Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Melbourne was bringing the goods with this sunny Saturday that reminded us all that Spring had sprung, and made it no better day to trek down to Listen Out Festival at Catani Gardens in St Kilda. Looking out over the ocean and peppered with palm trees, the venue was perfect for a low key, two staged festival that was going to wrap up early due to noise restraints. It was made to be a day party, and this was really achieved. As I arrived, I noticed that this glimmer of sunlight had gotten people a little too excited as the short shorts and tank tops were on parade. Come on now guys, it wasn’t that hot. And I seemed to have missed the memo on floral shirts. 

But the crowd was keen for the day with a surprisingly high attendance as the gates opened and people flooded in to get a good spot on the lawn to catch some much needed rays as the music started flowing. Although getting in proved to be a little more difficult than some may have expected with the cops in full swing throughout the festival with an excessive use of sniffer dogs for such a chill day.

This didn’t dampen any vibes (well not my vibes at least) as Client Liaison took to the main stage in front of a much-anticipated crowd. Having not heard too much about the band, I didn’t really know what to expect. But when they came out wearing matching suits and brought out the synchronized dancing, I could guess there was a show ahead of me. With everything from Go-go dancers in lycra to sexy saxophones, these guys put on the ultimate 80’s disco performance. And my Lord that hair. Tom Tilley even made an appearance, rocking it on the base. With similarities to Talking Heads, and a cover of INXS, I almost forgot what era I was in.

As the day went on and the sun was heading down, it was starting to get a little chilly. The only remedy to this was to get up and have a boogie and who better to than Hayden James. Bringing out the smooth and groovy beats, he played the perfect set to take the evening into the night time. Closing on the crowd favourite ‘Something About You’ just as the sun was setting brought the set to an enjoyable end. The electronic talent was continued by Dusky a few hours later with a harder hitting, upbeat set that definitely kept people moving. 

By the time it was the closing slot, the weather was freezing and I did not envy all those people in their summer outfits. However it was impossible to focus on anything but Childish Gambino from the moment he took to the stage. Donald Glover did not seem to notice the cold as by the second song he was shirtless and skipping back and forth across the stage, fly kicking and generally just having an awesome time up there. He pulled out all the hits such as ‘3005’, ‘Telegraph Ave’ and ‘Sober’. As the festival came to a wrap and dreaded march home became inevitable, I was looking back on the day fondly. If I was to pick out a criticism I will admit the sound level was quite low at the stages, which I’m guessing had something to do with the noise restrictions. Even still, with a great mix of local and international acts the day was made worthwhile and I would recommend this sold out festival for next year.

Written by Jess Vaia

Photographer: Kristy Smolcic