Fire Fight Australia
February 16, 2020
It has been thirty-five years since the eponymous Live Aid festival was organised by Bob Geldorf to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine – the impressive array of artists that participated made it one of more memorable festivals in the aeons of rock and pop.
Fast forward to 2020 with Bushfires having destroyed countless homes, claiming lives and razing over ten million hectares of bushland, the “Live Aid Down Under”, i.e. FIRE FIGHT AUSTRALIA invoked the spirit of Live Aid in assembling international and local music icons to share one stage for Australia during its time of need to raise money for NATIONAL BUSHFIRE RELIEF in a bid to provide key organisations providing vital “Rescue”, “Relief and Recovery”, “Rehabilitation” and “Rebuilding” assistance in affected areas.
The eclectic line-up was of a calibre seldomly seen on stages on this earthround with the cream of the crop of artists currently touring terra australis, including Queen + Adam Lambert, k.d. lang, Michael Bublé, Alice Cooper and Ronan Keating alongside a diverse potpourri of Australian artists like 5 Seconds of Summer, Amy Shark, Baker Boy, Conrad Sewell, Daryl Braithwaite, Delta Goodrem, Grinspoon, Guy Sebastian, Hilltop Hoods, Icehouse, Illy, Jessica Mauboy, John Farnham, Lee Kernaghan, Olivia Newton-John, Peking Duk, Pete Murray, Tina Arena and William Barton.
More than seventy-five thousand people packed the ANZ stadium in Sydney and over one million watched from home as rock royalty Queen re-enacted for the first time what is widely considered as one of the greatest live performances of all time to a sold out Wembley Stadium in London for Live Aid. The Sydney version included Freddie Mercury making an appearance with his iconic "ay-oh" recall sequence and stage banter, which the audience frenetically engaged in. The show was my first exposure to the new singer, i.e. Adam Lambert, who delivered in spades at least as far as vocal delivery was concerned. Needless to say that Queen was more than a worthy headliner, whose performance clearly crowned the festival. Pun intended.
Witnessing Alice Cooper and his worthy constituents, i.e. his tight band with Nita Strauss in charge of lead guitar, incarnate on stage is never not an experience and today was not an exception: With a short but to the point performance, Cooper delivered a best-of set that was not only a local highlight but heralded the second half of the day with a bang.
A nice change of pace came courtesy of local hip hop stalwarts Hilltop Hoods, who seemed to feel very comfortable serenading a stadium sized audience, as well as k.d. lang, who, dressed in all white delivered a breath taking and subtle rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “hallelujah”.
The finale of this great day could not have been more Australia with John Farnham teaming up with Birri Gubba man Mitch Tambo, who shared vocal duties on “You are the voice” in Gamilaraay and a traditional, aboriginal dance.
Just when one thought things had already been dialled up to eleven, Queen guitarist Brian May joined Farnham, who was later on joined by local favourite Olivia Newton-John.
A grande festival put together in very limited time, which helped to raise close to ten million dollars for a great cause.
Click here if you’d like to donate from the US.