When the Wiggles announced they would be holding a one-off 18+ charity pub show, over 30,000 people expressed interest on Facebook. However, thanks to the irrational decision to hold the concert at Dee Why RSL rather than Acer Arena, only 750 of those faithful could actually attend.
Through combination of sheer determination and luck, we spent last Friday night at the front of the world’s kindest mosh pit, doing the Romp-Bomp-a-Stomp.
So, who attends a Wiggles 18+ show? Canberrans. Lots of Canberrans. And a group of millennials who are a little bit drunk but high only on nostalgia (we think). Costumes (skivvies, feather- swords) were common.
After the doors opened at 7:30, the gathered superfans waited in their original 1997 Dorothy tails and cardboard box big red cars. There was no support act, just a projection screen playing some classic hits on repeat. (Remember that creepy Wiggly remix with the puppets at the end of the 1998 Yummy Yummy tape? Still creepy.)
We expected an 8:00 pm start, but they made us hold out until 8:30. Then, the screen ascended, and the current Wiggles (Deep Voice, Lady One and Not-Jeff) took their rightful place as backup singers.
And then it began.
Greg, Murray, Anthony and Jeff came onto the stage. The crowd went wild. The Wiggles looked very confused (particularly Murray, who just kept laughing in disbelief the entire night).
The concert itself was exactly like any other Wiggles concert, but with fully grown adults pointing their fingers and doing the twist instead of the customary toddlers. At the end of every song, Greg said in an unbelievably sincere tone, “Great job everybody, give yourselves a big clap!”
Although the show was billed as ‘adult’, if you thought you were in for a night of sexual innuendos and shooting up between songs, you would have been disappointed. The Wiggles brand has generally avoided scandal, and they weren’t about to fall at the final hurdle.
At one point, Murray suggested Jeff could chug a beer to wake up, but Anthony – the only remaining member of the original four – promptly intervened. Pointing to the Wiggles logo on his skivvy he mouthed, “Murray, no.” At another point, a bearded man pushed his way to the front of the mosh to offer four schooners to the band. They sat at the front of the stage untouched.
Not that anyone needed to watch Jeff skol VB to have a good night. The set list covered the classics from Baby Baluga to Go Santa Go (given their catalogue, a ten-minute Christmas interlude was necessary).
One of your reviewers managed to get her size 2 Dorothy shirt onto the stage for Anthony to hold up to the crowd in his sweaty hands. He remarked, “I think we designed this ourselves.” It will never be washed again.
However, the euphoria came to a crashing halt when, at the end of an incredible rendition of Play Your Guitar With Murray, the room was faced with darkness.
The Wiggles had rocked too hard, and blown the power to the RSL and surrounding streets.
Although they tried to carry on in the dark- ness, with an acoustic rendition of I’m A Cow (Jeff didn’t bring the costume for nothing), the band then decided to call it a night. Despite the crowd’s chants, they did not come back out. The doors opened, and a slew of sweaty 20-somethings spilled out onto the street to search for some late night cold spaghetti and mashed banana.
We awoke the next morning, unsure of what we had witnessed (both a little sore from a particularly rambunctious rendition of Joannie Works With One Hammer).
However, we know one thing: it was the best $30 we have ever spent.