Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Equinox review

Tari, Vince fstariv1@NMHG.com
Mon, 2 Jun 2003 20:17:25 -0500

> Al how was Equinox? I would have loved to have gone. Tool is 
> one of my very
> favorite bands and I love skunk Anansie. Three of my favorite 
> bands in one
> show is like a dream come true. If you know anyone who has a 
> copy of that
> show I'd love to get my hands on it.

Here's a review of the Equinox concert. For those unaware, Chuggie is like
the godfather of concert promoters in Oz. 

One of the funniest things i've seen at some of concerts he has put on, is
to see him go totally ballistic at some audience member, singling them out
amongst thousands of others, for throwing a bottle or doing something
stupid. He does this quite regularly too. It's a bit like getting yelled at
by your own mother when you were a kid, except with lots of expletives.


Equinox Festival,
Macquarie University,
March 30.

The idea behind Equinox was to do the festival thing but do it with a degree
of style and refinement - take it out of the
ty and let it breathe. Turn it into a fair with clothing stalls, a variety
of foods beyond the pies and fries gastronomic nightmare, even some
spiritualists and alternative thinkers delivering their vibes and insights
around the edges. Closer in spirit to America's Horde festival than say a
Lollapalooza. Well, we had a smashing time. Congratulations to Chuggie and
Barbara and the Frontier clan on a bloody good festival. Haven't been to one
as laid back as that since the early '70s when all-dayers at unis used to be
common place. Macquarie was bucolic perfection. Here's a quick run down on
the day's highlights.

Tool - utterly stupendous. Appeared on stage in body paint and cut a heavily
layered, beautifully-paced set that crossed the ground between their earlier
harder works and the edgy atmospheres of "Aenima" beautifully. At times they
looked and sounded almost alien. The phased guitar work, slow builds and
contrasts cut with their tighter edged more strident material was as
impressive as it was the mark of a band that's prepared to experiment and
push the the boundaries out beyond the safety zone.

Midnight Oil - best Oils set we've seen in the '90s. Garrett got it all
right and the band were so tight they threatened to implode while exploding.
The fire dancers were a nice touch particularly as the Oils jammed up a
storm underneath them. And didn't "Bad On The Borderline" sound bloody
marvellous after all these years.

Skunk Anansie - Skin's a star. The only woman in rock capable of giving you
heart attack just watching her. The band's a class act but the drumming's
sounding a might staid. Still when they hit the anthems such as "All I Want"
and "Yes, It's Fuckin' Political" they slam with a ferocity that's stunning.
What they need most of all now is some new songs. The set was remarkably
similar to last year's Sex Pistols support and they haven't stopped touring

Skunkhour - having ditched the rapper and broadened their musical horizons,
they sounded a whole lot more interesting and, at times, got into some
lovely multi-layered stuff where the ethereals drifted off the groove
nicely. No more bloody stale rap-funk thankfully, and when they did fall
back into the earlier material it sounded lacklustre by comparison.

Fauves - still one of the best Australian acts not to get the big thumbs up.
Nice, tight-but-loose, mixed up set where they proved that actually playing
and having something to say makes a big difference, which is precisely what
was wrong with Blink-182 who were surf punk and not much else. But the
girlies love 'em.

Local H - of the younger US bands this was by far the best - a two-piece who
sound like a quartet and cut a nice line in inventive rock twisted round the
edges and delivered with a becoming and beguiling rawness that didn't miss
out on finesse. 

Mark Seymour - how strange to see this great songwriter and lead singer of
Hunters & Collectors alone with just an acoustic as a friend. And he pulled
it off - just. The news songs from his forthcoming solo set sounded strong
and the old ones were fond memories. His strongest weapon remains his voice
and his words and in a club Seymour solo should be an intense and enervating

K's Choice made more friends than enemies and turned in a set that mixed
those keen melodies with enough attitude and flair to convince most that
their current album is pointer to better things to come. 

Backstage - Cass of Skunk Anansie came off stage and five minutes later was
down in the photographer's pit snapping away at Tool; Skin wandered round
look like she'd bite the head off any mother who got in the way - and she's
totally charming; Midnight Oil being preceded onstage by the family Oils -
little 'uns galore and their mums. Nice stuff; Local H - liggin' in the bar.
Blink-182's lead singer signing autographs under the fence and then being
mobbed when he ventured out into the arena; Tool - looking like primitives -
losing their drummer who was waiting for them onstage; Blink-182's lead
singer delivering the standard brown-eye to the crowd; MTV people, mostly
short with clipboards, bad dress sense and a sense of their own
self-importance running round filming and interviewing and generally

The venue - relatively short queues, good food, plenty of loos, cool but
efficient security, overall - bucolic perfection; The look - loose and
messy. Do it again, please, Mr Chugg.