Powderfinger guitarists Darren Middleton and Ian Haug have reunited to help test the acoustics at the Albert Street underground railway station – currently under construction – in the band’s hometown of Brisbane.
The pair visited the station’s worksite, 35 metres below the city’s CBD, where iconic Brisbane venue Festival Hall was once located. Performing to a small audience of workers at the site, the guitarists ran through several Powderfinger hits – including ‘(Baby I’ve Got You) On My Mind’, ‘My Happiness’ and ‘Sunsets’.
In the accompanying video, the station’s natural reverb can be heard, as guitars ring out throughout the underground site. The station is currently under construction as part of the Cross River Rail project, and is expected to be opened in 2024. Watch Middleton and Haug’s performance below:
“With construction progressing well, Albert Street is the last of our open underground caverns, and this was really the last opportunity to try it out,” Cross River Rail Delivery Authority CEO Graeme Newton said in a statement.
“We wanted to do something that was quintessentially ‘Brisbane’, and it doesn’t get much more ‘Brisbane’ than having two-fifths of Powderfinger shredding hard underground almost directly below where Festival Hall once stood,” Newton added. “Powderfinger last played Festival Hall in 2001, so it was a really special moment to be able to host Darren and Ian in such a unique way so close to the site of the iconic venue more than 20 years later.”
Despite disbanding in 2010, Powderfinger have reunited on a handful of special occasions. In 2017, during frontman Bernard Fanning‘s set at Splendour in the Grass, his former bandmates (minus drummer Jon Coghill) joined him onstage to perform ‘(Baby I’ve Got You) On My Mind’ and ‘These Days’.
In 2020, amid COVID-19 lockdowns throughout the country, Powderfinger reunited for the remotely-filmed One Night Lonely concert, raising money for Support Act and Beyond Blue. The band members each played from their respective home studios – with the exception of bassist John Collins, who performed his parts from an empty Fortitude Music Hall.
The band reprised some of their biggest hits and fan favourites, with a setlist that included the likes of ‘Bless My Soul’, ‘Sunsets’, ‘My Happiness’, ‘(Baby I’ve Got You) On My Mind’, ‘Already Gone’ and ‘These Days’. At one point in the stream, there were close to 100,000 people tuned in.
2020 also saw the band release compilation album ‘Unreleased (1998–2010)’, which featured 10 previously unreleased tracks recorded between the years of 1998 and 2010.