Live Review: A Day On The Green

27 March 2014 | 10:12 am | Jessica Holton

You can anticipate when Jimmy Barnes is about to arrive on stage. The air changes, you get a little bit hotter, and you find yourself warming up your vocals chords.

The picturesque vineyards of Bimbadgen Estate set the scene for a hearty day of Australian roc'n'roll. The sun was beating down like an angry temptress, luring punters to drink more wine, eat more cheese and scream/sing louder than ever before. Boom Crash Opera began the merriment as they casually eased the crowd into their set. Relaxed vocals and soothing guitar work created an atmosphere of calm and reminiscing. Revellers engaged with their hits and leapt to their feet in such greats as The Best Thing, and the '80s came alive dressed in a terracotta-coloured shirt for Onion Skin.

Daryl Braithwaite looked cool as he opened the set with Summer Love. This tune would hold much relevance as the sun seared our skin, and his guitarist slaid our ears with a killer solo. Howzat was another throwback to Braithwaite's Sherbet years, and the crowd seemed to enjoy the overtly Australian mix of cricket references and rock. One Summer was peppered with modest acoustic guitar and excited cheers. However, of course it was The Horses that caused the crowd to grip each other's waistlines and hold up their plastic wine glasses in tribute. This live version would turn out to be much lovelier than the original with soft, tinkling piano and whispering vocals.

Richard Clapton followed and changed the pace with funk-based grooves and deep, dark vocals. The bass seemed to be the stand-out instrument of his set, while bluesy vocals and soulful guitar came a close second. Clapton would flip-flop from blues to rock'n'roll to soft country. The twang of the guitar was not lost on the sweaty crowd, as his cooler than cool lyrics seemed to take the temperature down a few degrees. Genres were mashed and made for a quaint rendition of 'easy listening' mixed with suspenseful blues. Girls On The Avenue featured trickling guitar work that had clearly been influenced by storytellers America. The crowd all danced in agreement to the gloomy blues vocals and suggestive lyrics.

The delightful Ian Moss just looks like he would be such a nice guy. His smile was infectious as he ripped into the retro pub rock days of the '80s and managed to infuse that with soul and blues. Mr. Rain was filled with pulsating bass lines and sweet yet guttural vocals. This song was rich in tone and made for the perfect tune for an outdoor event such as this. Moss launched from jazz to blues to pub rock to even psychedelic guitar – this set would be one of the favourites.

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His solo rendition of Choir Girl left the crowd speechless. You could have heard a pin drop as Moss stood alone with nothing but his electric guitar to sing out this melancholy lullaby. It was purely a magical moment. His final song Bow River featured skittish guitar, pounding drums and even a special appearance from the man of the hour, Jimmy Barnes. The coming of age displayed in the lyrics seemed so appropriate to the general demographic of the crowd, as they remembered their own coming of age to such great acts such as Cold Chisel.

The Angels were a ferocious, loud, screeching party. No Secrets was heavy on the percussion, and even heavier on the feet of the excited crowd. Hands came together and acted as a makeshift tambourine to this classic hit. And the hits just kept on coming. Take A Long Line suddenly saw the punters miming their first catch of a massive groper fish. The AC/DC-style guitar screamed throughout the venue while head-banging and thrashing ensued. The 1976 hit, Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again? seemed to be the highlight of the night so far, rockabilly guitar that seemed to pierce to the highest octave imaginable, with crazed percussion and even crazier lyrics. The crowd didn't shy away from the typical expletive response known for this track, and will no doubt be throwing a few pineapples into the swear jar once they arrive home.

You can anticipate when Jimmy Barnes is about to arrive on stage. The air changes, you get a little bit hotter, and you find yourself warming up your vocals chords. One of the most cherished Australian rock legends, Barnesy produced one of the most energetic sets of the evening. In the spirit of family, Barnes' daughters and son were part of the band, with Mahalia and Elly-May on backing vocals, and Jackie on drums. An impressive cover of The Weight by The Band featured keyboard and rolling drums as the vocal work made this cover gripping and fresh.

I'd Die To Be With You Tonight had a guitar solo to end all guitar solos spliced in, mixed with the screaming vocal work that makes Jimmy Barnes the powerhouse that he is. Ian Moss took the stage once again to deliver a gospel-like rendition of When The War Is Over, painting the crowd in a reflective light mixed with the choral vocals of Mahalia Barnes, while the coveted Khe Sahn encouraged screeching from the crowd as tearing guitar work and glittering keyboard demonstrated why this song could be considered our second national anthem.

Working Class Man featured powerful keys and dominating percussion. Every man in the crowd could be seen identifying with the lyrics as this tale described the hardships of the once stereotypical working Australian man. The standout track of the encore was the poetic Flame Trees, penned by Chisel alumni Don Walker and the late Steve Prestwich. The punters became an obedient choir as they sang back in dedication to the longing and sadness of this song. This would be the penultimate finale to the collection of raw talent that was on display at Day On The Green as Ian Moss and Jimmy Barnes brought the night to a close, sharing one microphone.