It was an incredible feat to pull off — 10 hours, 22 acts, and almost $10 million raised for bushfire relief.
More than 75,000 people packed the stadium in Sydney and over 1 million watched from home as the Fire Fight Australia concert added an exclamation point to devastating summer of deadly blazes.
Here are five moments that made the day unforgettable.
In 1985, rock royalty Queen gave what is widely considered as one of the greatest live performances of all time to a sold out Wembley Stadium in London for Live Aid.
Thirty-five years later, Queen and Adam Lambert played that signature set to 75,000 people at Fire Fight Australia.
The iconic transition from opening number Bohemian Rhapsody, which was cut short to make way for Radio Ga Ga, was met with excited shrieks from the crowd when people realised the band was about to recreate the moment for the first time ever.
The late Freddie Mercury even made an appearance when his famous “ay-oh” recall sequence was beamed on to screens.
After the concert, guitarist Brian May told his fans on social media: “I don’t think I’ve felt quite like that since Live Aid.”
Cooper’s high-octane set
Alice Cooper injected some serious energy into the show when he strode onto the stage just before sundown.
The veteran rocker’s blistering performance, which included the iconic tracks Poison and School’s Out, brought the crowd to life and set the tone for the second half of the concert.
Cooper’s trademark theatrics, which included several props and costume changes, as well as guitarist Nita Strauss’s soaring solos, were a major highlight.
The crowd was in full voice when 72-year-old Cooper went off the script to belt out lines from Pink Floyd’s 1979 hit Another Brick In the Wall as part of a show-stopping finish.
A truly Australian finale
It was no surprise when John Farnham closed the night with You’re the Voice, but two special guests gave it new significance.
Birri Gubba man Mitch Tambo sang the second half of the power ballad in Gamilaraay while mimicking the movements of a bird through traditional dance.
And there was no denying the crowd’s delight when Queen guitarist Brian May returned to the stage, embracing Farnham as the sounds of a didgeridoo filled the stadium.
Olivia Newton-John got one of the biggest cheers of the night when she joined her old friend on stage to perform the 1998 hit Two Strong Hearts.
After pumping performances from the likes of Hilltop Hoods and 5 Seconds of Summer, Canadian singer k.d. lang took the audience’s breath away.
The stadium fell silent as the names of those who lost their lives in the bushfire crisis were flashed across the screens.
The Canadian singer, dressed all in white, then took to the stage to perform The Valley and her moving cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.
Somehow, an already emotion-charged event got even more touching when the crowd paid tribute to the Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteers in attendance with a standing ovation.
There were about 1,000 RFS volunteers and their families in the stands at Stadium Australia — the group attended the event free of charge and were easy to identify in special red T-shirts.
Fire Fight Australia’s comedian host Celeste Barber got serious for a moment to ask the massive crowd to stand up and show their appreciation for the firies.
What happened next was spine-tingling.
This content was originally published here.