Xavier Rudd

Xavier Rudd

Donavon Frankenreiter, Nahko & Medicine for the People

Three musicians filled Luna Park’s Big Top last Friday night with one strong and proud message - to love and respect each other, and the earth. They delivered their message in the best possible way, too - by rocking out and sharing with their fans a high energy and emotion fuelled night.

Arriving at Luna Park's Big Top, I was keen to get a taste of the Oregon native Nahko and his band Medicine for the People. His message rang loud and clear - that the earth deserves our consciousness, and that social injustice plagues the world. It could've been a heavy set, if it weren't for Nahko's high energy, beaming smile and ability to jump around the stage kept it positive and got the crowd pumped.

Donavon Frankenreiter entered stage next to a warmed up and receptive crowd. The room was near capacity by this stage, which was a tribute to Donavon’s music. The ‘D man’ eased into a few tracks before scanning the crowd for some backup singers. ‘Life, Love & Laughter’ was the first track with crowd participation; and a brave young lass got on stage and sang the chorus with Donavon. Donavon then let it be known to the crowd that ‘It Don’t Matter’ was going to be his next track and again he was after some avid fans to get on stage and sing beside him. Donavon was supportive of the girls that got up there, and made sure they had fun, giving them their cues to begin and not just letting them stand out on stage like fish out of water.

Xavier Rudd, of course, was the main player of the night and he opened his set with the very apt ‘Messages’. The stage backdrop was filled with cartoonish pictures of a whale hunting ship spearing a whale with a simple message displayed by a non-aggressive one word question: “Research?”. This was the beauty of this night - Xavier’s ability to convey his message of peace and love for the earth without throwing it in your face or stuffing it down your throat. He is passionate about the Indigenous peoples of this country, the ocean and all things related and he puts this across in a positive and healthy way that doesn't burden you with guilt, but inspires you to question your actions, to then take action, and to be active in change.

Xavier played a mixture of old and new songs including favourites ‘Follow The Sun’, ‘Food In The Belly’, ’Energy’ and ‘Let Me Be’. His energy on stage was matched by his percussionist Bobby Alu, who fed off Xavier and added to the atmosphere. A quick encore was broken by recorded audio of Kookaburra’s laughing loud and proud, with Xavier returning to stage and playing ‘Spirit Bird’. He then picked up the speed to an almost dance-like set where he used all the sounds of the Aussie bush to create a roaring uplifting techno like track.

Nahko and Donavon returned to stage with Xavier and Bobby Alu as the group closed out the night with a Bob Marley favourite. This was the ‘feel good’ show of the year and truly a testament to Xavier and all that he stands for.

Xavier Rudd
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