SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS – AUSTRALIA

by eliza czander

Splendour in The Grass is only one short week away, and God Damn am I psyched. Kicking off the day this Saturday will be the US band making the LONG trip to Byron Bay, and playing waaay too early. Manchester Orchestra, I thought deserved at least an afternoon slot, but what can you do? We are on the other side of the world where most people haven’t heard of em yet. That’s cool, cause shortly thereafter the wonder-kids from Art vs Science will take the stage and rock the crowd for sure. AVS has made quite a name for themselves in Sydney, and I think even despite the early set time, people will crawl out of bed early, and get no doubt get pumped for day 1. The day continues with Children Collide, Miami Horror, Dappled Cities, and Yacht Club DJ’s, and as night begins to fall, moves on to bigger acts like Birds of Tokyo and Architecture in Helsinki.

Artist: Friendly Fires
Song: Paris
Artist: Hilltop Hoods
Song: Chase That Felling

…..

For the most part, bands have been staggered accordingly, and there isn’t too much overlap between bands of interest. Although, it’s too bad Jane’s Addiction is playing at the same time as Midnight Juggernauts, cause from what I hear, both put on a great show. Might have to plead patriotism on this one though – who knows how long it’ll be before JA breaks up again? Around 10, a quick stroll to the DJ tent to check out Cut Copy, and then back to the main stage to see headliners Bloc Party. Aussies love them some Bloc Party, and I’m hoping this time around their performance lives up to all the hype. Last time I saw these guys live, they looked like they were having trouble playing their instruments. Granted, it was years ago, and their new album is dope, so I’m definitely willing to give them another shot. Either way, BP should get everyone stoked enough to continue partying into the night on the amazing streets of Byron.  On to day two!

Another fairly early day for this writer, as new Canadian band Dananananaykroyd are playing at 1 p.m. Their sound is loud and rowdy, so a live performance could be totally awesome, or a complete debacle. I’m interested to see how they go. Post punk Brit rockers White Lies are scheduled for 3, which may result in a sparse crowd considering Friendly Fires is up at 3:15. “Jump In The Pool” and “Paris” have been steadily riding the airwaves out here and the band has a solid following. Should be a great afternoon pick-me-up until the sun sets and Doves play the main stage. I’m still not sure how I feel about these guys. I was less than impressed by their latest release, but their live show could be fucking fantastic. Guess we’ll see.

Unfortunately Beautiful Girls rivals hip hop act Downsyde and Drapht, and people will have to choose between side stepping and jumping around. Drapht has been on heavy ipod rotation for me, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be found leaping about at the MixUp stage. MGMT were absolute shit the last two times I was subjected to their live performance, and with no new material out, it was a little shocking to see them as headliners. Oh well, I suppose hearing the intro chords to “Time To Pretend” will get everyone in a good mood, and who knows, maybe since last year they’ve improved their stock-still stage presence.

It should be interesting to see who turns up for the incomparable Flaming Lips, who are closing the night at the main stage. They’re playing at the same time as Hilltop Hoods, who has certainly won over Sydney in a big way, selling out shows, and getting live performance feeds on Triple J. The demographic of Splendour seems to be on the younger side, and I’m not sure many of them will really “get” Flaming Lips. A loss for them, because I’ve heard the Lips put on an unreal show. I’ve had friends quote “best show I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” so I’m definitely psyched.

Lots of pics and videos to come your way following what should be an amazing weekend and an incredible festival. Stay tuned!

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