A Day On The Green
Saturday 9th March saw some of Australia’s most loved and legendary singer songwriters grace the stage at an outdoor concert held at Peterson’s Winery, just out of Armidale along Dangarsleigh Road. Some 7,000 people attended the 5-hour event with picnic rugs and camping chairs, set between the vineyards of the winery and surrounding Armidale hills.
Lisa Mitchell, having released her second album Bless This Mess, and touring as a duo with keyboard player Robert Vasey, set the scene with her sweet voice.
As the sky above the stretching vineyards hit dusk, Mark Seymour of Hunters and Collectors renown carried the crowd with his band The Undertow, before Paul Kelly and Neil Finn shared the stage, effortlessly intertwining with each other’s performances and repertoires, each even reproducing one of the other’s songs. As Paul Kelly described, they were to “morph into each other. Sometimes I will be Neil and sometimes he will be me.” His following rendition of Crowded House’s ‘Into Temptation’, shot through with a deep and moving vibe yet uniquely his own sound, was followed by Finn’s cover of ‘You Can Put Your Shoes Under My Bed’.
Finn & Kelly were joined by relatives Dan Kelly on guitars and Elroy Finn on drums.
‘I’m all for playing in the regional areas,’ said keyboard player Robert Vasey, himself from Forster, NSW, describing how important it is to include regional venues in these kinds of tours. He also noted that the Armidale venue had a greater turnout than other regional areas they had played such as the Yarra Valley, with both Lisa Mitchell and Mark Seymour doing signings that attracted long lines of enthusiasts.
Local SES and Rural Fire Service volunteers ensured the large numbers were well organised. The night ended on a beautiful note, with Paul Kelly and Neil Finn bringing dancing and singing from the crowd in return for a second encore.