Tickets sold out in less than a day and 75,000 punters descended on Sydney’s ANZ Stadium last Sunday for the bushfire benefit concert Fire Fight Australia, which raised more than $9 million for select causes.
STACK was stoked to be in attendance. Here are our our top five moments from an entire day of highlights.
1. Farnesy – You’re the Voice
The gift that kept on giving! “Allan, where are ya?” Farnesy enquired, while we all wondered who he was on about. Of course! Allan McKenzie the didgeridoo player! Then Brian May flashed up on the giant screen. OMG! Then Farnesy introduced Indigenous artist Mitch Tambo to the stage (he sang the second verse and chorus in Gamilaraay). As pipers filtered out onto the stage we prepared ourselves for the extra emotional wallop. Then Olivia Newton-John returned to the stage. Then a number of volunteer firefighters joined the onstage throng, looking visibly moved while we all belted out the song’s chorus in unison, “…We’re not gonna sit in silence/ We’re not gonna live with fear/ Oh-oh-woah-oh-oh-oh-oh…” – We’re not crying, you’re crying!
2. k.d. lang – Hallelujah
Fire Fight Australia’s acts mostly brought the party and provided escapism and celebratory moments throughout the day, but k.d. lang’s collective prayer helped us heal via her perfect pitch and angelic pipes. Silencing 75,000 sloshed punters is no mean feat, but lang – accompanied by solo piano – was pure perfection and her emotional portrayal could be felt from the nosebleed section .
3. Queen + Adam Lambert – We Are the Champions
Watching Freddy Mercury “Ayo”-ing on the giant screen inside the humongous ANZ Stadium was as close as we’ll ever get to experiencing that Live Aid feeling. And we’re pretty certain any Queen purists in attendance who felt like they would be cheating on Freddy if they bought a ticket to go see Queen + Adam Lambert finally realised that they were the losers in that equation. Altogether now, “No time for losers/ ‘Cause we are the champions…”
4. Icehouse & William Barton – Great Southern Land
Australia’s unofficial national anthem has never sounded more poignant as we sang along and realised some of this song’s lyrics could actually be referencing our nation on fire (“They burned you black, black against the ground”). Special mention goes to William Barton for his goose flesh-inducing didge playing, which actually made it rain temporarily.
5. Alice Cooper – Poison
A definite contender for Most Fun Passionate Singalong Ever, Poison saw punters busting out exaggerated pantomime gestures while belting out that stirring chorus right up in their mates’ grills: “I wanna love you but I better not touch (Don’t touch!)… I wanna taste you but your lips are venomous poi-sooooooooooooon…” Even the two young upstarts next to us in the crowd who deemed Alice Cooper “so ’70s” were rocking out in spite of themselves by set’s end.