Strong Live Sets Mark ARIA Hall Show

Australia’s inaugural ARIA Icons: Hall Of Fame show at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre July 14th was marked with some powerful live performances.

The event was organised by the Australian Record Industry Association, which produces the annual ARIA Awards show. The Hall of Fame event became stand-alone this year to ease the bottleneck of acts that should have been honoured years back.

Hunters & Collectors and Split Enz reunited for two songs each, much to the delight of the 400-strong crowd of music executives who had paid $440 a head. Hunters & Collectors were inducted by Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil, while New Zealand satirist John Clarke did the honours for the Enz.

Sixties pop idol Normie Rowe teamed with The Living End for a powerful run through of two of his hits, “Que Sera Sera” and “Shakin’ All Over.” Rising young singer Jade McRae fronted blues diva Renee Geyer’s band for a medley before Geyer herself blew the place apart with her hit rendition of “It’s A Man’s World.”

Country singers Lee Kernaghan, Anne Kirkpatrick and Troy Cassar-Daley paid a musical tribute to 92-year-old singing cowboy Smoky Dawson.

The highlight of the evening came from the Easybeats, whose “Friday Of Mind” was the first international rock hit for Australia. Three members of the influential ’60s act – including ailing singer Stevie Wright – witnessed power trio You Am I slam out a series of Easybeats classics. The trio was joined on stage by iconic singers Jimmy Barnes and Tex Perkins.

It was a night where the Australian music industry proved its maturity by recognising its pioneers. Promoter Michael Chugg used the opportunity to speak about the work Support Act Ltd did for musicians who’d fallen on hard times. He revealed that $30,000 had been collected for the fund during the “It’s A Long Way To The Top” tour.

Bryan Jones