Here are some of the highlights from our time on the Midnight Oil tour of the west coast of America in May this year.
We (well, our amazing mate Kyran Wheatley) drove on the wrong side of the road a whole lot and only hit one car once. We threw snowballs in the mountains of Colorado. We played to 2800 eager Oils fans in Oakland after having ridden horses at George’s dream home, the famously beguiling Madonna Inn. (The name of one said horse is being hotly disputed as I write this. It’s been a big couple of weeks…) Elana carried her accordion, aptly named “The Moose” up and down millions of stairs and we met dozens of the loveliest Oils fans in the land. We drove hundreds of miles and listened to dozens of podcasts – we even made one ourselves. We played Buzzer Beaters (you’ll have to listen to the podcast to get the scoop on that little treasure) and listened to “I Will Survive” as we hurtled across the Golden Gate Bridge in our 7-seater Chrysler mini-van. We stopped for a lot of loo breaks (it’s highly possible Katie needs medical attention) and managed to keep our food-eating sounds to a minimum (Hannah has a much misunderstood disease called Misophonia. Read about it. She will thank you.) We stood side of stage and danced like maniacs to the incredible and seemingly unending energy that is Midnight Oil.
It was the best of times and it was the best of times. We will always be grateful to The Oils for this experience and to Kyran for driving us around the country and only hitting one car once. We hope you enjoy these little snippets from our wonderful time with the quintessential Aussie band that is, Midnight Oil.
Photos and captions by Katie Wighton, Hannah Crofts, Elana Stone and Georgia Mooney. Additional photos by Kyran Wheatley. All as credited.
Now back home, All Our Exes Live In Texas kick off their own headline tour — in support of 2017 LP, ‘When We Fall’ — starting Saturday, June 10th at Lizotte’s in Newcastle and running through to July. Details and tickets here.
This was taken in Denver at our first show. We had such a lovely response from the audiences which we weren’t necessarily expecting given that we are completely unknown to them! We were incredibly humbled to have so many lovely people come and chat to us after the shows. [K.W.] (Photo: K.Wh)
This donut was the single greatest donut I’ve ever eaten. It was lemon curd custard heaven. I bloody LOVE donuts. And I also loved Portland – I even have a badge that says so. (Badge not pictured) [K.W.] (Photo: K.Wh.)
This was taken by the fabulous Kyran Wheatley just before our last show in Seattle. We have a bit of a habit of making a place feel “lived in” rather immediately (aka the place looks like a pack of wild dogs have been in there). I especially love Hannah’s habit of buying flowers in every town we’re in – even if we are only there for 24 hours before we get on another plane. These flowers unfortunately got left in the sink… [K.W.] (Photo: K.Wh)
Esme Patterson has been one of my favourite musicians of the past few years – I have been wanting to see her play since I fell in love with her. On our first night in Denver we walk into a bar around the corner from our house and she was on stage playing. About 200 people in a room and she was amazing. It was one of the first nights of the tour and I felt like my tour had already been made. [H.C.]
When my NanaDon died a few years ago I always wished that I was able to keep this paper bin she had bought in China – it just really reminded me of her apartment and her taste, the things that she had collected and then kept for years. In a thrift shop in Portland (the best thrift shop ever) I found the exact same bin. On the bottom it says hand made in Hong Kong 502/600. It was $8 and I carried it all the way home to Oz – so bloody lucky to have found it. [H.C.]
Georgia organised the most amazing night for us in the Madonna Inn hotel just out of San Francisco. Every night of the tour we crashed on friends’ couches or stayed in motels that cost $99 for 5 people, so that we could have one lush night in this wonderland. This photo sums it up: us in robes, swimming in the hotel pool, dancing to the hotel band and then playing cards and drinking wine. [H.C.]
Rango was a naughty pony. Horse riding at the Madonna Inn with these douche bags. There was much discussion as to whether Georgia’s horse was called Ringo or Rango due to the way the American accent can make those names very similar. Let it be known that Katie and Elana were right. The horse’s name was Rango. [E.L.]
There was A LOT of driving and the van wasn’t very easy to sleep in. Here are Katie and Hannah trying to squeeze in some shut eye on the road amongst the instruments. Kyran Wheatley drove the entire time. We drove from Los Angeles to Seattle via San Francisco and Portland. He is a super hero. [E.L.]
This is Katie, PETER GARRETT, and me, having a casual chat. Every time we interacted with the band (Midnight Oil) I fanned out hard. They were so incredible every night. They blew our socks off. I know it sounds cliched but it really was a total dream to support them – especially in the States. They were so bold in their banter and delivery. The political themes in their music are so relevant today. The word ‘inspiring’ doesn’t even begin to describe the experience of watching their show up close every night. THANKS FOR HAVING US M.O!!! [E.L.] (Photo: K.W.)
This was just before my favourite show on tour. The Fox Theatre in Oakland is so grand and so beautiful, it really hit home that we were doing something special. When we got the offer for this tour we were nervous that the Midnight Oil crowd may not be particularly keen on watching such a different band warm the stage for half an hour but the response was completely humbling. The theatres were always full from the start and the crowds were quiet, attentive and supportive. We spent a lot of time at the merch table chatting to lovely audience members and hearing their Midnight Oil stories. There were people who had met their partners at MO concerts and now were coming back and bringing their teenage kids! There was such a wonderful community spirit in those crowds. [G.M.]
For this tour we brought my dear old friend Kyran Wheatley along for the ride. He played the role of driver, #content capturer, mother hen, car entertainment curator, supreme organisey person and all round legend. He drove every leg of the tour and in doing so, I’m almost certain he saved our lives. This picture is from the Castro in San Francisco, a place we all instantly fell in love with. This is just before he bought every piece of rainbow merchandise in the village – a move I fully support and in actual fact, funded. [G.M.]
Ever since Hannah gave us our first tattoos by her own hand – the Exes bomber jackets that adorn our legs – I have loved the idea of getting little Exes souvenir tattoos on special occasions. We’ll never forget this tour. It was such a privilege to witness Midnight Oil’s triumphant return. It feels like the perfect time for them to be playing around the world again. They play with such passion and their songs still have (almost alarming) relevance. Peter Garret didn’t hold back one bit. It was particularly inspiring in a country going through such political upheaval. It sounds clichéd but these shows truly demonstrated the unifying power of music and the importance of protesting. That’s worthy of a tatt for sure. [G.M.] (Photo: H.C.)