Thursday, August 11, 2011

Splendour In The Grass: Day 1

Planting the idea of going to Splendour In The Grass back in April, when I caught up with Carl, we managed to get our non-camping tickets when they first went on sale, and then finally, the big weekend was here! I flew up to Brisbane where he met me at the airport on the Thursday evening, and we drove up to his parents' place in Maroochydore, which would be our Splendour base for the weekend.

Here, over beers, we started plotting our weekend, with the schedule. Of course, my excitement for the weekend started for real, after making a trip to Bunnings during the Thursday work day, and finding some gumboots. Much recommended Splendour attire, I had pictured horrid industrial looking boots - but managed to find hip, fire-engine red garden boots! I wore them in around the office before I had to leave, letting the excitement build!

Catching a bus with just one other guy at Maroochydore on the Friday morning, it turns out our fellow passenger was a paid blogger for The Vine. As were reveled in our jealously, we soon directed our envy towards the two girls who sat in front of us from the next stop, clearly affected by their "special water".

Arriving at Woodfordia, we worked our way through the line up and passed the dog squad inspection, and we were in! Making our way to exchange real money for drink tickets, we overheard a little bit of Illy in the Mix Up tent, before trekking out to the Amphitheatre ready for Jinja Safari.

With vines wound around their mic stands, this little band played such an engaging and lively set, with a stage-dive followed by a run to end the set, creating a pied piper-like trail of people running through the crowd.

Walking up the hill to check out this awesome natural theatre setting, we listened to the Indigenous welcome to the site, before returning to the front of the stage for a journey back in time, and Jebediah. Culminating in Leaving Home, these guys captured the memories of all of us in the crowd old enough to remember them starting out.

Carl and I then left the Amphitheatre, in search of food and more drinks, and found the Mexican Cantina for margaritas, and something to eat. Here we got separated, as Carl learnt from someone that James Blake playing at the Mix Up text was the "future of music" - I think we were both between the Cantina and hearing the future of music sound very Luther Van dross-like, and nothing awe-inspiring...thus, having eaten, and seeing no sign of Carlos, I started making my way to the GW McLennan Tent, for a much anticipated set of the day.

Off the back of just a 5 track EP at the time (now with their newly released album), Boy & Bear played to a brimming Tent, bringing the crowd alive with their harmonies and catchy folky tunes. The overcrowded tent danced to Blood To Gold, and sang along in a massive collective voice to Rabbit Song, new tracks like Milk & Sticks, and the closer being Feeding Line, were big crowd hits. The harmonies for Mexican Mavis and The Storm, just gorgeous. A blend of the tracks known from the EP, the new release, and then forthcoming album songs, this set was so energising and heart-warming - these guys are so big right now!

Returning to the GW McLennan, I managed to get a really great spot for the Gotye set, being about 15 from the front. Opening with Coming Back, and then Eyes Wide Open, Wally flitted between drums, his sound board and computerised xylophone, and vocals, dressed in his smart waistcoat. Thanks For Your Time also got a run, after which much of the crowd at the front urged Wally to turn up the vocals, which he did - this improved the sound for down the front.

With Kimbra having her own set on the same stage earlier inthe day, she joined Wally on stage for the current smash, Somebody That I Used To Know. So amazing! Following with Heart's A Mess, the crowd joined Wally in one of the singalongs of the festival.

Finishing the set to mark his triumphant return with his new album, Learnalilgivinanlovin was full of energy and had the packed crowd dancing.

Carl and I found each other, in the glow of just how massive the rest of this year is going to be for Gotye and how amazing the set had just been, we started the walk back to the Amphitheatre, and for the headliner of the evening. Finding the bottom tiers closed off and at capacity, we continued the walk up to the Upper Amphitheatre, giving us a great view of the stage and the massive and excited crowd filling the enormous setting.

Kayne West is not my kind of music, and an odd selection for one of the headliners for mine, however the massive crowd that night loved every ego-driven moment...with his countless dancers on stage, his fireworks and dancing production, for much of the 3 "Acts" I could barely make out which was he on stage, and whether he was actually singing.

To be fair, the tracks I did recognise were huge, and he had the rest of the crowd mesmerised. Gold Digger, Diamonds from Sierra Leone, and Stronger were electric throughout the crowd. But I will admit to napping for much of his long set with all the tricks!

Such a long, and awe-filled day of music! A very late bus back to Maroochy, to rest and prepare for the next day....

1 comment:

  1. Kanye seems like a bit of a wanker but I still love his music.


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