By Deb Kloeden
Adelaide 500 Clipsal is an annual 4-day supercar-racing event held on the streets of inner Adelaide. It is Australia’s largest street circuit motor event and attracts enormous crowds from far and wide. Originally the weekend of motor racing finalized with a major concert night. More recently, concerts have been added to the Friday, Saturday and Sunday excitement.
This year, the first of the concert series celebrated an all South Australian line-up (Made in SA) with headline act, Cold Chisel. Popular alt-country star Kasey Chambers, outsider rock group Bad//Dreems, rock band Donnarumma and country duo Hana and Jessie Lee, provided hours of local entertainment.
After an adrenalin-filled day trackside, the large crowd was ready to be entertained. Hana and Jessie Lee got the show started as punters made their way toward the stage. Donnarumma, led by charismatic frontman Louis Donnarumma, impressed the crowd with their musicianship and raw energy. Louis confidently worked the stage, leaping on speaker boxes and played mouth guitar for added drama.
Bad//Dreems are rapidly gaining a huge following. I have seen them play twice before and they always entertain. Their raw brand of Aussie Rock comes straight from the rough side of town, showing they are a band not to be messed with. Songs like ‘Gutful’ and ‘Mob Rules’ can drive their fans into a frenzy as they raise a finger to society. Frontman, Ben Marwe deliberately tries to surprise, with his Joe Cocker – style moves and unpredictable behaviour. With beer in hand, he hides under his shirt, pulls strange faces and, last night, pashed the bass player. You never know what’s coming next.
Kasey Chambers is the Country darling of South Australia. She originally came from my part of the state and we’re very happy to claim her as a district local. With a huge repertoire of music spanning nearly twenty years, she delighted her fans with songs old and new. ‘Am I Not Pretty Enough’ was an early favourite in her set and had tough, petrol-head, tattooed men singing along in no time. Kasey’s band includes her father, Bill Chambers, who was originally a member of The Dead Ringer band. So Kasey grew up in a house full of music, making it unsurprising that she has become the celebrity she is today. Dressed elegantly in a frilly red dress of varying lengths and black over-the-knee boots, she looked less like the tomboy she really is and made a stunning centre stage focus. Songs were interspersed with easy banter with the crowd, making it feel like each and every one of us was having a conversation with her.
But the majority of the crowd was waiting for Adelaide’s own Jimmy Barnes and Cold Chisel. This was the first time the band had played in their hometown since 2015 and Barnsey said it was ‘great to be back’. With 40 years of famous hits under their belts, it was exciting to see aging bearded, tattooed men, in particular, singing along to all their favourites like ‘Standing On The Outside’, “Choir Girl’, ‘My Baby’, ‘Cheap Wine’, and ‘Shipping Steel’ (one for the truck drivers), just to name a few.
Barnsey prowled the stage like a caged animal, singing his lungs out all the way. His trade-mark screaming voice is still as strong as ever and his interaction on stage with lead guitarist, Ian Moss demonstrated the very close bond these men have. Ian Moss provided some incredible lead solos and at times the stage was filled with the addition of three back up female vocalists, a harmonica player and sax player, as well as the other members of the band.
After a generous set, the band left the stage, only to come back for 2 encores, the first starting with ‘Saturday Night’ and included a Conway Twitty cover of ‘It’s Only Make Believe’. Each encore contained four songs, finally finishing with ‘Goodbye’. Nearly two hours of singing along to hometown favourites, Jimmy Barnes and Cold Chisel left the entire crowd completely content and exhilarated.
There are two more nights of concerts, finalizing on Sunday night