Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kev Carmody @ The Riverstage

Waiting outside The Riverstage before the gates open you can’t but get a feeling that there’s a heavy cloud of middle-class liberal guilt in the air, watching the white, middle-aged masses gather with their rugs and picnic baskets to celebrate one of modern Australia’s protest singers. But I guess I am sat outside the gate to the expensive front sections of seating closest to the stage.

Crowd segregation is another one of the elements of modern concert-going that we could all do without. Instead of the front of concerts being for those committed enough to buy their tickets as soon as they go on sale and/or queue early and wait in place for hours to hold the best positions, it’s now all about how big your wallet is. It’s no longer about freedom of choice to choose to get the best position possible and all about how much you are willing to pay for the privilege. Cannot Buy My Soul? Maybe. But if you pay more you’ll get a much better view of it.

Photographing tonight is a less than ideal situation, only being allowed to photograph from the mixing desk lest we spoil anyone in the expensive seat’s view, until the finalé (From Little Things Big Things Grow) when we’re escorted to the front to photograph all the evening’s artists on the stage together. However, even then you can hear snide comments from those in the front row. There is no pit to speak of, instead it’s just the small gap between the front row and the stage, so there’s no room to move and wherever you end up is where you stay, whether you’ve got a decent vantage point to shoot from or not.

Reading some of the reviews for tonight’s concert the following week, it’s clear that there was a definite divide between those in the seats and those in the general admin areas. Apparently a lot of people thought that with it being an outside mini-festival, the likes of Bernard Fanning, John Butler and Missy Higgins would be playing some of their own songs and not just singing someone else’s, which probably explains a lot of the background chatter from the back of the place.

Musically it was a really enjoyable night and whoever was doing the sound should be responsible for doing the sound at every outside concert and festival in Brisbane; it was really superb.

The photos are largely forgettable, but there’s a few more on Flickr.

Cannot Buy My Soul

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