Posts Tagged ‘festival’

SUNDAY 31/07

Bands Seen: The Holidays, Yelle, the Vaccines, The Herd, Drapht, Elbow, Friendly Fires, Kaiser Chiefs, Pulp, Coldplay

Highlight: Pulp

I’ve never been a massive Pulp fan, but this set absolutely blew me away. Jarvis Cocker is an absolutely amazing frontman. I’m still in awe that I don’t really know what to say. The band was tight and energetic and the crowd seemed to absolutely love ever moment, shouting out the lyrics to every song. It’s one of the things I love about seeing older bands – everyone seems to get just that little more enthusiastic when they play the ‘classics’.

Disappointment: My own lack of organisation…

Again, it’s not like any acts I saw were disappointing. I somehow just kind of lost any sense of organisation on Sunday. There were a lot more acts that I could have seen during the day but time just kept on getting away from me. Such is the festival life I suppose.

Headliner: Coldplay

I really couldn’t care about Coldplay. I really, really could not care less about them. I’d even go so far to say if they were clashing with Mogwai like Kayne did on the Friday night, I would have chosen Mogwai over Coldplay. But, similarly I did enjoy the whole spectacle of seeing such a well known band put on a mind playing stage performance (more fireworks, confetti, lasters etc) and play a whole bunch of songs that I already knew. They’re a tight band and Chris Martin is pretty entertaining. The music still isn’t quite my cup of tea, but I certainly enjoyed seeing them live more so than I ever have enjoyed listening to them recorded.

And that wrapped up a pretty amazing Splendour in the Grass for me. Great music and great times, shared with great friends.


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Bands seen: Tim & Jean, Dananananakroyd, Gareth Liddiard, Foster the People, Architecture inHelsinki, Thievery Corporation, Regina Spektor, Jane’s Addiction

Highlight of the day: Architecture in Helsinki

To be honest Jane’s Addiction was absolutely the highlight of my day, but headliners aside it was easily Architecture inHelsinki. I’ve always been a casual AIH listener and this was the first time I’d seen them live. This performance has turned me into a full blown fan. Catchy and energetic, they’re just the right mix of cheesy and fun while maintaining musical credibility.

Disappointment of the day: Regina Spektor

Not her performance, not in the slightest. Well, possibly. It’s hard to tell. The GW Mclennan tent was packed out. And due to some conflicting sound issues with the Mix Up Stage, being outside of the actual tent meant that you couldn’t really hear anything. I heard half of ‘On the Radio’ before giving up and going to scope out a good place for Jane’s Addiction. Disappointing, but these kind of things happen when you try to see acts with overlapping time slots.

Headliner: Jane’s Addiction

Jane’s have been one of my favourite bands for many, many years. Last time I saw them was at Big Day Out ’03 and I was a little concerned that 14 year old Bianca was just seeing them through rose coloured glasses. They didn’t fail to impress 23 year old Bianca at all though. They’re tight as ever, and while Perry Farrell’s voice isn’t quite what it used to be, they’ve tweaked some of the songs a bit to compensate (mainly Ritual material like ‘Stop’ and ‘Been Caught Stealing’). ‘Jane Says’ as an encore is always a special moment. Was just a bit disappointing to see that barely any people turned up for the set – I’d say the numbers could have matched British Sea Powers’ opening slot on Friday morning.

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Before I launch into my official Splendour in the Grass run down, I’d like to point out a pretty amazing act I saw on Thursday evening – Mr Percival. Those who have previously been to Splendour or the Woodford Folk Festival have most likely come across him before, but this was my first time seeing him after friends had hyped him up so much. Simply speaking, he’s a vocal artist that builds songs on recorded loops but he’s honestly one of the most talented performers I’ve seen. Engaging and totally entertaining, I really wish I had also caught his vocal workshops each morning.

FRIDAY – 29/07

Bands seen: British Sea Power, Wild Beasts, The Kills, James Blake, Warpaint, Modest Mouse, The Hives, Kanye West

Highlight of the day: The Hives.

I’ve never heard of the Hives putting on a disappointing show. Ever. The Swedish five-piece put on a magnificent show in the Ampitheatre, going through a great deal of their singles and also some new material from their upcoming album. Frontman Howlin’ Pelle was on absolute fire that night, crowd interaction and faux-arrogance at an all time high.

Disappointment of the day: Timetable Clashes!!!

None of the acts I saw were disappointing in the slightest. In fact I would have loved to see more of pretty much all of them. The biggest disappointment for me was missing out on Mogwai to see Kanye West. I’m a much bigger Mogwai fan, but I know there would have been too much wondering and too much regret if I didn’t witness the spectacle that was Kanye West. Fingers crossed for Mogwai coming back at some point soon…

Headliner: Kanye West

The production of Kanye’s show was something else. The fireworks, the man himself rising on a platform above the crowd in a cloud of smoke, the dancers and the choreography. It was all pretty interesting to watch, especially as someone who doesn’t really go to stadium sized shows. The actual performance was good enough. I can’t say I was blown away, but Kanye certainly has some good tunes and does a fantastic job at holding the whole stage to himself. Material from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy were the winners from the set, but seeing ‘Gold Digger’ in a live context was pretty amazing.

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I hate to say it, but I’m not entirely surprised the BAM! Festival was canceled. I’m a little disappointed though, because part of me did hope that they would pull through. A 2 for 1 ticket selling attempt the other week reeked of desperation, but I am glad they realised the need to cancel the event before it was too late. Ticket buyers will be granted full refunds and at least this way the bands aren’t losing out on travel expenses. I have no doubt that the festival organisers will still be in pools of debt, but at least they had the sensibilities to admit defeat.

The topic has really been exhausted, and I don’t think there’s much left to say that hasn’t already been said (you can go read the article on M+N as well as the barrage of comments). Hopefully anyone out there looking to start a festival in Brisbane seriously thinks it through. Australia loves festivals and there is definitely an audience for it, especially in Brisbane where some people have said that we don’t have enough festivals (though I think we’re catching up). But just because people like festivals, doesn’t mean they’ll like every festival. The main complaint here was why pay $200 to see a bunch of bands that I could see any weekend? Admittedly it is a lot of money but you can always break it down (as I do with most festivals) that you see X amount of bands would normally spent X amount of money to see them play their own shown. The thing I personally found unappealing about the festival was that it was intended to be a ’24 hour party’ – call me old, but I like my sleep. It was just a bit too ambitious I think.

Hopefully this doesn’t deter anyone from wanting to start a new festival in Brisbane in the future. But I do hope that they take this example into consideration.

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