The large crowd were certainly revved up for a great night well before Diesel took to the stage for this monumental 30th anniversary show – the 30 year thang. Dressed in his trademark sharp, charcoal pinstripe trouser and waistcoat, shirt sleeves rolled up above the elbow and his edgy shaved head, Diesel cut a mean figure when he made his entrance to the stage in The Gov’s main room on Saturday night. He was solidly supported on stage by his two ridiculously talented, long time friends – …. on bass and …. on percussion… all really looking the goods.
They opened the show with a gritty, deep bluesy version of ‘Save a little Lovin’, which served as the perfect warm-up, as he swapped guitars, and proceeded to belt out ‘Get lucky’ in the same bluesy, ballsy manor. With the exception of a few minor sound issues in the form of mild feedback, the show flowed on powerfully, with several instrument changes for the entire band, much towelling down of sweaty heads, and an engaged and enthusiastic audience that were always begging for more. And more is what they got. Diesel performed around 20 of his songs; all executed in a polished and professional way that somehow felt like you were witnessing an electrifying yet casual jam session. At times he challenged his guitars structural integrity, skilfully beating and knocking out a vicious rhythm before swiftly swinging it back into position to resume strumming… all of which certainly had an electrifying effect on the audience.
By the end of the night, no one stood still as he played all of his best known hits from a highly awarded career that spans 3 decades, in a tenacious, moody, and sexy-as-heck solid show. The energy from the multigenerational audience only increased as the show progressed, as did the bands energy even though it was clear they were giving it their all. He finished the night in impressive style with his hit single ‘Crying shame’, from the 1998 debut album Johnny Diesel and the Injectors, and did not return to the stage for an encore much to the disappointment of the adoring crowd.
All in all an excellent, truly professional show that proved why Diesel keeps coming back, and why he more than deserved his 6 ARIAs.
His current album is Americana, and is available from all the usual suspects.
Words by Kimberley Kurmis.