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Posts Tagged ‘sunset sounds’

Wow. Didn’t think it would be this long between posts. Apologies about the delay all….not long after my last post, my internet was disconnected and I’ve spent the last couple of week frantically trying to find a new roof to put over my head. Thankfully I’ll be moving house next week and I’m hoping that the Internet will be set up soon after! In the mean time…..finally, the second installment of the Sunset Sounds review.

 

The rain was pouring before most people even set foot inside the gate, but looking amongst the sea of ponchos it was obvious that everyone came a little bit more prepared for the weather. Laneous and the Family Yah started proceedings, and you have to give them credit for the amount of energy they poured into their set.

Up next were Boy and Bear, who delivered a lacklustre set that was barely audible.  Their most popular song by far was their cover of Crowded House’s ‘Fall At Your Feet’, but their Triple J spins ‘Rabbit Song’ and ‘Mexican Mavis’ both received generous applause as well.

A great deal of the crowd charged up the muddy hill and over to the River Stage to witness the Children Collide set. The group powered through their more popular tracks ‘Across the Earth’, ‘Farewell Rocketship’, ‘My Eagle’ and ‘Jellylegs’. The band held themselves well against mediocre weather and fairly complacent crowd, but didn’t seem to try and go above and beyond their regular entertaining set. ‘Social Currency’ was the biggest hit with the crowd, as would be expected, and one of the few tracks that really got the small mosh at the front of the stage going. Unfortunately the set really should have ended on this high note, but the band launched into an extended grungy instrumental that paled by comparison.

By the time The Morning Benders took the stage, most of the crowd was ankle deep in mud. Surely this would have been a worry for the band, who were on their first tour of Australia, but if they were concerned about the reception they certainly didn’t show it. The band delivered a mostly mellowed out set, suiting the atmosphere of the afternoon perfectly. Those less familiar with the band enjoyed a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ before finishing off the set with a sing-a-long rendition of ‘Excuses’.

Expectations for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were mixed. Some were dying to see this legendary artist perform while others were sceptical that it may end up as a lifeless performance done solely for the cash at the end of the night. However from the opening bars of ‘Bad Reputation’, Jett and her backing band had everyone simply captivated. Her energy throughout the set far surpassed many of the younger bands playing before her today and it was without a doubt that she still loved rock and roll (and the love seemed to be rekindled in most watching judging by the amount of fists pumping in the air). Jett and her backing band powered through their classics ‘Cherry Bomb’, ‘Do You Want to Touch Me’ and ‘I Hate Myself For Loving You’, ending a set that would be very hard to follow.

At this point in his career, there’s not much to be said about Paul Kelly, apart from the fact that you know you’ll be guaranteed a fantastic set. Relaxed and natural, Kelly and Co delivery an almost greatest hits style set that can’t be faulted. ‘From Little Things Bit Things Grow’ and ‘Song from the Sixteenth Floor’ were well received, but ‘To Her Door’ can only be described as magical. It was a little disappointing that there wasn’t a larger crowd to witness iconic performer, but those who stayed were able to witness an Aussie music legend at his best.

For someone who has never been particularly a big fan of Klaxons, this is a great re-introduction. Despite the muddy conditions, the English quartet got a lot of people dancing. ‘Golden Skans’ was pulled off surprisingly well, with that vocal melody sung spot on. The group finished with ‘It’s Not Over Yet’, marking the end of the festivities. Similar to Interpol’s set the night before, Klaxons’ performance flew by with no real stand outs, and no real complaints. It wasn’t a perfect end to the night, closing with either Joan Jett of Paul Kelly would have left everyone on a nice high, but it was good enough. 

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It is a bit annoying to have the opening bands start a mere 15 minutes after gates open, but at least for the punters that missed out on the Cloud Control and Ball Park Music sets, it was still somewhat audible from outside the barricades.

New York musical duo Sleigh Bells brought their unique brand of dirty electro to the ever growing crowd at the River Stage, but something just didn’t seem right about the whole situation. The sun was out (practically the only bit of sun we would see for the remainder of the festival) and the humidity was high, but the pair looked and sounded dwarfed by the size of the stage, perhaps more suited to a smaller, indoor venue. Fans towards the front of the stage seemed to enjoy the set, but from further up the hill the music fell flat.

The atmosphere was a lot better over at the Gardens Stage for the remainder of Hot Hot Heat’s set. The band put on a very tight performance, and while older fans mused that they ‘weren’t what they used to be’, they certainly entertained the crowd with a mix of both old and new material.‘21@12’ and ‘Goodnight Goodnight’ were exceptional highlights.

Up next were Cold War Kids, easily one of the most anticipated acts of the afternoon. Opening with ‘Mexican Dogs’, it was obvious that the band was out to impress.  Newer track ‘Audience of One’ got a surprisingly positive reception, but tracks from the band’s debut Robbers & Cowards were clear favourites. In an ironic moment the group decided to play ‘Hang Me up to Dry’ as the rain started to borderline on torrential. The sing-a-long during ‘We used to Vacation’ was one of those special festival moments that will surely be burned into everyone’s hearts.

Ladyhawke (aka Pip Brown and backing band) powered through most of her debut album. The crowd lapped up ‘Dusk til Dawn’, ‘Runaway’, and ‘Back of the Van’. For the most part though, the group produced a very generic and it often just felt as though they were playing the actual recording. It wasn’t until the end of the set with ‘Paris is Burning’ and ‘My Delirium’ did they start to mix things up a little bit with added guitar solos and extended choruses, taking an average performance and made it enjoyable.

The National took to the Gardens Stage to a packed out audience, bringing along a two piece horn section (trumpet and trombone). Opening with tracks from 2010’s masterpiece High Violet, the group paced through ‘Mistaken for Strangers’, ‘Anyone’s Ghost’ and Bloodbuzz Ohio’, with the horn section filling out the songs very nicely. ‘Slow Show’ fell disappointingly short, its pace dragging and feeling very sludgy and unrehearsed, but was immediately forgotten after the absolutely amazing rendition of ‘Squalor Victoria’. The beautiful piano opening of ‘England’ set a gorgeous mood against the pouring rain, while older tracks ‘Abel’ and ‘Mr November’ pumped up the energy to help bring the set to a climactic finish. Closing with ‘Terrible Love’, singer Matt Berninger jumping from the stage and running out into the audience causing absolute frenzy as everyone around sung along to the powerful chorus, ‘It takes an ocean not to break’ – a remarkable finish to an amazing set.

By the end of The National’s set, the rain was pelting down. This made watching, and listening to for that matter, the end of Public Enemy’s set virtually impossible without battling the crowd and the mudslide of a hill.

Most of the crowd began to disperse before Interpol’s set even began, with the rain beginning to take its toll on punters and the grounds. Musically the quartet was tight, something that you would expect from a band held in such high esteem. Unfortunately they seemed to rely solely on the fact that their songs are good and that they can play well, proving to be far less interesting to watch than many of the acts of the day. The set list was strong, beginning with the two opening tracks from last year’s self titled album – ‘Success’ and ‘Memory Serves’ – making them immediately accessible to newer fans before launching into a string of songs from 2004’s Antics. There were no particular stand outs, but on that same note there were no particular duds either. The set went off without a hitch, but ended with a disappointing linger that suggested the possibly of an encore before the music and lights came on. It was an anti-climactic end to an average performance.

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