all across the country and world, and the last time that Canberrans will ever see the legendary group on stage.
To be at one of their last ever shows was an amazing experience, especially in a town so closely linked to both the group’s music and its politics.