Triple j turned the big 4-0 this week and rather than hosting a respectable and intimate dinner party, our national broadcaster decided to throw a massive, public concert at Sydney’s Domain featuring performances from a number of their friends who also happen to be some of Australia’s most loved musicians.
Around 25,000 people descended upon the venue to join in on the celebrations and many more listened to the live broadcast around the country. Whether it was Daniel Johns returning to the stage after a long absence to cover the Nirvana standard Smells Like Teen Spirit or Hilltop Hoods’ cameo-filled performance of their 2014 hit Cosby Sweater, the evening had its fair share of highlights buoyed by surprise guest appearances from local legends.
As is the custom when birthday parties come to a sad end, now is the time to re-live some of the night’s top moments. For convenience sake, we’ve gathered a few for you below.
Ball Park Music Recruit Dave Faulkner To Help Cover A Hoodoo Gurus Classic
Brisbane rockers Ball Park Music kicked things off on the main stage and enlisted the help of the day’s first surprise guest, Dave Faulker of the Hoodoo Gurus, a self-professed Ball Park Music fan, to cover their 1985 Australian classic Like Wow – Wipeout.
Taken from Hoodoo Gurus’ second album Mars Needs Guitars!, Faulkner takes lead vocal duties on the ripping performance while the Brisbane five-piece did justice on the track with their rolling guitar riffs. 30 years on and the song still holds up.
Watch: Ball Park Music ft Dave Faulkner cover ‘Like Wow – Wipeout’ at Beat The Drum
Vance Joy, Bernard Fanning, Tom Iansek and Members of Saskwatch Cover Australian Crawl’s ‘Reckless’
Three of Australia’s premiere male artists Vance Joy, Powderfinger’s Bernard Fanning and Big Scary/ #1 Dads‘ Tom Iansek took on another Australian hit, Reckless by loved surf rockers Australian Crawl.
Fanning took charge of the delicate lead vocal duties on the James Reyne classic, joined by Vance Joy on the swelling chorus with members of Saskwatch on horns, while Iansek provided those beautiful guitar solos.
Watch: Bernard Fanning, Vance Joy and Tom Iansek cover Australian Crawl at triple j’s Beat The Drum
Gotye Turned Up For A Short, But Special Set
Gotye wasn’t even a headlining act at the concert, but made a very welcome on stage appearance between sets to play subtle and tasteful renditions of two Gotye songs, neither of which was Somebody That I Used To Know.
Wally De Backer made the crowd swoon with a stripped back take on Heart’s A Mess and recruited some friends for the percussion and sample-filled Thanks For Your Time. No thank you Wally, thank you.
Watch: Gotye live at triple j’s Beat The Drum
You Am I’s Genre-Crossing, Crowd-Surfing Collaborations
You Am I led the way with genre-crossing, onstage collaborations, and looked like they had a hell of a time doing it. As well as teaming up with Courtney Barnett for Mr Milk, they also backed up Joelistics with his track Say I’m Good.
Then on came Magic Dirt’s Adalita, who joined the band for an epic cover of their 1995 track Jewels And Bullets. Apart from the crowd-surfing, it’s worth watching for Tim Rogers’ jacket-vest combo alone.
Watch: You Am I with Joelistics and Adalita at triple j’s Beat The Drum
Daniel Johns Turns A Grunge Anthem Into A Piano Ballad
It’s arguably the performance of the night that garnered the most mixed reactions. Some fans were uncomfortable with Daniel John’s stripped back version of Nirvana’s grunge hymn Smells Like Teen Spirit but many were equally moved by it.
The Silverchair frontman showcased his versatilely by transforming the song into a heartfelt and slow piano ballad, backed by a harpist. It’s not the last we’re going to hear from Johns this year either, as just hours before his performance he posted an image to his socials teasing a release called Aerial Love and a date of 29th January.
Watch: Daniel Johns covers ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ at triple j’s Beat The Drum
Hilltop Hoods & Pretty Much Everyone In Aus Hip Hop Played The “Most Unfortunately Named Song of 2014″
It might in fact be, as MC Suffa introduced it, the “most unfortunately named song of 2014″ but that in no way deterred Hilltop Hoods from inviting a slew of fellow Australian hip hop guests to join them in an extended 10 minute version of their hit Cosby Sweater.
The cover featured guest verses from the likes of Illy, Seth Sentry, Horrorshow, Tkay Maidza, Thundamentals and Drapht who gave the track his own distinct touch with a middle finger salute to the real-life Cosby along with the shout out, “Fuck Bill Cosby.”
Watch: Cosby Sweater – Hilltop Hoods, Illy, Horrorshow, Drapht, Seth Sentry, Tkay Maidza, Thundamentals
Other acts who performed at the concert included The Presets, Megan Washington, Hermitude, The Cat Empire and The Preatures. Read up on what went down over at Music Feeds’ full review of Beat The Drum, and check some pics in the gallery below.
Gallery: Beat The Drum – Sydney, The Domain 16/01/15 / Photos by Ashley Mar
Six Video Highlights From Triple J's Beat The Drum Birthday Gig - Music Feeds