Jimmy Barnes, Noiseworks, Empty Threats, Workhorse @ Valo Adelaide 500, Adelaide 3/12/2022

Backing up for the second Valo Adelaide 500 after race concerts there was still plenty of fun and great music to be heard. Adelaide really turned it on weather wise with what felt like one of the hottest days we have had for a while and was quite the contrast to Harvest Rock to rain a couple of weeks ago. The CBC Oval was packed full of people reflecting on the day’s racing over a drink or two. Bands On Track featured Workhorse who describe themselves as playing “apocalypse tunes” and have a new album No Photographs on the way, keep an eye on this band as we will be hearing a lot more from them. Hats off to The Empty Threats who lost their drummer to Covid the day before and the replacement literally learnt their songs in a day. Rising to the occasion their frenetic energy and intensity they play with is really something.

The collective disappointment was felt when in was broadcast over the PA that Icehouse would no longer be playing as singer Iva Davies because of a debilitating and painful throat infection which meant he could not sing. Health and wellbeing first and foremost I’m sure they will be back to play in Adelaide again. This meant Noiseworks and Jimmy Barnes would play extended sets so all was not lost.

Great to see Noiseworks back! Not only are they back touring bigger and better than before but they are armed with the first new album in thirty years aptly titled Evolution. The line up features original members lead vocalist Jon Stevens, bass guitarist Steve Balbi, keyboardist Justin Stanley, drummer Kevin Nicol and Jack Jones (aka Irwin Thomas) who has joined the fold. It was rock right from get go with Stand Up, Touch and Burning Feeling. Jon Stevens did a quick poll asking who was born in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 60s with the later getting a huge response and Stevens saying “you know this shit” rocking in to Voice Of Reason.

Heart and Soul was a moving dedication to founding member Stuart Fraser who passed away in 2019 and as Stevens described was exactly that… the heart and soul of the Noiseworks and that his presence was very much all over their new album. Stevens struggling in the heat said it was “fucking hot” and said they had to play the obligatory new songs such as Sunshine which made them felt like “marvels” and also reflected on becoming a grandfather. Miles and Miles and Love Somebody were popular which was followed by In My Youth which was originally titled ‘In My Ute’ as reference to playing every “shit hole know” and loading their band gear in their ute. Politically inspired No Lies was great finishing off on Take Me Back, Hot Chili Woman and Led Zeppelin cover Rock and Roll.

Adelaide’s favourite son Jimmy Barnes headlined the Saturday night after concert playing an incredible show. One thing with Jimmy is that he gives everything and leaves absolutely nothing on the table. This show takes on special significance as it was revealed that he would be having surgery meaning this would be his last show for a while. The way Jimmy commanded the stage there were no obvious signs of discomfort as he delivered another great performance. His set was loaded with hits right from first drop with Flesh and Blood, I’d Die To Be With You Tonight, Choir Girl and Too Much Ain’t Enough Love. Saying to the faithful there was no way of cancelling the show even if his was laying on his back in Adelaide suggesting if he was laying down he would be reminiscing about Adelaide. Love & Hate, Ride The Night Away to Jimmy’s wife playing bagpipes on I’m Coming Home his set had everything.

The story behind Shutting Down Our Town takes on greater meaning when sung in Adelaide and at the Valo Adelaide 500 where Holdens are racing for the last time. Barnesie described the week he worked at Holdens as the best job he never had just as Cold Chisel were taking off and dedicated the song to everyone to made a Holden. Daughter Mahalia was brilliant on the cover of Proud Mary with Barnesie returning for Flame Trees and Resurrection Shuffle. There was an abundance of riches to finish the set with Ain’t No Second Prize, Good Times (joined by Jon Stevens), Khe Sanh, Last Train Out Of Sydney and finishing on Working Class Man.

Jimmy Barnes, band and family weren’t done returning for an encore dedicating a rousing version of Icehouse’s Great Southern Land to Iva Davies. Superbly done given that it was most unlikely rehearsed closing out Saturday night with Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye). Home to rest for the final day!

Live Review By Rob Lyon