Concerts, Reunions — February 24, 2009 at 10:15 am

Midnight Oil reunites for Australian bushfire benefit, warm-up gigs

Midnight Oil

Aussie rockers Midnight Oil never were known to shy away from important causes, and that’s exactly what it’s taken to get the band back together ever since frontman Peter Garrett quit in 2002 to relaunch his political career.

For the second time since the Oils’ split, Garrett — now Australia’s Minister for Environment, Heritage and Arts — will take the stage with his bandmates, this time for Sound Relief, a pair of March 14 stadium concerts to benefit the victims of that nation’s horrific bushfires.

Midnight Oil last performed at 2005’s WaveAid, a concert to raise funds for the victims of the December 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

The Sound Relief shows, in Melbourne and Sydney, also will feature sets by Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Hoodoo Gurus, Jack Johnson and Wolfmother — plus a reunion of Split Enz and the first concert apperance by Hunters & Collectors in 11 years.

According to Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, the concert’s promoters put calls in to Australia’s prime minister and treasurer to help get Garrett back on stage:

“I have hardly sung a note since the Oils last played at WaveAid,” said Mr Garrett in a statement. “But this event is so unique and important that it will be terrific to now catch up with my mates and put on a performance that gives all those people affected by the terrible events what they dearly need.”

The Oils are slated to play the Melbourne concert, and, according to the band’s Web site, also will headline a pair of warm-up gigs at the Canberra Theatre on March 12 and 13.

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