Adelaide Festival

Adelaide Festival Review: ICEHOUSE: Great Southern Land 2022 – Adelaide Festival

Bands such as Icehouse are pioneers for shaping the Australian rock music into the industry it is today.


Presented by: Adelaide Festival and Live Nation

Reviewed 8 March 2022

How does one write a review on the iconic and legendary Aussie band, Icehouse? It is difficult to sum up their 40+ year career into a single concert, or review. Bands such as Icehouse, along with other groups such as Midnight Oil, The Angels, and AC/DC are pioneers for shaping the Australian rock music into the industry it is today.

Adelaide Oval has seen many great acts grace the stage over the years, and the ground was shaking as the sound of the audience and the band rang out into the night. It was a cool evening, but that didn’t stop the thousands flocking to see this incredible band perform live.

Icehouse formed in 1977, originally under the name Flowers, and initially know as a pub rock band. The name Icehouse was adopted in 1981 when they achieved mainstream success playing new-wave and synth pop music. Icehouse took the world by storm through the 1980s, going through many rotations of members, but Iva Davies has been the frontman of Icehouse since its beginnings. In 2006 Icehouse was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame, and they are heralded as one of the most successful Australian bands of the eighties and nineties.

The evening opened with a very moving Welcome To Country. Not only did they pay respect to past, present and coming elders, but also acknowledged that it’s time for change and for women’s voices to be heard. A smoking ceremony that was also part of the Welcome To Country not only blessed the land, but also sent good fortune and safety to those caught in the flooding in NSW and QLD, and those in the Ukraine. Whilst we all are from different backgrounds, we are all connected by Mother Earth.

The support act for the evening was Groote Eylandt’s AIR award-winning and ARIA-nominated blues and roots artist, Emily Wurramara. Emily has a soulful, warm voice. When performing, she has a great connection to her lyrics and has a very storytelling approach.

It was her first time playing and performing with a band for two years and she was radiating with sheer joy to be back performing live. Emily was supported by her band, as well as playing ukulele herself.

After an introduction by First Nation performer William Barton, Icehouse emerged onto stage, greeted by a thunderous applause. Opening with their 1980 hit, Icehouse, the band performed classic hit after classic hit. Icehouse, Walls, Electric Blue, Don’t Believe Anymore, Baby You’re So Strange, We Can Get Together – the hits just kept rolling from the band. Lead singer Iva Davies is still as vocally phenomenal as he was back in the 1980s. His voice is still in fine form and has a great rock edge to it, just with a little more maturity to his tone these days. The current line up of Icehouse are still creating their original iconic sound, but bringing a new, fresh approach to their playing. Along side Iva Davies, Icehouse currently features Steve Bull on bass (1989 – present), Paul Gildea on lead guitar (1989 – present), Paul Wheeler on drums (1986 – present), Michael Paynter on guitar, backing vocals and keyboards (2011 – present) and, their most recent member, Hugo Lee on saxophone and keyboard.

In a tribute to other great Australian bands, Icehouse ended the evening with two covers: Put Down That Weapon by Midnight Oil and Take Me Away To Marseilles by The Angels. Seeing a groundbreaking band like Icehouse pay tribute to these equally significant bands was a rather touching gesture to other legends of the Australian music industry.

2022 marks the 40th anniversary of what is probably Icehouse’s biggest hit, the legendary Australian anthem Great Southern Land. First released in 1982, Great Southern Land was written by Iva Davies when the band was overseas on their first tour and he was suffering terrible homesickness. Currently embarking on a national tour, this iconic Australian band is worth seeing wherever they are performing next.

Reviewed by: Ben Stefanoff

Twitter: @theartsislife

One Night Only – Season Ended

Rating out of 5: 5

Photo Credit: Andrew Beveridge

#Adelaide #AdlFest #AdelaideFestival #livetheatreadelaide #supportthearts #ICEHOUSE #Greatsouthernland

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