(Words – Laura Thorburn, Photos – Rodney Magazinovic)
Sunday night at the Clipsal 500 is always a highlight and this year was no exception. Despite heavy rain and flashes of lightning, thousands of people stood strong to witness some talented musicians take the stage. Unfortunately for the first two acts of the day, the rain was too much for the stage to handle and they were unable to perform. However, hopefully both Wasted Wanderers and Thom Lion and the Tamers will be invited to perform at next years event. It was touch and go for a while there but luckily organisers decided to push on with the concert, which was excellent because it was a great night.
The Black Sorrows took to the stage to kick off the evenings events and despite heavy rain saturating the crowd for half the set, they were as amazing as always. Vika and Linda Bull joined them on stage and wow, these ladies can sing! They certainly added some extra flavour to the already stellar vocals of Joe Camilleri. Dancing in the rain has never felt so good, especially when it’s coupled with soulful and catchy tunes.
Australia’s own Pete Murray, who has been the support act for every show on the Rob Thomas Aussie tour, warmed up the crowd and sounded amazing doing it. Amongst the setlist were hits “So Beautiful”, “Opportunity” and “Better Days” which are the best songs to display the tenderness of his vocals. It’s hard to believe that it has been over a decade since the release of his first album but its plain to see how the music has stood the test of time.
Stepping onto the stage to mark the end of the Clipsal, as well as the end of his Australian tour, American superstar Rob Thomas provided a night to remember for those who braved the rainy conditions. The multi-award winning artist is known for his energetic stage presence and true to form he danced his way onto the stage opening with “Give me the Meltdown”. Rob’s energy was infectious as he performed a sting of tunes spanning his solo career along with songs from the new album The Great Unknown including the energetic “One Shot” and upbeat and sweet “Hold on Forever” which was the second single from the album.
Also featured on the setlist was a highly infectious cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” which Rob and his seven piece band pulled of quite amazingly. It was easy to see that they were having an awesome time on stage. Not that the crowd weren’t already dancing and jumping around but this performance seemed to have everyone grooving away. The singer pulled out Matchbox 20 song “3am” and performed it on the piano while being backed subtly by the band. It was a great addition to the setlist, giving the audience an opportunity to sing their hearts out and be heard over the instruments.
Matchbox 20 hit “Unwell” was performed, amazingly I might add, along with “Smooth” and “This is how a Heart Breaks” as the encore, which technically wasn’t an encore because the band never left the stage. But.. as the man himself so eloquently pointed out and I’m paraphrasing here.. encores are stupid because everyone knows you’re going to come back out. Which is pretty true but personally I love the anticipation that comes with chanting for an encore, even when you know it’s coming. Since I mentioned Matchbox 20, the crowd did get some news at the show, which I feel obligated to share. The frontman said that the band would be returning to our shores soon, so fingers crossed it’s true and tour dates will be announced at some point over the next few months.
All in all, rain aside, the final night of the Clipsal 500 as a success. Good vibes, great tunes and musicians who truly care about giving an audience an amazing show. What more could you want?