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Review: Craig Eriksson. Photos: Jason Rosewarne

There’s a lot of hard work, planning and moving pieces that goes into putting on an amazing music event like Pandemonium and sometimes things can quickly go wrong. This was one of those occasions and boy did social media and some of the critics jump on this event and try their best to bring it crumbling to the ground. There may not have been any smoke on the water, but as far as this reviewer is concerned, Pandemonium you delivered!

It was wonderful to see a huge turnout (apparently 7500 punters) consisting of a broad range of music lovers of all ages ranging from Goths, punks, metalheads all coming together to enjoy the day and create a great vibe. For all the punters that attended, this will certainly go down as a memorable, nostaligic event with the one and only Grandfather of Shock Rock, Alice Cooper putting on a stellar performance as always.

Its mind blowing to think Alice is 76 years of age and is still able to deliver one hell of an entertaining show full of wonderful, humorous theatrics that include a guillotine chopping his head off during I Love The Dead, a live boa constrictor wrapped around him during Snakebite and a giant Frankenstein walking around the stage during Feed My Frankenstein.

Alice has an incredible band including the wonderful guitarist Nita Strauss and they served up a fantastic range of his music from his early classics like – Schools Out, I’m Eighteen, No More Mr Nice Guy, Department of Youth and then the popular Poison, Hey Stoopid and Elected.

Proving age is no barrier, 78 year old Blondie also delivered with the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs to all their favourite Blondie songs that they’ve listened to on the radio (since 1976) and grown to love such as – Hanging on the Telephone, Call Me, Atomic, Rapture, One way or Another, In The Flesh, Heart of Glass and Denis.

A notable stand out was Blondie’s drummer Clem Burke who is incredible and has previously played with The Ramones for a short stint. I also noted that Blondie’s bass guitarist is Glen Matlock who was in the original line-up of the Sex Pistols.

English band The Psychedelic Furs who formed in 1977 played a wonderful set of their back catalogue. They have a very distinctive English New Wave sound ranging from the wonderful – Love My Way, Heartbreak Beat, The Ghost In You, Heaven and Pretty in Pink. I was quite taken back with how many punters around me knew their music and sang along to most of their songs.

Wheatus were the surprise package of the day. Only knowing Teenage Dirtbag, I wasn’t expecting much from this band, but they were great! I think with them doing a cover of AC/DC’s Rock ’n’ Roll Damnation early in their set created a great vibe and got punters on board. We also liked how Wheatus had their Drummer up the front of the stage.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Wolfmother and they rocked Pandemonium playing crowd favourites like – Joker and The Thief, Woman, White Unicorn and New Moon Rising. Everytime we see Wolfmother, Andrew Stockdale has a different line up accompanying him.

Notorious Australian punk/pub rockers Cosmic Psychos had the crowd at their fingertips, creating a jovial atmosphere with punters laughing and chanting along to songs like Fuckwit City, Nice Day To Go To The Pub, Dead In A Ditch and David Lee Roth (where lead guitarist Macca takes his top off and shows off his well-earned beer gut) – Hilarious!

Melbourne rocker Aimee Francis kick started the day and was a last minute inclusion due to Palaye Royale pulling out due to family illness. I first became aware of Aimee when last year at Rod Stewart’s Mt Duneed concert, Aimee held up a sign requesting to sing Stay With Me and Rod invited her up on stage to sing with him and Rod was blown away with how well she performed.

In a current world of uncertainty due to wars, covid, increased cost of living, etc, I love that live music is a form of escapism that unites people from all different walks of life, nationalities, cultures, ages, genres, all mixing together in harmony with no angst or discrimination and everyone is simply there enjoying and sharing the wonderful experience and thrill that live music offers.

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