Midnight Oil will grind the diesel and the dust on their first world tour in more than two decades.
The Aussie rock legends set pulses racing with an announcement last year of a comeback and the promise of “some gigs in Australia and overseas during 2017.” That original statement, it turns out, was wildly underplaying their true plans.
The ARIA Hall of Famers on Friday unveiled their 50-date-plus Great Circle 2017 world tour, and announced three box sets including a collection called The Overflow Tank which is stuffed with more than 14 hours of previously unreleased and rare works.
The classic line-up of Peter Garrett (vocals), Rob Hirst (drums), Martin Rotsey (guitar), Jim Moginie (guitar, keys), and Bones Hillman (bass) will circle the globe over six months, starting and ending where it all began with gigs in Sydney (a secret pub show will launch the trek).
Through the warmer months, the expedition will stop for multiple dates in the Americas and Europe, playing iconic venues such as Sao Paulo’s Espaço das Americas and the Wiltern in L.A., London’s Hammersmith Apollo and the Olympia in Paris. The voyage will climax with an 18-date homecoming run in October and November, and including shows in several regional centers; Michael Gudinski’s Frontier Touring will produce the Australia leg.
— Midnight Oil (@midnightoilband) February 16, 2017
These will be the Oils’ only shows since they disbanded in 2002, save for a pair of stadium benefit concerts, “Waveaid” at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2005 and “Sound Relief” at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2009 (and their respective small warmup gigs). They’ve not embarked on a major outing since the early 1990s.
A reunion became a fantasy when Peter Garrett walked from the band 15 years ago to embark on a career in federal politics. Though he never quite shut the door on rock ‘n’ roll. When he announced his retirement prior to the general elections of 2013, the Oils’ door swung wide open.
“I went off and did something else for 10 years,” Garrett quipped during a press conference Friday on Sydney Harbour. The band, he added, has “never felt better, fresher, nastier, sweeter and more energetic.”
After forming in 1972, Midnight Oil went on to become one of Australia’s most popular bands – and certainly its most politically-charged. Through song, the group pushed for indigenous rights, and they took an anti-war stance. The 1987 set Diesel and Dust came in at No. 1 in the 100 Best Australian Albums, a compendium of homegrown recordings published in 2010. The group was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006.
The fire of activism still burns in the group, and the shaky political climate should only add fuel. “We’re part of the pushback and we are not alone,” drummer Rob Hirst said at the media gathering to announce the tour. “There’s a whole bunch of people here, and throughout Europe and other places that we’re touring, who feel the same way.”
April 25 — Pepsi on Stage, Porto Alegre
April 27 — Live, Curtiba
April 29 — Espaço das Americas, São Paolo
April 30 — Vivo Rio, Rio De Janeiro
April 2 — NET Live, Brasilia
May 6 — Center Stage, Atlanta, GA
May 9 — The Filmore, Silver Spring, MD
May 11 — House of Blues, Boston, MA
May 13 — Webster Hall, New York City, NY
May 16 — Keswick Theatre, Glenside, PA
May 18 — The Vic, Chicago, IL
May 20 — Danforth Theatre, Toronto, Canada
May 23 — Paramount Theatre, Denver, CO
May 25 — The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA
May 27 — Fox Theatre, Oakland, CA
May 29 — Revolution Hall, Portland, OR
May 31 — Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA
June 2 — The Commodore, Vancouver, Canada
EUROPE + UK
June 21 — E-Werk, Cologne, Germany
June 23 — Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland
June 25 — Huxleys Neue Welt, Berlin, Germany
June 27 — Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark
June 29 — Rockafeller Music Hall, Oslo, Norway
July 1 — Furuviksparken, Gävle, Sweden
July 4 — Hammersmith Apollo, London, UK
July 6 — Olympia, Paris, France
July 7 — Festival de Beauregard, Hérouville-Saint-Claire, France
July 9 — Les Deferlantes Festival, Argeles-sur-Mer, France
July 12 — Volkshaus, Zurich, Switzerland
July 14 — Musilac, Aix Les Bains, France
July 16 — Les Vieilles Charrues, Carhaix, France
July 18 — Batschkapp, Frankfurt, Germany
July 21 — Colours of Ostrava, Ostrava, Czech Republic
Sept. 9 — Vector Arena, Auckland, NZ
Sept. 11 — Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, NZ
Oct. 2 — ANZAC Oval, Alice Springs, NT (w/ Dan Sultan & Apakatjah)
Oct. 4 — Darwin Amphitheatre, Darwin, NT (w/ Dan Sultan & Irrunytju Band)
Oct. 7 — Kuranda Amphitheatre, Cairns, QLD (w/ Urthboy)
Oct. 10 — Townsville Ent. Centre, Townsville, QLD (w/ Urthboy)
Oct. 12 — Great Western Hotel, Rockhampton, QLD (w/ Urthboy)
Oct. 14 — Big Pineapple Fields, Sunshine Coast, QLD (w/ The Living End & Jebediah)
Oct. 15 — Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD (w/ The Jezabels)
Oct. 19 — Hockey Fields, Coffs Harbour, NSW (w/ Jebediah & Jack River)
Oct. 21 — Hope Estate, Hunter Valley, NSW (w/ Birds of Tokyo & Ash Grunwald)
Oct. 24 — AIS Arena, Canberra, ACT (w/ Something For Kate)
Oct. 26 — The Village Green Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, SA (w/ Spiderbait & Bad//Dreems)
Oct. 28 — Perth Arena, Perth, WA (w/ Spiderbait)
Oct. 1 — Derwent Entertainment Centre, Hobart, TAS (w/ The Jezabels)
Oct. 3 — Gateway Lakes, Wodonga, VIC (w/ The Living End)
Oct. 4 — Hanging Rock, Mt Macedon, VIC (w/ John Butler Trio, Something for Kate, Frank Yamma & David Bridie)
Oct. 6 — Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, VIC (w/ The Jezabels & Adalita)
Oct. 8 — WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong, NSW (w/ Abbe May)
Oct. 11 — The Domain, Sydney, NSW (w/ John Butler Trio & A.B.Original)