Monday, March 19, 2012

The Cranberries and Lenny Kravitz

Arriving at the Royal Botanical Gardens with the buzzing sound of the F1 cars racing around the town ringing out over the city from the next suburb over, I entered the grounds of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl for a night of music under the stars. With the Melbourne skyline lit with the sun setting, I joined my sisters and a few mates on picnic blankets in the middle of the grassy area.

Being the second night of the F1 Rocks concert gigs, as part of the Grand Prix, I was surprised at the low volume of crowd both on the hill and also down on the more expensive seats in front of the stage. Wolfmother opened the night, who ended with their set with Joker And The Thief, which had the languid crowd suddenly spring to life.

The next act were Ireland's The Cranberries. Melissa and I were recounting that we had seem them live a couple of times in the late 1990s, and we reeled off the more obscure tracks we loved and wondered if we would hear play. Of course, as the grunge soundtrack to the end of high school for me, the No Need To Argue album, it featured heavily in this discussion!

Opening with the beautiful Dreams, and then Linger, Dolores and her band took us back to the tracks and lyrics we all loved so much.

Dolores was hard to photograph because she moves around so much on stage, and is never still with her crazy dancing! We had forgotten about her lively stage presence. Plus her light coloured suit and the lighting used had her appear as a blurred white figure on stage for much of the time. But her gorgeous Irish accent was unmistakable, and so cute! She was chatty, and called the crowd 'lads' and talked about celebrating St Patrick's Day the day before.

They gave us a few new tracks from Roses, but songs like Ode To My Family and When You're Gone pulled in the crowd for a full singalong. Free To Decide, and also I Can't Be With You, plus Salvation were in the mix, but Ridiculous Thoughts and the amazing Zombie to finish off the set were brilliant. Definitely had us wanting more from this Irish band, who has been so absent from the music scene in recent times.

Arriving on stage as the sky reached darkness, Lenny Kravitz was wearing a fur vest, grey scarf, jeans, and aviators. He oozed Sexy Rock God status all night, as he delivered his range from his vast album collection, and apologised for not coming to Australia for over 18 years.

Tracks like American Woman and Rock And Roll Is Dead were very big. Lenny had a horn section on stage, complete with a trumpeter who stole the attention on more than one occasion!

Mr Cab Driver and the new Black and White America tapped into his experiences as a black man in America and also the story of his parents' inter-racial marriage, before Always On The Run.

The beautiful Believe had our little group singing along, given the anticipation of this favourite track, and Stand By My Woman and It Ain't Over Till It's Over were also lovely. The rocking Are You Gonna Got My Way, and then Fly Away were very full tracks, loud and strong, and much loved by the then, very involved crowd.

For the epic encore of Let Love Rule, Lenny had the crowd singing and dancing along. In want turned into the never-ending track, he then seemed to get very carried away with the singing participation and then instrumental solos, before declaring that he would not leave it longer than 3 years till he returned to our shores again.

Keeping on with the chorus singing shared with the crowd, Lenny then declared that he was "coming down then", donned his scarf again after just being singleted by this time, and jumped down from the stage to run along the front row and the adoring punters reaching out to him.

Once he had reached the other side of the stage, the lighting and the stressed security then followed him as he weaved through the edge of the crowd, to the middle walkway, and then up further to the fence to our general admin area. Here, at a couple of intervals he jumped up to our level, and reached out to the people around him. At one point, he stood, arms stretched, stilled leading the chorus singalong, in the centre of the whole crowd...for ages!

Returning to the stage after completing a full lap of that front section of the Bowl, Lenny then lead this epic song right down to a slowed, mellow and sultry point, and then raised it back up to his powerful finish.

A surprisingly enjoyable show, after not really considering tickets to this would garner the kind of night we had, given the length of time since either act has been playing consistently on the airwaves (apart from shuffle on my iPod!). My voice is pretty shaky today, a sign that we sang along to much of this show of musical hits and memories. So good, and such a fun show!


  1. Wow that's so cool! It's nice to find other Aussie Crans fans :)

    Tomorrow and Thursday I am going to the Sydney shows and going backstage! I can't wait!

    Great blog!

    1. Thanks Nikki!
      Ohh, you will love the shows, they sound just like they did back in the day. And going backstage you'll get to hear Dolores' cute, cute Irish accent up close and personal! Have fun, lucky girl!


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