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Diesel - Give Me Saturday Night @ The Corner Hotel

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Diesel pumps up the crowd at The Corner Hotel

Mark Lizotte, or as you may know him, Diesel, has been hitting the stages and the airwaves around Australia for 30 years and is currently celebrating that milestone with his Give Me Saturday Night tour. In Melbourne this week, the 52 year old singer / guitarist hit the Corner Hotel for the first of three consecutive shows around Melbourne. The venue was full, the music was loud, and the Diesel was certainly pumping.

For some of the more casual fans, Diesel is still referred to as Johnny Diesel, despite dropping the 'Johnny' part back in the early 1990s. He tried to drop the Diesel tag in the early 2000s, but that didn't work out. Musically, most people remember Diesel for his early work, such as 'Cry In Shame', 'I Don't Need Love' and 'Tip of my Tongue'. Owners of his 'Best Of' album, might remember many more songs, such as 'Love Junk', 'Masterplan', 'Come to Me' and 'Never Miss Your Water'. In the early 1990s, Diesel was one of the biggest selling artists in Australia. Since then, however, he has continued to provide great albums and continues to tour endlessly with spectacular results.

He hit the stage on Thursday night at 9:40pm and from the opening bar of his newest song 'Give Me Saturday Night', it was clear he wasn't going to leave anything in the tank. What followed was 90 minutes of loud rock by a seasoned musician who showed no signs of slowing down in his fifties. I must confess to being disappointed to not see a keyboard on stage when I arrived, as so much of Diesel's releases, especially in recent times, featured a lot of thick textured tracks. However, that disappointment was quickly forgotten as the trio of musicians clicked into gear. Bass player Richie Vez added much to the sound of the band, with melodic bass lines and exceptional high harmonies that he seemed to reach effortlessly.

The tour is billed as a 'hits' tour, and for the most part, the songs were the classics you'd expect. A couple of noticeable exceptions, however, were 'Dig', 'One More Time' and 'Looking for Love', and nothing off his most recent album of original work,Let It Fly.

Some of the most well-known Diesel songs were given a new makeover, most notably (and impressively) being Diesel's first single 'I Don't Need Love', which was given the slide blues treatment, much to the delight of the crowd.

The song I thought worked the best of the night, was 'Getta Kick', a song I'm not sure everyone in the crowd knew, as Diesel's excellent 2013 album Hear was underappreciated.

The night ended with Diesel's usual 8-minute rendition of 'Cry In Shame'. The song was a little bit lost at times in the chaos of improvised guitar, but that didn't really matter, as its hard to fault someone who is giving you everything he possibly can and more.

In addition to Diesel, many of his shows on tour feature Scott Darlow as the support act. Darlow gives a fantastic and very energetic opening to the show, with brilliant use of loop pedals.

Set List:
Give Me Saturday Night
I Don't Need Love
Man Alive
Love Junk
Never Miss Your Water
Cinnamon Girl
Soul Revival
Getta Kick
All Come Together
Fifteen Feet of Snow
Crazy Town
Come To Me
Tip of My Tongue
Rave On
Cry In Shame

Diesel plays the Chelsea Heights Hotel on Friday 26th October and the Burvale Hotel on Saturday 27th October. Get along and check out a world-class musician at his best.
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When: 26th October & 27th October
Where: Chelsea Heights Hotel (26th October) & the Burvale Hotel (27th October)
Cost: $40
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