Inside our hotel with the air con on we were oblivious to the fact that out side it was already (at Midday) about 30 degrees. The air was thick and the wind just as intensely hot. The max temp for the day was heading towards forty and all we could think was thank god I’m not trying to sleep off this hangover in a tent. .
We made it to the festival much later today and as we jumped on one of the usually empty shuttles back to the festival, it was full. Punters had left their camp site in search of the Lorne’s stunning beaches. Wise move.
The festival seemed empty as we walked in, there would have been about 200 or so people on the hill or in the sun, the rest of the people were trying to cram under what little shelter they could find. Next to food vans, under the one actual sun shelter, inside the Grand Theatre or staying back at their tents (although with the strength of the wind many had already been blown flat). Looking around the festival this wind also caused several dramas for the girls - blowing dresses up (to which the guys cheered) and blowing dust on to freshly applied lip-gloss/pawpaw resulting in what is now known as the female festival tache.
Inside the Grand Theatre the comedy was on again, only this time drawing a massive crowd (thanks partly to the heat).
First of our musical act today was California four piece, The Morning Benders, who were hitting our shores for the first time and were clearly thankful to be here. With only one LP out, The Big Echo, this set felt as though their material had to be thickened out with extended instrumentals. Whirling pop and soaring electric grooves, this band showcased elements of surf pop that is true to California while also incorporating experimental elements akin Animal Collective.
Attempting to brave the elements back out in the blistering heat we caught the first few tracks of Beautiful Girls. They were good but not so inspiring that we wanted to stay, so we retired to the shelter of the Grand Theatre to catch another previously unheard of artist, Tijuana Cartel. Playing an impressive mix of musical genres this set showcased an eclectic blend instruments.
Back out in the sun no heat would make us miss Cold War Kids. People again doing what they could to cool down, umbrellas, tarps, getting hosed down at the medical tent and one group of geniuses even brought a kiddie pool. No idea how they filled it.
Cold War Kids introduced their audience to some new material off an album they assured us would be out in early 2011. Classic tracks like Hang Me Up To Dry and Red Wine Success has people singing along with every world. The powerful vocals of Nathan Willet and his stunning piano chords (sadly only played on keyboard this time) made this indie blues set what it was.
I had been told about an artist called Beardy Man when I was overseas and somehow I had always managed to miss him. Not this time, I dragged Rowan along to see this unique beat boxer and although this is a style that would usually not interest us, we were freaking blown away. This dude needs his own blog – more soon.
Front and centre for Perth psychedelic four piece, Tame impala. Their musical mix of 60’s and 70’s has turned many heads since releasing debut album Innerspeaker, produced mostly by lead singer, Kevin Parker. What is great about seeing these youngsters it that they are still grounded and still in awe of how far they have come. Unfortunately yesterdays set, with drawn out instrumentals boarded on boring. Tracks off the bands EP including Half Full Glass of Wine and Sundown Syndrome still managed to steel the show.
Up next, The National, who put on a chilling performance of brooding vocals that made this performance almost addictive. The set list was heavily comprised of material off recent album High Violet with single, Anyone’s Ghost was clearly a crowd favourite. The Brooklyn based group’s set was genuinely flawless and a highlight of the festival.
Highly anticipated NYC dance-punk outfit, The Rapture, hit the stage next. With an explosive set list consisting mostly of tracks off Pieces of the People We Love, these scenesters proved they know how to get a crowd going. Highly infectious groves and sax breakdowns ensured The Rapture’s set was another festival highlight and a perfect lead up to the new year.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Inside the Grand Theatre, Casio Kids counted down those final seconds before midnight. With streamers flowing and balloons dropping from the roof our cheers combined with those outside at main stage to create a boisterous celebration. As many turning to who ever was closest and leaning in for that iconic NYE kiss the Casio Kids geared their electro-pop set back into full swing. During this celebration some guys began to climb the tent and made it on the roof for one last dance before security caught them on their way down and dragged their sorry asses out.
Joan Jet and the Heartbeat playing the village stage put on a killer performance of I Love Rock and Roll as we made our way down the front for Sleighbells.
This set blew our freaking minds and needs its own blog too, sit tight.