A Red Hot Summer show was promised and that’s what was delivered.
Just over 3000 people converged on Tumut Showground to watch some of the greats of Australian rock perform and the success of Saturday’s event has ensured Tumut is on the tour card for next year’s event.
The 42-degree heat made shade the most sort-after commodity on the day with the large elms around the main arena transformed into a picnic chair city.
Many braved the sweltering conditions sitting within the arena under umbrellas, sprinklers and sombreros to help shelter them from the burning conditions.
Chocolate Starfish led the way and had their work cut out for them trying to entice the sluggish crowd to make it to the mosh pit.
After their performance the band cooled off in an ice shower set up specifically to help drop the performers and backstage staff’s body temperatures to prevent heat exhaustion.
Entertaining frontman for the band, Adam Thompson, stepping out from his ice shower, said he couldn’t believe how hot it was on stage was but was grateful for the effort the crowd made.
“It was so hot up there,” Thompson said. “You can’t blame the fans for trying to keep cool, they were great though. It will only get hotter for the other bands.”
The mist tent soon became the most popular spot at the grounds along with the two sprinklers on the main arena that had the young and the old jostling for a refreshing spray.
As the new look Dragon, with frontman Mark Williams, took the stage many of those gathered headed to the front to enjoy a walk back in time as the band belted out their big hits including April Sun in Cuba, which echoed around the ground while the audience sung along to the chorus.
Promoter, Duane McDonald, from Regional Touring said the Tumut concert was a massive success.
“You killed us, what a bloody scorcher,” Mr McDonald said. “It was great though, there was no trouble and it all went down so well.
“We will definitely be back next January, hopefully it won’t be so hot. We are already working on the line-up.”
Mr McDonald said Jimmy Barnes was grateful the temperature dropped eight degrees just as he started.
“Jimmy struggled with the heat, he has just finished playing five New Zealand Red Hot Summer concerts and then he was straight into the Tumut show.
“He loved it though.”
Gallons of Gatorade were poured into the crew and band members to ensure they were hydrated, with several crew members treated for heat related issues. Mr McDonald said organisers had taken all the necessary precautions.
One man many of those gathered had come to see was ex-Cold Chisel band member, Ian Moss. His passion for music and performing was evident as he took to the stage singing hits like Tucker’s Daughter and Telephone Booth along with some of Chisel’s songs.
Moss warmed the crowd up for the energetic Baby Animals fronted by the quintessential rock chick, Suze DeMarchi, who had the audience on their feet and singing along to Rush You, One Word and Painless.
Comments that the petite singer was as good as ever abounded during the Baby Animals performance with Suze tweeting after the show, “Best Crowd EVER Tumut. Awesome day.”
A strong police presence and strict serving of alcohol procedures ensured there was no negative behaviour throughout the concert with police praising the organisers and the crowd in attendance.
The St John’s first aid crew were kept busy during the event, plying concert goers with sunscreen and water and treating those who had succumbed to the heat.
With most of the crowd drenched in sweat, water and happiness, Jimmy Barnes hit the stage transforming the audience chants for Jimmy into a loud roar and screams.
The experienced rocker did not disappoint, sounding better than ever and performing under the challenging conditions for one and a half hours.
All the hits were there from his days with the infamous Chisel and through his successful solo career as well. His trademark voice spurred the tight-packed audience against the front barrier to ignore the heat and rock on with him.
Flying in and out of Tumut, the superstar left straight after the show finished to ensure he recovered for Sunday’s concert venue, Nowra.
Tumut was the first of 17 scheduled shows for the Red Hot Summer Tour and will travel around the nation finishing up on the Gold Coast in May. Given the early success of the event and the positive ticket sales for upcoming concerts, the promoters have not ruled out adding in extra shows along the way.
As the blazing sun set on the Tumut Showground Saturday evening, organisers’ dreams of bringing a first rate tour to town had been realised.
The sunburnt, dehydrated and very weary crowd headed for home after a magnificent day of old school rock.