Bendigo rocks - thousands flock to Powderchair concert

By Anonymous (The Advertiser)


AUSTRALIAN music's dynamic double act rocked Bendigo on Saturday night in one of the biggest live performances in the city's history.

About 7500 people packed the Prince of Wales Showgrounds on Saturday night to see Powderchair, the combined act of two of Australia's highest-profile rock bands, Powderfinger and Silverchair.

Police and gig organisers yesterday reported exemplary crowd behaviour on big-time rock's return to the city.

Powderchair promoter Angie Vaughan said the bands had played a rare encore gig together as a sign of their appreciation for the Bendigo crowd.

"They (the bands) were on a great high last night - they really enjoyed themselves," she said.

"This is the only outdoor Victorian show we're they've done the combo encore with the two bands together. `

`They didn't do it in Mildura, they didn't do it in Wodonga, but they did it in Bendigo.

"That's something they don't plan, it's one of those things that just happens when they're caught up in the moment, when it feels right and it happened last night."

And to add to the spectacle of the evening, Melbourne resident Martin Audesho proposed to long-time girlfriend and Silverchair die-hard Angie Aloprevite live on stage.

Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns phoned Martin on Saturday morning to confirm the details of the proposal after Martin had e-mailed Silverchair with his plan.

"I was a bit nervous - Daniel said to me: `Mate, you better prepare yourself, there's going to be a 7000-strong crowd', but that was her dream so I had to do it," he said.

Angie was ecstatic.

"The whole thing was surreal - I was on cloud nine," she said.

"The Bendigo people are so friendly - everyone was genuinely happy for us."

In the wake of the concert, Ms Vaughan endorsed the showgrounds as a venue for live music.

"The showgrounds were great - it drew a huge crowd, it was easy for people to get to and to leave and there were no traffic problems afterwards."

She said post-show, the eight members of the two bands defied the conventions of rock star behaviour and took an early night.

"They left for Ballarat very early the next morning - they might be rock stars, but this is a long tour and they want to be at their best," she laughed.

Powderchair were to play in Ballarat last night, but the gig was postponed until Monday because of bad weather.

Bendigo police used sniffer dogs outside the showgrounds to apprehend people in possession of drugs.

Senior Sergeant Bob Simpson, of the Regional Response Unit, said the dogs had been used in pubs and nightclubs across Bendigo since 1998.

"They alert police the person may be in possession of illegal narcotics," he said.