Saturday, July 25, 2015

The must-have Splendour In The Grass fashion accessary this year (and most years due to Byron Bay’s bipolar weather) is gumboots. If you turn up to the festival without them, you're bound to have a terrible time - and nobody wants that. Some parts of the festival have mud that sinks like quicksand. The horrid mud situation was not enough to dampen the mood or the incredible vibes the festival presents. 

Triple J Unearthed Winners Tired Lion where the first to kick things off on the Amphitheatre.  Despite the high pressure involved with opening the big stage, they did exceptionally well. Playing tracks such as ‘Suck’ and their cover ‘Saramona Said’, the Perth grunge rockers showed that they deserved to be on the line up. 

Opening the GW McLennan tent at 12:30pm was Harts. Despite his early slot, he brought the masses to his show packing out the tent - literally. This isn’t no surprise, as Harts’ live shows are known for their  electrifying nature and guitar licks that transform into something out of this world when played live. Set highlights included ‘Breakthrough’ as well as a cover Jimi Hendrix ‘Purple Haze’, which was his massive closing track for the day, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Though it was early, walking away from his set left me thinking that nothing was going to top it. After watching numerous sets during the day, nothing still hasn’t topped Harts’ performance. 

Let’s be real. Though most of the magic at Splendour In The Grass is in the live music, there is so much other things going on around the festival that brought the energy and spirit of Splendour to another level. The one that stood out the most was the Tent Of Miracles ‘You C*** Stop The Music’ tent by Andy Forbes and James Dabrowski. The haven is the perfect place if you want to let loose and and have fun. With performances such as ‘Pyjama Man’, ‘Puppy Love’ (a highlight of mine that involved Dolly Parton tunes, a cowboy and a whole lot of dry ice) and ‘Ali The Bomb’ (incredibly controversial, but all in good fun). I look forward to returning to the Tent Of Miracles tomorrow - if you didn’t head there on day one, it’s a must! 

British alternative rock band Marmozets' killed it at the Amphitheatre at 2pm. Their high powered set saw vocalist Becca Macintyre dominate the stage, causing their mini moshpit of rock lovers grow immensely with every song they played. Their set even sampled Black Sabbath’s iconic tune ‘Iron Man’. 

There was no sign of 3pm-itus at the GW McLennan tent when Jenny Lewis hit the stage in an all white ensemble. Playing hits such as ‘Just One of the Guys’ and ‘She’s Not Me’, she showed off why she is all class to a small but appreciative crowd. She also brought the feels to the festival and you couldn’t resist getting emotional watching her do her thing. She further proved why she is an indie rock queen to so many. Also, massive props to her and whoever was in charge of her set design, it was definitely the highlight of the day in the matters of set design.

It was great to see the organisations of the festival consider the environment in the organisation of the event. There were even ‘enviro cops’ walking around ensuring that festival goers were doing the right thing for the environment. There was a funny moment where I was walking past a trio of ‘enviro cops’, and one of them made the noise of a siren when someone littered. Overall, I was disappointed with festival-goers choice to leave their rubbish wherever they pleased. The floor is not a rubbish bin. Stop being so damn lazy and throw your trash in the bin, theres more than enough bins to go around.

Rounding up a massive crowd at The Amphitheatre stage at 4:45pm was local favourites San Cisco. When they first hit the big stage, the amount of people in the crowd was huge - by the end of their set, they had even people who were originally chilling on the grass in the moshpit enjoying everything San Cisco had on offer. They played a number of tunes from their 2015 release ‘Graceland’. Though it was only the first time i’ve witnessed them live, I look forward to catching them on another stage soon in the near future. Following San Cisco was The Rubens, who also did an impeccable job in drawing a crowd in. The most talked about part from their set was when lead singer Sam crowd surfed in a boat, because why not? It’s Splendour In The Grass after-all.

Everybody must have been a The Rubens or Everything Everything as when Johnny Marr hit the stage at the GW McLennan the crowd was only minimal - mostly consisting of old dudes. The legend, who rose to fame as guitarist of The Smiths, brought raw classic alternative rock to the festival. He's a god, and he showed why.

Iceland’s Of Monsters and Men made their way to the Amphitheatre at around 9:15pm, opening with the cinematic and powerful track ‘I of the Storm’. Though I would have preferred if they opened with something that wasn’t as dark, their opening was certainly eye-catching. The played a number of tracks from their most recent album Beneath The Skin, including favourites ‘Hunger’ and ‘Empire’. It’s hard not to smile when watching Of Monsters and Men, and with the amount of excitement building they could of as easily been the closing act. 

It was Ryan Adams’ turn to show festival goers what good quality pop music sounds like. If it wasn’t Jenny Lewis with the best set design today, it certainly was Adams with arcade machines and a big novelty giant fender amps. Opening with ‘Gimme Something Good’, he was all class, and if you were at another stage during his set you were missing out. He even thanked the crowd for being at his set instead of watching someone else playing out of a laptop - we hear you Ryan! Man over Machine! 

After what was a tiring and extremely muddy day two, I can’t wait to see what day two has on offer - bring it!