Monday, September 28, 2009

Parklife @ Wellington Square, Perth 27.9.09

With an astounding line-ups of names like Empire of The Sun, Metronomy, MSTRKRFT, The Rapture, La Roux, Crystal Castles, Junior Boys and Erol Alkan, I did not hestitate to place Parklife as my first festival down under. The event was a sold-out, and fortunately I have purchased ticket long before I even set foot in Aussie. Weather was good, hitting 25 degrees in spring time, and the blaring sun did not deter the crowd from having fun and losing their minds in an awesome day of music.

Sydney electronic band Art vs Science was the first act I caught, taking Air Stage, which is just next to the entrance. Those who arrived early were awarded with an energetic and enthuastic set. Big sounds and catchy tunes were the order of their set, getting the most crowd response during 'Flippers' and 'Parlez Vous Francais?'. It was indeed a great indication that the festival would be amazing through out the day. Skipping the last song for a toilet break, Triple J unearthed winner Tim & Jean was performing at the Fire Stage. Such youth and pop infused goodness they were displaying, it is definitely worth checking them out.

Staying at the same stage, Bertie Blackman was next. Armed with an electric guitar, she put up an rocktastic yet dark set of electronica/rock. However, unfortunately, despite my best efforts, that did not really click with me, so I left early to walk around, checking out the heaps of stalls.

I managed to catch a little actions of Autokratz at Air Stage while going to get lunch and rest a bit. Their performance was mediocre at best, a total disappoinment. Without wasting time, I headed to Earth Stage in order to get up front for the first major act I had been waiting for, Junior Boys. Those easily digestible snaps of electronics as well as romantic and mind-blowing vocals of theirs were magnificent. Most tracks played were from their latest effort 'Begone Dull Care', with one or two from previous releases. There was slight frustration among the band and the crowd as there were some technical difficulties in the sound system during 'Parallel Lines'. Nevertheless, after some delays, the band came back on stage to perform the track again, much to the pleasure of the crowd. 'In The Morning' was another highlight of the set, where everyone was dancing to the upbeat and catchy tunes.

Straight after that, I rushed to Fire Stage to catch another favourite band of mine, Metronomy, and boy were they awesome live. The live set was abstractly euphoric with synchronised salutes and the customary black t-shirt and dome light on their chest which flashed at times. It made for a light-hearted visual accompaniment to their awkwardly feel good dance rhythms. 'Radio Ladio’ was absolute fun being involved with, shouting 'R-A-D-I-O, L-A-D-I-O' in the chorus. Other highlights include 'My Heart Rate Rapid' and 'A Thing For Me', which I sang along to every single word like a fanboy. The band ended on 'You Could Easily Have Me' from 'Pip Paine' which turns the enthusiastic dancing that had been prevalent until that point into a full on mosh.It was no doubt a spectacular live shows that had my jaw wide opened.

MSTRKRFT was playing at Air Stage when I was heading there for Crystal Castles up next. At the same time, it was La Roux's set at Water Stage at the far side of the square. Such a shame to miss them both. Damn clashes. Crystal Castles' performance was nothing short of chaos, frontwoman Alice Glass appeared with a strobelight swinging from her neck, and sent the crowd to a chaotic state with her combo of screamo electronic. The onstage showmanship was quite impressive, as she dived into the crowd at one point. Unfortunately, the subpar soundsystem was a let down, as I couldn't really heard her vocal.

After another toilet break, it was time for the main headliner, Empire of The Sun. Parklife was the first ever live performance for Luke Steele and co and I was curious to see what the buzz was all about. I knew it’d be too crowded to get a nice spot at Water stage to see the band's debut performance, so I headed over early, squeezing through to the front row, with the clubbing beats of Kaskade playing at that time, which I did not really bother. With spectacular costuming, lights and dancers dazzling the crowd, Empire of The Sun did not disappoint. The visual extravaganza was a treat to the eyes, and Luke performed the debut album almost flawlessly. Visual films and dancing swordfish flowed into each track perfectly, and it truly blew me away. It was sublime to have watched thsoe first four tracks of the album live in front of my eyes.

Fresh from witnessing something spectacular, I did not forget to rush to Fire Stage to catch The Rapture. While their set was excellent, I was probably too exhausted to get into the mood to dance to the upbeat and catchy tunes of theirs. 'House of Jealous Lovers' got the crowd pumped up the most, setting the dancefloor to a mayhem. Draggin my numb feet to the exit, I had a glimpse of Tiga spinning 'What You Need' at Air Stage, which I withstood the tiredness and headbanged to it with joy, signalling the end of an amazing day.

It was spectacular music event that I will long remember, and I certainly hope there will be more in the near future.

Empire of The Sun - Romance To Me
Metronomy - Trick or Treatz (Klaxons Remix)
Tim & Jean - Come Around

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

lush line up!!! sounds like a great event..

8:23 PM  

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