Well, it looks like the time has come for the final goodbye from Aussie rockers Midnight Oil. Peter Garrett and the boys played what will most likely be their final show in Oakland yesterday. It was bittersweet from start to finish as fans sold out the Fox to bid adieu to a band they’ve followed since the early 80s. Surprisingly — or not so surprisingly I suppose considering the timeless nature of the music — folks from all ages could be seen in the audience. A true testament to the sheer power of its music.
Just like any other Midnight Oil performance, hints of politics were included. A few quips about Trump as well as genuine respect for San Francisco’s rebellious nature were vocalized by Garrett at the start of the show. All very well received by the Bay Area fans whose politics were most likely well aligned with the statuesque frontman’s.
They kicked off the show with a haunting version of “We Resist.” The red backdrop with deep crimson lighting made for a cinematic start to the show. “King of the Moutain” was next to liven things up. But it wasn’t until the rock riffage of “At the Time of Writing” that the crowd went wild.
Staying true to never playing the same set list twice, the band introduced two new songs this time around: “Undercover” and “Warakurna.” Both were pulled off effortlessly by the dome-headed singer and the boys. The former still sounding grandiose at 69 years of age, with the same catatonic dance moves and commanding stage presence we’ve all grown to love.
Interestingly they didn’t wait until the encore to pull out their biggest song to date, “Beds Are Burning.” As with all songs of this magnitude it enthused the biggest response from the crowd. I have to admit hearing it live after all these years brought shivers down my arms.
If this is truly the end of touring for the guys then hats off to them. Their legacy will remain unmatched and the impact they’ve had on an entire generation of people who grew up watching MTV will forever be engrained. Honestly, these days it seems like the ones selling out venues are the older seasoned bands, so it’s always such a loss when one decides to hang them up.
Photos by Louis Raphael