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Midnight Oil
A Concert Review

October 10, 1996

The Metro

Chicago, IL

A Review and Photos by
The Dude on the Right
Peter Garrett
Going into the Midnight Oil show, I really only knew them for three songs - "Blue Sky Mine," "Beds are Burning," and some other songs I couldn't really remember. I had no idea what other songs they might play (other than the new material off their new CD - "Breathe" which I did get to listen to), and had no idea what to expect. Radio ads said they put on a great show, some of their internet sites said the same, so I eagerly awaited to see just what this band was all about. What I found was just what everyone said - a great show.

As the show starts and Peter Garrett and the rest of the Oils take the stage, the first thing that strikes me is that this Peter guy is huge. With a bald head and over six-foot frame this dude could scare the crap out of nearly anyone he might run into on the street. The next thing that strikes me is that this Peter dude is craaazzzyyyy. It was like he had one too many cups of coffee before the show because from the start he began pacing the stage, microphone in one hand while the other flailed between grasping his head, reaching out to seemingly try to grab someone, to pounding in the air. The last

thing that strikes me as beads of sweat gather on Mr. Garrett's forehead is that I've been looking for a good, hi-intensity weight-training program and being the lead singer for the Oils seemed like a good one. It's just too bad that to keep up with his energy level, if I were the lead singer, the show would be about two songs, no, make that one song long.

Peter again.

Now, all I've had to gauge my experience about this band are those three radio hits and a new CD. Cool music I've thought, the new CD seems a little bit mellower but still with a driving beat, and as I'm standing there I'm listening to classic Midnight Oil songs that in today's arena blow away most of the moshing-style music being thrown through the radio on a regular basis. The older crowd gets to listen to music that can easily fit on radio today, but doesn't have to deal with the insanity of a mosh-pit. The Oil's crowd gets to bob their heads and sing along and doesn't have to be worried about getting kicked in the head by some crowd-surfer. Sometimes it's good to be old, or at least older. And, if the youngin's would open their ears for a while, they might find a band that fits them perfectly.

Martin Rotsey
The show was as much about fan classics as it was about the new material with Midnight Oil hitting on some four or five new songs, songs like "Star of Hope," "Underwater," "Surf's Up Tonight," and "One Too Many Times." All were received well, but some of the songs, especially "One Too Many Times," had the crowd kinda scratching their heads because it has a definite country feel to it. Wait till they get the CD and listen to "Home" with Emmylou Harris helping out. But, even though some of the new material surprised the fans, it was the classics that the crowd could sing along to - songs like "My Country," "Warakurna" (I think that's what it was?), "The Dead Heart," and the song I forgot about "Forgotten Years."

All in all, I was duly impressed by a band I really didn't know too much about. For about an hour and 45 minutes the Oils took their fans on a ride from the old to the new, and they also gained a new fan - me. If you're a youngin' looking for a great show, go see Midnight Oil, if you're an older fan wondering if the band still has what it did years ago - I guess they do because they still put on a great show. It's a TWO THUMB UPPER for Midnight Oil.

That's if for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right. L8R!!!


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