OPINION: Dear Powderfinger, This Is The Setlist I've Been Waiting Ten Years For

19 May 2020 | 1:49 pm | Jessica Dale

Powderfinger are reuniting for a one-off gig this Saturday night. Jessica Dale shares her picks of deep cuts and fan favourites that she hopes will make it onto the setlist.

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After ten years of hoping and waiting, much-loved Australian band Powderfinger are reuniting this Saturday for a one-off live streaming event to raise money for Support Act and Beyond Blue. 

Like many people, I have been impatiently waiting for this moment. Thinking back, I have a lot of very distinctive and fond memories of growing up with the music of Bernard Fanning, Darren Middleton, Ian Haug, Jon Coghill and John ‘JC’ Collins interwoven into them; my dad getting Odyssey Number Five for Father's Day, standing under a big top in central Queensland watching them play with Silverchair nearly ten years later, getting to see their final Townsville show as one of the first concerts my now husband and I went to together. 

But mostly it's the parts that don't particularly stand-out; like listening to Internationalist while cooking dinner or the hours spent driving with their back catalogue playing. Even when my brother visited recently, it was a Powderfinger album he pulled off the shelf for us to listen to over lunch. And I think that's the part that stands out for most people, just how ingrained in their life this Brisbane five-piece is, so with that I think Saturday night is going to offer a lot of fans a silver lining in a hard time. 

Here are the songs I'm hoping they dust off for the big night: 

Parables For Wooden Ears - 1994

Song: Walking Stick
Imagine if Powderfinger just walked out and ripped into the first track from their debut album as the set’s first track? I, for one, say yes please. 

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Song: Sink Low
Considering that Parables For Wooden Ears is made up of some pretty hefty riffs, Sink Low almost feels like a taste of what was to come from albums much further down the line (looking at you Internationalist. Bernard Fanning's debut solo album, Tea & Sympathy, too). I'd be pleased to hear this throwback.  

Double Allergic - 1996

Song: Pick You Up 
This one would surely still rip. 

Song: JC
It's been 24 years since the release of Double Allergic. That's a lot of playing time. Given that JC is already excellent on the album, I reckon it could be even better now. 

Internationalist - 1998 

Song: Good Day Ray
Short, sharp and punchy. Plus, my mum would be really stoked if they played this one. 

Song: Celebrity Head
One of the most impressive takedowns of dickhead behaviour I’ve seen yet. 

Odyssey Number Five - 2000

Song: These Days
All I'm saying is that I'd be shocked to not hear a nationwide singalong if These Days gets rolled out (and probably a few collective tears too).

Song: My Happiness
On the other end of the emotional scale we find My Happiness. 20 years on, I'm still thinking about that slinky in the video... 

Vulture Street - 2003

Song: Stumblin'
Sad lyrics but still a rollicking track. 

Song: Love Your Way
There's just something about Fanning's voice in that opening verse (and then everything else after it too).

Dream Days At The Hotel Existence - 2007

Song: Nobody Sees
It feels like a sadder, slower companion song to Pick You Up. Just grab the tissues if this one does happen.

Song: Lost & Running
There's some nice little Americana touches in the guitars here that would be great to see expanded on.

Golden Rule - 2009

Song: Sail The Wildest Stretch
This really felt fitting for Powderfinger's final album. It would be nice to see it broken out once again. 

Song: Burn Your Name
I'd be happy enough with just the opening harmonies on loop; anything past that is just icing on the cake.


Rita and Bless My Soul never made it onto any studio albums but they did appear on 2004's These Days: Live In Concert and 2004's Fingerprints: The Best Of Powderfinger, 1994-2000 respectively. Both are excellent and deserve another run. 

Powderfinger will share their 'One Night Lonely' live streamed gig via their YouTube channel this Saturday from 7pm. Head here for all the info.