Sunday October 14 saw the world-renowned classic rock band Foreigner headlining Live in the Park at Botanic Park in Adelaide. The headliners performed in harmonious conjunction with their massive rock orchestra behind them. Supporting bands and special guests for the day included local lads and SAM Award nominees Neon Tetra, as well as the Aussie pop group Sheppard and the legendary Cheap Trick.
Neon Tetra were the first act on. They are a local South Aussie group with a poppy sound, who at first may have been playing to next to no one on this cold and miserable day, but people slowly started to pour in along with more rain with them. One of Neon Tetra’s best moments was the long drawn out saxophone solo that seemed to keep on building with momentum, and increasing the crowd’s excitement in the small-but-ever-growing audience. By the end of their set, listeners were rocking along with enjoyment and a strong anticipation for the acts to follow.
After a brief break and lots of guitar tech work, the stage was finally set and ready for the next act, Australian indie pop band from Brisbane Sheppard. I was positioned centre of stage, just a little to the right hand side of the sound desk, and the sound engineers did a great job in the less-than-desirable, humid, and wet weather conditions. Along with the band, they helped to create a perfectly balanced, well mixed and dynamic sound of purely uplifting energy. The bass player really stood out among amongst the other stars and did an excellent job while providing back-up vocals and playing on a gorgeous pink bass guitar fitted with pink strings to match it. They opened their set with the song Coming Home, and the crowd roared with approval.
The combination of acoustic and electric guitar sounds was great, especially on Let Me Down Easy and it was topped off by an airy reverberation on the guitar at the end of the song. When both guitarists used their telecasters together on the next song, there was a whole other level of resonating sounds on the song Edge of The Night as the singer jumped across the stage, bounding with energy that projected onto the audience and surely warmed the cold crowd as well equipped as they were, most with ponchos but some missing out as they unfortunately sold out.
They continued with other songs like Riding The Wave, which was the total opposite, and on which the acoustic guitar blended perfectly well. Their next song was Hometown and featured a big shout out to the man on acoustic guitar, and a shout-out next to the opening act Neon Tetra. It was great when Sheppard next played their hit song, which featured a nice rappy introduction. Overall, they sounded excellent, and their uplifting music was a great brightener on this otherwise super dull and gloomy humid day.
They did a cover of What About Me, which was amazing, and took the crowd’s breath away.
Half way to hell was incredibly powerful before their final song, the banger ‘Saint Geronimo’, performed perfectly, and delivered with passion. Everyone was up and out of their seats for the final chorus, and eagerly followed those instructions and stood up to clap and tag along in the sound party, it was great!
Cheap Trick were up next, the guitar tech teasing the crowd with an all-too-familiar sounding riff as they waited for the legendary act to emerge. An interesting drum fill / solo kicked things off before a bold introduction announcing them as the greatest rock band ever.
You Got It Going On was played second, and half-way through the song it begun to lightly rain, which added a nice extra effect to the show. The front man pranced about the stage wearing a top hat all throughout the show and really got into the groove at some points, thoroughly entertaining the audience.
Big Eyes was the next song by Cheap Trick, followed by If You Want my Love. The band encouraged the crowd to sing along, and they happily complied. The Summer Looks Good On You was well performed, and you could really notice the bass player’s eight-stringed instrument, and its unique sound in the mix. Whatever you want, I’ll be with you was a definite highlight of the epic old-school band’s set list, and the audience ate it up. With over an hour to go, the weather conditions were worsening and rain was pouring down all that was missing was scenic thunder, which unfortunately never came.
Familiar cover song ‘I want you to want me’ got everyone into the groove and featured a cool solo in the mix with additional lead guitar moments. It was funny when the crowd was beckoned to sing along but did not. Perhaps due to the ever increasing bad weather that was really killing the vibe. By the end of the song it was a consistent strong pour, although not too overpowering. ‘Surrender’ was song the final song, and by the end of this track, anticipation was high for headlining act, Foreigner.
There was quite the break before Foreigner hit the stage, due to the setup of the orchestra. Punters waited patiently in the drizzling rain. Finally, Foreigner waltzed onto the stage, accompanied by their orchestra, which absolutely blew the crowd away. The band made a big reference to their 40th year of music. “It was in your blood, in your heart, in your soul,” they shouted out to the over 40s in the crowd, and spoke about the days of waking up to turn on the radio, Much like my own father does, funnily enough. They then played Feels Like The First Time, followed by a stream of some of the band’s biggest hits, like Dirty White Boy and Urgent, which really got the audience going. The song, ‘I’m a fool for you anyway’ featured saxophone in the mix, which made for a unique and interesting listening experience, which the crowd seemed to enjoy.
Overall, the show was amazing. Despite the poor weather conditions, it was a great day with an awesome line up of bands and with something for everyone across all of the ages. Despite the rainy, humid weather, punters seemed to have a great time, and so did the performers on stage.