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Sound relief hits Sydney and Melbourne
14th March 2009, 12:45 WST
Australian rock lovers are in for a big trip down memory lane as performers from more than three decades hit the stage at Saturday's Sound Relief concerts in Melbourne and Sydney. Some iconic Aussie bands - including Midnight Oil and Hunters & Collectors - are getting back together for one night only in aid of the victims of Victoria's devastating bushfires and Queensland's floods.
In Melbourne, the music gets under way at the MCG from midday with Jet, who broke through in 2004 with the single Are You Gonna Be My Girl, followed by young pop sensation Gabriella Cilmi.
Augie March and Wolfmother will also play to the 80,000 strong crowd, along with Paul Kelly and Split Enz and international acts Kings of Leon and Jack Johnson.
Pop princess Kylie Minogue has flown in from London to be the show's "special MC".
All profits from the $75 a head event will go to the Bushfire Fund Appeal.
Singer Chris Martin says he feels like an honorary Australian after his band Coldplay opened the Sydney Sound Relief bushfire benefit concert.
The UK superstars, who took to the stage at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) just after midday (AEDT) on Saturday, later cemented their `Aussie credentials' when they were joined on stage by John Farnham.
"Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to sing the Australian national anthem, John Farnham," Martin said.
With Coldplay as his backing band, Farnham led a crowd of thousands in a rousing rendition of You're The Voice.
Martin opened the set with an extended intro of Viva La Vida before launching their huge hit Yellow as dozens of yellow balloons bounced around the audience.
"Today, is the only day we can claim to be honorary Australians," Martin said.
Cricketer Shane Warne appeared onstage, while actress Toni Collette and her baby daughter Sage were among the crowd who paid $75 a ticket to attend the benefit bash.
Half the profits will go to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, the other half to The Premier's Disaster Relief Fund Appeal in Queensland for victims of the recent floods.
The Sydney concert is being held simultaneously with one in Melbourne. Together they are expected to raise more than $5 million.
Wolfmother were the second act to take the Sydney stage, playing hits including Woman and Colossal.
"I'm very proud to be a part of this event," frontman Andrew Stockdale told the media before the show.
"It's an enormous, historical moment ...
"That just shows what this country does: it gets behind people when they are down and out, and tries to help."
At the other end of the day, Bee Gee Barry Gibb will close the show with some of his famous hits, as well as a special performance with Olivia Newton-John.
1980s band Icehouse have reformed for the benefit, You Am I and Hoodoo Gurus are sure to be crowd favourites, while Jet and the new-look Wolfmother will take to the stage in Melbourne and Sydney.
Dance duo The Presets, US country sensation Taylor Swift, and Perth bands Eskimo Joe and Little Birdy are among the other big names on the bill.
Profits from the Sydney concert will be split between the Victorian bushfire and Queensland flood relief efforts.