It was even better knowing that half the proceeds from these Melbourne Zoo Twilight Gigs go towards saving endangered Australian species. Families arrived with picnic rugs and settled in for a great night ahead, with many of the animal enclosures remaining open to wander before the show, and talks from some of the zookeepers available for kids to enjoy.
One of Australia’s most exciting new bands, Saskwatch, opened the night. They had the huge task, not only of opening for The Teskey Brothers, but also of getting people dancing despite the thundering showers that had already begun. Thankfully lead singer Nkechi and her band were up to the challenge, spouting, “You can either sit and be wet and miserable, or get up, dance and be wet and happy.”
They played mostly hits from their new album, including ‘December Nights’, ‘Then There’s You’, ‘Gemini’ and ‘Finger Painting’, which included what they described as the “Puppies will lick your face” chord on piano.
The rain finally eased just before The Teskey Brothers hit the stage, which had everyone shed their blue and yellow ponchos and gather up the front for an epic and rather lengthy set from this adored group, backed by a full band and brass section.
The lads kicked off with ‘Crying Shame’, which started on a huge high, and followed with a new song written by Sam Teskey called ‘Shiny Moon’, which for a previously unheard track received a massive reaction.
Bright red lights flooded the stage and the brass section returned for ‘Reason Why’, becoming one of the many highlights of the night. In addition to songs from their amazing debut record, the Teskeys also offered a few classic covers – including John Lennon’s ‘Jealous Guy’, Tampa Red’s ‘I Love A Woman’ (featuring a brilliant harmonica solo), and Otis Redding’s ‘Knock On Wood’, bringing out Nkechi from Saskwatch once again to sing the part of Carla Thomas.
The set finished with ‘Pain & Misery’, ‘Louisa’, ‘Right For Me’ and ‘Just Like Loving’, which had the crowd (now warmed from beer and wine) up and dancing their arses off on the muddy ground. It seems like true fans of The Teskey Brothers won’t be put off by a little rain.
Highlight: Watching great music for a great cause.
Lowlight: The rain.
Crowd Favourite: The Teskey’s covering ‘Knock On Wood’.