My first Splendour in the Grass weekend was a resounding success. I was lucky enough to go with a bunch of long-time veterans who had their camping routine down to a fine art, which meant everything on that front went smoothly. All that was left was having a good time. So much was packed into the weekend, but here’s some of my most vivid memories:
- The fuzz-ball lead singer of Manchester Orchestra requesting silence at the start of the anthem ‘I’ve Got Friends’;
- Art Vs Science whipping a packed Mix Up Tent into a shirt-lifting dance frenzy for ‘Parlez Vous Francais’, complete with a ripping guitar breakdown;
- Getting given $15 worth of cans to recycle by a security guard at the end of Dappled Cities, who did an excellent rendition of ‘The Price’;
- Yelling, with thousands of others, “Too much sun, milk and honey, was that all I really got? I had so much money but not enough sense to make change” during ‘Wayside’ by Birds of Tokyo;
- Skanking like crazy (but not as crazily as Pat) to The Specials;
- Seeing Augie March’s hit ‘One Crowded Hour’ live for the first time;
- Picking my jaw up off the floor after Chris Cheney and his Living End buddies shredded through a ridiculous, 5-minute breakdown, complete with the crunching addition of the ‘Beat It’ riff;
- Joining hands with a bunch of random strangers at the request of the Bloc Party’s lead singer, to make sure the love was thick in the air in the Super Top;
- Waking up alive on Sunday and doing it all again.
Also, I’ve got the inaugrual Splendour Awards for a range of categories (if you were at Splendour and want to make your own nominations, feel free!
Surprise Highlight of the Festival
I knew Paul Dempsey was talented, but his cover of Billie Jean was excellent and will stick in my mind for years to come.
Highlight of the Festival
After looking forward to the Flaming Lips since they were announced, they didn’t disappoint. I was lucky enough to be right underneath the Wayne Coyne bubble when he ran out into the crowd; I felt as though I’d been teleported into a magical wonderland of confetti, balloons and uplifting tunes.
Lowlight of the Festival
The onset of a cold/throat infection which peaked near the end of the Flaming Lips set and made me stagger to the edge of the crowd for fresh air so I didn’t collapse. I paced myself with water as best I could in the hours leading up, but just couldn’t quite make the full hour in the middle of the crowd when the time came, so I had to watch ‘Do You Realise?’ from the edge.
Underperformers of the Festival
MGMT live or die by their singles, and if they hadn’t had Electric Feel and Kids to lift the middle and end of their set, I doubt the crowd would have stayed awake. I wasn’t overly impressed by Doves or the White Lies either; they were OK, but added little to their studio sound, which is nice and ambient but lacked spark.
Pat, for going (hilariously and good-naturedly) spastic on Saturday and subsequently inventing the term ‘wankered’ on Sunday morning to describe his particular state of intoxication. Needless to say, Sunday saw more people getting wankered, especially one unnamed punter who tried to kill himself with scotch.
Well, there’s my Splendour wrap – I opted not to take a camera because I didnt’ want to be one of the dozens holding their point and shoots up in front of the people behind them, taking blurry and poorly framed photos of the crowd in front of them because they didn’t turn their flash off (!!1!)
I still need to catch up on last week’s Green Steps birthday celebration… bear with me, normal life is just around the corner…