SF Concert Review: Midnight Oil at the Fox

in Photos/SF Concert Reviews by

After almost 15 years away of being away from the spotlight, Midnight Oil (a band that once ruled the charts back in the 80s) have decided to reunite and played the Fox in Oakland last night to a sold-out crowd of screaming fans that couldn’t get enough of them. The band most famous for hits like “Beds Are Burning” and “Blue Sky Mine,”  has always been a political band, almost revolutionary at times, and last night was no different. In between sets their lead singer Peter Garret was not shy about expressing his discontent for the current political climate and encouraged his audience to keep fighting the good fight, especially when it comes to the health of our environment.

This came as no surprise since lead singer Peter Garrett’s absence from music was largely due to him holding office in the Australian Parliament. His biggest stance while in politics was environmental rights and so it seemed fitting when he thanked his audience for their work in supporting the cause. At one point of the show, Garett’s show of affection was so heartfelt, that he declared that the evening at hand was going to be a love affair between Australia and the U.S. The audience returned the gesture with an enthusiastic roar, a predictable response from fans that had waited so long for this reunion to happen.

They kicked off the set with “Redneck Wonderland,” an unapologetic energetic opener that contains an epic guitar riff with a relentless drive that pushes the song forward. It was followed by a string of perfectly crafted songs performed flawlessly one after the next. A thought that instantly comes to mind when you see a band of this caliber, is how amazing these players are. With an average age looming at around 60, they sound as good if not better today as they did back then, which goes to show that talent holds no boundaries.

The overall energy and stage presence were felt by all last night, and Garett’s catatonic and compulsive dance moves combined with a glowing bald head remain as striking today as they did back when the band was at its prime. The musicianship of the band is also worth noting. The rhythm guitars and lead melodies that accompanied the singer throughout the night pushed the excitement of their audience from fascination into a frenzy and didn’t let go for a solid two hours, with an impressive two encores at the end.

The night was a memorable one, the music inspiring and their message couldn’t have come at a better time. Midnight Oil is a band that is needed today not only because of their music but because of the uncertainty of our times. The band whose lyrics were always rooted in social justice, political and environmental activism has come back to make some noise in today’s world affairs, and I think it’s safe to say that at least here in the Bay Area, we’re thankful for it.

Photos by Louis Raphael Photography. They may not be used or reproduced without permission.

[envira-gallery id=”4013″]


Redneck Wonderland
No Time for Games
(guitar solo)
Now or Never Land
Put Down That Weapon
Too Much Sunshine
Sell My Soul
My Country
Luritja Way
Ships of Freedom
(semi-acoustic, trumpet)
River Runs Red
Only the Strong
The Dead Heart
Beds Are Burning
Blue Sky Mine

Wharf Rat
(Grateful Dead cover)
Power and the Passion
(drum solo)
Forgotten Years

Encore 2:
King of the Mountain



With a discography that includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

Latest from Photos

Spotify - Today's Top Hits

Go to Top