After the week of fairly ordinary, wet weather, to see clear blue skies on Saturday morning lifted my spirits. There is nothing worse than being outside at a gig when it’s raining and especially when you’re seeing the laid back Jack Johnson performing in The Domain.
You need sunshine and clear blue skies, coupled with good friends and few beers. What you don’t need is security enforcing ridiculous rules (no picnic blankets or anything to sit on?) long wait before the opening act (2 hours) and poor drink and food options. But, we’ll put that aside for the great line up of bands.
Ash Grunwald took to the stage for his unique blend of blues and roots and sadly failed to make an impact. In fact, I don’t even think anyone was really paying attention to him being on stage. The sound was pretty awful and after waiting so long for some music, he was really disappointing. Having seen Ash before and been totally amazed by his set, today was a let down.
Tegan and Sara return for their bi annual visit to these shores (or so it seems!) The Canadians are crowd pleasers and always play a solid set each time I have seen them in the past. Their pop light folk tunes are perfect for the setting sun. However, like Ash, they failed to really capture the crowds attention. A set that seemed void of some of their more commercially recognised songs and again, faltering sound problems really ruined the performance.
Nightfall had set in when Jack Johnson walked on stage with little fan fare. He was polite and let his music do the communicating playing tracks predominately of his more recent albums with only a couple of classic Jack tracks like ‘Flake’ and ‘Bubbly Toes’. Half way through his set fireworks went off in the distance, not for him but for an overrated TV personality in Oprah Winfrey being in town.
The crowd, all on their feet, sang and danced around The Domain. A short hour later he said goodbye and left. Feeling a bit robbed that some of my favourite Jack Johnson songs didn’t get a run (‘Horizon Has Been Defeated’ and ‘Gone’) those I went along with commented his previous tour and show at Centennial Park was much better.
Maybe the music planets couldn’t line up tonight. With three great acts – the perfect setting – I had expected so much more from this gig. In review, it was slightly underwhelming. A good afternoon out which should’ve of been great, but didn’t quite hit it’s peak.