Saturday was a good day, there was a big festival in Cairns called The Grass Is Greener and featured some big acts such as Tired Lion, Spit Syndicate, LDRU and Hermitude. I had been looking forward to this for a long time. As much as I love it and try to get to see as much live music as I can, I really haven’t seen that much in my life. Growing up out in the sticks I never wanted to travel hours to go see live music (one of the few regrets I have in life) and a lot of my friends didn’t follow the same music I did, so it wasn’t until I moved to Cairns that I started taking advantage of the live acts that travel up here. I had been to Groovin’ The Moo in Bendigo when I was 17 and this was the closest thing to my second music festival.
Typical weather, it was absolutely pouring when we made it into town, and I think that deterred a lot of people as there wasn’t a decent crowd until about 6pm when the rain finally let up. It also really disappointed me that it seemed a lot of people weren’t there for the actual music like I was (yes I am so pretentious I know!) which also sucked a bit, but it worked to my favour later in the night.
I missed most of Spit Syndicate’s set because I was too busy talking, stupid of me really, and I saw most of Tired Lion who were great. I remember hearing that they were the first ever opening act of Splendour in the Grass to crowd surf and she didn’t disappoint! It’s just too bad there wasn’t much of a crowd to do it on, but she managed!!
The real acts I was looking forward to were LDRU and Hermitude as I know a lot of their music. Leading up to the two main events I thought the VIP area I was in was going to be packed and people trying to get front spot to see them, but somehow it was me, front and centre baby. It was fantastic and no one was really trying to fight me for it! We were off to the side of the stage and it could be a bit hard to see the performers at times but I still had an unobstructed view of the two main acts which was just awesome.
The only thing was, I had never seen a live DJ set before, and hearing about how amazing these guys were at Splendour in the Grass earlier in the year, I had high expectations. And I just felt it was a bit… lacking. It’s not against any of the acts themselves, I just don’t think I feel that connection like I do with someone actually up on stage singing, I don’t feel the engagement with the audience.
Oh I am going to have some people jump down my throat when I say this, and I don’t want to talk down anyone’s artistic ability, but I am just not overly impressed watching DJ’s. I am a musician from way back, I’ve been playing the cello since I was 8 and violin for a year before that, plus other bits and pieces inbetween. And I just can’t relate to someone up on stage, hiding behind the decks, looking down all the time and pressing buttons. I know it takes a lot of talent to make it all correlate in time and work different layers together at once without it sounding shite, I know that would be hard, especially doing it in front of several thousands of people without screwing up. I’ve tried writing music before and I’ve performed plenty of times. I think just seeing a person up on stage seemingly just flicking a few things around instead of projecting out into the audience like I’m used to just didn’t quite do it for me. It was so good seeing LDRU perform Keeping Score and Next To You, but it sort of felt like it could be just anyone up there playing that.
Hermitude lifted the game at times like when they had a guest singer come out to sing Speak Of The Devil, she was awesome and bounced around the stage whilst singing. And it was also pretty cool when the two Hermitude boys came around from behind the decks with a keytar and an electronic drum (I think) and did a pretty incredible solo each, but that only lasted 30 seconds if that, then they were back around doing their thing. Even what should have been the ultimate highlight, arguably their biggest song The Buzz was pretty great but nothing outstanding for me. Not like any other time I’ve come home from a live performance, usually on the brink of happy tears about what I had just witnessed being so incredible.
I don’t know, it’s probably just me and most readers have probably stopped now because they’re pissed off at me dissing DJ’s and producers, it’s nothing against their music at all, I love all their music, I just thought seeing them live would be more of a performance than what it was. Maybe I need to educate myself more in this field, so please if you want to teach me then I am willing to learn! Talking to Mitch tonight about it, I’m just a live band kind of person, and I hope that’s OK, I just don’t live for that big drop!
But it was in no way a negative night, we made new friends, we found a kid that looked like Flume and gave him hell all night (you’ve been Flumigated!!), and Mitch and I had a really great time together, we flirted and kissed like we had just met that night and there was nothing but pure happiness. Just us, in our matching legionnaire’s hats, waving our tune rags.
Lot of love,
SDRO – One Day
The last song of Spit Syndicate’s set was a cover of Not Many, and One Day covered Not Many as well when they went in for Like A Version. I love this song of theirs, it’s got such a chilled out beat despite what the content is about, and I just love the phrases used in the lyrics, they’re clever and really funny, and what other song has the term ‘dagnabbit’ in it! Plus Joyride has a really cool voice.