Shannon Noll – The Gov Friday 11 May 2018.
Words Geoff Jenke
Support bands are often the unsung heroes of rockNroll. They are on stage to “warm up the crowd” for the main act, but the audience is usually just interested in another beer and catching up with mates. Tonight’s support was South Australia’s own Indiago and I have to admit of not knowing about this band, even though they have been around for about 8 years. That will now change. Tonight, they played an incendiary, raw and dangerous set. It was loud and it ROCKED. Influences obviously include Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon, although I did hear a fair bit if Pearl Jam in the set. They demanded your attention and with long hair flowing, they owned the stage. Will Solomon’s vocals are powerful and soaring and is the best vocalist I have heard for a long time. The final song started off sounding like they were all playing a different song, but somehow it was working. When they all “met” in the middle, it pure sonic noise that made you sit up and take notice. In an alternative universe they are the biggest band in the land. Someone please take this band and make them that in this universe. They deserve it. Yes, they were that good.
Shannon Noll has a new album out called Unbroken and he is at the Gov on this Fiday evening to promote it. Unbroken is his fifth album straight to make the ARIA top 10, a pretty mean feat in this day and age. His first ten singles also made the ARIA top 10, including three that made number one. He is a popular man.
And it showed at The Gov with a good crowd to see Nollsy strut his stuff. Backed by a well-oiled machine of fine musicians, Shannon gave his all to the adoring all. The floor in front of the stage was packed solid by mostly female members of the audience holding phones to capture the moment. Shannon played up to the phones, leaning over and peering into the lens. He is of the mobile phone era and knows how to play the game.
He started the set with Who Am I from his new album and over the course of the set played six tracks off the CD including a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Fortunate Son. I think the song was lost on a lot of the audience, being too young to remember the original. They probably think Shannon wrote it.
The rest of the set was basically his first 12 singles with the exception of C’mon Aussie C’mon (probably a good thing in today’s cricket climate) and Now I Run. He played Everybody Needs a Little Help from 2008, but then nothing from then on, except his new album. He knows what the audience want.
For the ballad Breath of Life, Shannon played keyboards for the intro of the song before heading back to the front of stage to get the crowd waving their arms along with the tune which they kept up for the following popular song Learn to Fly. He then showed us his guitar skills on Southern Sky.
Live, Shannon plays it safe. A safe, but excellent backing band who know where their place is. Safe songs that fall into the ballad or anthem style for that audience sing-a-long chorus. And sing-a-long they did, even knowing all the words to the new songs. They are dedicated fans. Shannon didn’t have to win them over.
Encore was naturally What About Me with the crowd lifting the roof singing along. Then all too soon it was over. He was on stage only a bit over an hour and if I was a fan I would have felt a little cheated with the shortness of the show.
A good solid performance, however for me, it was the support band Indiago that won me over.