by eliza czander

Sound Relief played yesterday at The Sydney Cricket Ground, and shit was it fun. The festival was to benefit the Victoria fires and Queensland floods, and with tickets at $70 a pop, most were happy to lend a hand.

Artist: The Presets
Song: I Go Hard, I Go Home

Opening the day was Coldplay – at noon. Yeah. Too early I presumed, but they were playing another show later that evening so they had to get out by the afternoon. Chris Martin truly impressed me, rolling through the crowds and jumping into the stands like a bona fide rock star. I wasn’t expecting a performance with so much energy. The entire Stadium was on their feet for “Viva La Vida” and of course for fan favorite “Yellow.” Toward the end of their set, they brought out surprise guest and Aussie legend John Farnham and sang some Aussie anthem that I had never heard but obviously still enjoyed the hell out of it. Surrounded by people who knew every word, shouting to the sky, I felt pretty lucky to be a part of it all.

Next up was Wolfmother, who have apparently added a new member to the group. The foursome put on a semi-decent act, to be honest I was hoping for more. Playing throwback hits like “Woman” and “White Unicorn,” the guys sounded pretty much like they do on their album, which I’ve always been a fan of. This performance felt muted though, a bit melancholy for such a hectic sound.

Architecture in Helsinki, Hudoo Gurus, and You Am I were on the bill, however I was still more excited to see Kings of Leon and Jack Johnson‘s live stream from the same show simultaneously happening in Melbourne. Eskimo Joe and Jet both managed to pull off pretty palatable performances, leaving whoever was left in the crowd happy and ready for the artist that was going to play next.

Unfortunately for us, that someone was Taylor Swift . That shit was embarrassing. I believe the quote of the night went something like, “To me, music is like a love song set to a ballad.” Whaaa? She had a costume change (within 4 songs, mind you) and it seemed most people wondered what the fuck she was doing there, interrupting the real musicians on tap. Ah well. At least we had The Presets to look forward to. Yessss, The Presets.

A bit earlier in the day, the heavens opened on up and started pissing down rain. Everyone went nuts. Either running toward shelter or bum rushing the stage, security was caught completely off guard. Sudden rain always takes an interesting turn at outdoor festies, doesn’t it? We decided to embrace it, and literally soaked it all in. During Ms. Swift’s set, the weather had subsided, and people began to settle in again.

By the time The Presets came on, night had fallen, just as the rain did once more, and the Aussie duo romped the crowd, opening with “Talk Like That.”  It was just what everyone needed, from a day that began too hot, to too wet, to a dark sky and a crazy light show.

A couple of bourbon cokes and a set change and Midnight Oil was killing it, getting the entire crowd involved. The band is pretty much legend out here and it’s easy to see why. The group played a set filled with energy, fervor, and fire to the soaking wet stadium – it was a great introduction to a band I’d heard so much about.

Due to the fact that I was sopping wet, sitting on the concrete and shivering, I decided to book out before The Beegees got up. Had I known Olivia Newton John would’ve been joining I probably would’ve stayed. Ha. Half kidding, there. Anyway, another great festival out here in Aussie Land, and as always it feels a bit more relevant when it’s for a cause. The concerts in Melbourne and Sydney combined raised more than $5 Million for the victims involved. Big ups to the acts and the people that came out to support.

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