Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] "True Country"?

Chris Nelson sporto219@worldnet.att.net
Tue, 16 Oct 2001 19:39:26 -0400

Following is a review of the Phoenix show from an Arizona newspaper.  The
reporter talks about a "searing version of "True Country"".  I suppose he's
referring to "The Dead Heart", which of course contains the lyrics "true
country" in it.  Any confirmation from those who were there?

Counting down the days to the shows in the northeast...
Flawless Midnight Oil delights crowd

John Carlos Villani
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 15, 2001 12:00:00

In an evening of masterful musicianship and dynamic performance, Midnight
Oil returned to Phoenix after a nearly six-year absence for a two-hour show
last night at the Celebrity Theater. The venue was more than half-filled for
the show.

Lead singer Peter Garrett, who like his fellow bandmates took to the stage
wearing all black, cavorted around the Celebrity's round platform like a
spastic Pharaoh, darting in and out, waving his arms akimbo, and acting as
if he was completely enjoying himself.

The five-piece band played a combination of its older hits and new material
from its upcoming CD "Capricornia". The new songs, especially "Too Much
Sunshine" and "Still Believe", were rocking numbers in the best Midnight Oil

Another new song, "Say Your Prayers", which Garrett said was inspired by
East Timor's " ... struggle for freedom in a place where freedom is a
luxury," urged the audience to "say your prayers for the future and pray for
the past." "Short Memories," a driving, hard edged number, managed to
contain references to Cambodia, South Africa and Afghanistan yet still hold
together as a coherent set of lyrics about the need for nations to help each
other lest " ... things just gonna be the same again".

About midway through Midnight Oil's set, guitarist Jim Moginie pulled out an
acoustic Gibson tuned along the lines of a flamenco guitar and started
embellishing the well-traveled riffs that underlay "Beds are Burning", the
band's best known hit and the song Midnight Oil played at the closing
ceremonies of this year's Olympics in Sydney, the troupe's hometown.

Bassist Bones Hillman seemed to be enjoying himself, at one point venturing
out into the audience to grab someone's cell phone and bringing it back
onstage with him. "Tell them to dial 1-800-real music" joked Garrett while
Hillman attempted to chat with whoever happened to be on the other end of
the line. Toward the end of the evening, Hillman ordered his soundman to
crank up the volume on his bass, just before the band ripped into a searing
version of "True Country".

While the band, attired completely in black and comporting themselves like
Australia's most enduring ambassadors to the rock and roll universe (and
after 30 years of success, that's exactly what they are), was flawlessly
tight and hardly wasted any motion in front of the enthusiastic audience,
the evening's spotlight was firmly on Garrett.

His onstage demeanor varied from frantic to balletic, yet at all times
remained firmly on top of the evening's musical momentum. He was, to be
certain, a maestro in complete control of his fellow musicians.

Between songs, Garrett (a lawyer and founder of the Australia Conservation
Foundation) would discuss everything from Jungian psychology to world
affairs with the audience. His was a refreshingly honest and egalitarian
approach, unlike that of many other rock stars who insist on being
condescending or coy when they attempt to share their thoughts in front of
their fans.

For those who like their live music delivered by well-rehearsed, talented
performers who use their onstage time to communicate clearly and honestly
with their audiences, last night's Midnight Oil show at the Celebrity
Theater was a gem.