This was an incredible performance! The power of music and its ability to transcend time was clearly evident as we experienced Australian Rock Collective (ARC) featuring Kram (Spiderbait), Davey Lane (You Am I), Darren Middleton (Powderfinger) and Mark Wilson (Jet) present Neil Young’s masterpiece Harvest live in concert.
ARC aren’t shy when it comes to taking on an ambitious undertaking such as honouring and celebrating a significant anniversary for a masterpiece of the calibre of Harvest as they did this brilliantly with The Beatles Abbey Road and no doubt will smash it out of the ball park when they return to take on Let It Be. The show was split in to two parts with the first focused on Harvest start to end, a brief intermission and then returning to play some of Neil Young’s classic given the ARC touch up.
Adelaide was the first stop on the tour and Kram was still riding the high of his solo show at the Adelaide Festival a week ago. He was excited about paying tribute to Neil Young and asked the crowd if they were ready. Davey Lane got things off to a flying start with Out On The Weekend and boy did Davey rise to the occasion. Wow! Darren Middleton took the lead on Harvest and after Kram’s version of A Man Needs A Maid he was “glad that’s over”. There was a sense of anticipation of what was next and even Middleton prompting the crowd saying “you know what comes next?” playing the big hit Heart Of Gold. Middleton’s vocals were just perfect and the arrangements were stunning.
ARC are force to be reckoned with individually but the sum of all parts makes for an even greater force. Kram reflected on proceedings saying it was a pleasure doing this after Abbey Road seemed like it was a million years ago. Are You Ready For The Country? (Davey Lane), Old Man (Kram) and There’s A World (Darren Middleton) were fantastic. Middleton’s comment “we worked hard to sound average” was a tad harsh but is acknowledgement of the complexity in recreating some of these songs.
Kram was quite philosophical and spoke of existing for the love of music and each other in the band and the fans stressing how important it was for the band to take risks with each production. Alabama was done brilliantly by Davey, and Kram asked the crowd to keep the applause going after Needle And The Damage Done to replicate how the record cuts straight in to Words (Between The Lines Of Age) as well as giving him time to get back on the drums.
After a short intermission the band returned to play some Neil Young classics kicking off with Like A Hurricane (Darren Middleton) and Ohio (Kram) which was dedicated to the people of Ukraine. Another stand out for me was Cinnamon Girl done by Davey Lane and Darren Middleton’s touch on Powderfinger (inspired his band’s name) was pure class. On Lotta Love Davey Lane reflected on meeting Neil Young and not knowing what to say and Kram spoke of being in to some “weird shit” when it comes to music, the influence of his music teacher and discovering Neil Young’s Comes A Time.
Helpless (Darren Middleton), After The Goldrush (Kram) and Cortez The Killer (Davey Lane) were awesome moments. Returning for an encore including Harvest Moon (Darren Middleton) and Hey Hey My My (Kram) got the crowd up for a standing ovation and well deserved. I thought they might of snuck in Rockin’ In The Free World but not to be. This is a fantastic show that is a must see if you are a Neil Young fan or just a lover of live music.
Live Review By Rob Lyon