The Angels, Chocolate Starfish @ Weekend Of Rock, Adelaide Oval 19/2/2021

Let there be rock! Weekend Of Rock descended on the iconic Adelaide Oval for the first of three nights of Australian rock music. Great concept and something that could be a regular fixture on the Adelaide gig calendar. Going to a bigger show definitely feels and looks a little different now with COVID Marshalls, QR Codes, wearing masks when moving around the stadium and social distancing measures to maximise crowd safety but if all this makes the difference to reviving our music scene I’m all for it.

The pairing of The Angels and Chocolate Starfish is a formidable one with both relishing the opportunity to back playing big shows again. Chocolate Starfish emerged from the players race firing up the crowd that was starting to build. The band charged their way through the extended intro to Bat Out Of Hell before front man Adam Thompson entered stage left. Thompson has some serious rock swagger pulling out all the moves and getting the crowd excitable for the night ahead.

Their set was loaded with great tunes from the likes of All Over Me, Mountain to Four Letter Word. Challenging the crowd to “rise like big kids” and to “stand and dance” rather than “sit and clap golf style” they definitely set the standard for Weekend Of Rock. The big moment in set was their big chart moment and cover of You’re So Vain encouraging the crowd to lend their pipes to sing-a-long to this one. With tease of the Pussycat Dolls Don’t Cha throw the real surprise was a ripping cover of the 4 Non Blondes global smash it What’s Up which will also be on their forthcoming album release. Thompson encouraged the crowd to come and see them mid year when they return for the “birth of their child” that being the new album. Can’t wait! We’re there!

The Angels were up next walking out to the Pink Panther Theme the crowd were fully amped for more rock action. With a war chest of hits to choose from it must be a headache working out what’s in and what’s out these days but Adelaide was treated to the very best of The Angels. Setting the pace with Ivory Stairs it was After The Rain and No Secrets. It is hard to believe that front man Dave Gleeson has been fronting The Angels for ten years now with the band run like a well oiled machine. T.hey have really gelled together well and their sound is tight. Gleeson commented that it has been a a long time since they have rocked and how good it was that a few people had snuck in, obviously not from Melbourne.

Would it ever be possible for The Angels to get away with not playing their national anthem Am I Ever Gonna See You Face Again giving the crowd the chance to “sing obscenities to the sky”? The crowd loved it and couldn’t get enough of it! Highlights for me include the likes of Skid Row After Dark, Comin’ Down and Mr Damage. Gleeson’s cartwheel in Face The Day was impressive before continuing to rock hard on Shadow Boxer and Take A Long Line. Thanking and acknowledging Chocolate Starfish who got out of “disease ridden Melbourne” there was a little disappointment expressed as the bands are not allowed to mix back stage. There was one left in the set with Marseilles to close and later returning for an encore. Love Takes Care is set staple nowadays with both Rick and John Brewster paying tribute to Doc Neeson and Chris Bailey. With one last chance to rock for the evening it was Can’t Shake It sending the crowd home. Masks on time to go!

Who’s backing up again tonight?

Live Review By Rob Lyon

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