Wowzers, another year down and Splendour just keeps on lifting the bar. Well established now as Australia’s prime music festival, Splendour brought some serious vibes this year as the sun shone and punters truly got amongst it.
Featuring many of the staple names you’ll see on most Aussies festivals, our top sets featured a mix of classic festival vibes and one-off performances we’ll be raving about for some time.
#1 Gang Of Youths
Fresh of the bat from their Hottest 100 and ARIA domination, the GOY lads absolutely destroyed the amphitheatre. Playing all the classics you know and love, the set was a mixture of moshing, emotional sing-alongs and pure passion from a group that are set to conquer overseas as well. And if they want it, they can really go big. Frontman David Le’aupepe swooned the crowd (channelling his usual modern Michael Hutchence aura), while also taking the time to call out his sick father listening on from a hospital bed. And that’s perhaps the biggest accolade you can give GOY, they really bloody connect. You can relate to the emotion and metaphors, you can feel the pain, the laughter, the pleasure. A rare quality from a band that just keeps on dominating.
#2 The Presets
To be honest, I was a bit disappointed when funk lordz Chromeo had to pull out from the festival, but man if there was an act to replace them it was The Presets. If you love a good rave or just dance throw-down in general, this set was made for ‘ya. They just brought continual good vibes, with a pulsating energy that had everyone moshing for the entire set. Currently on a bumper national tour, if you have been second guessing about getting tickets, consider this a guarantee for good times (and serious FOMO if you don’t go). They are seriously cemented as Australian dance music icons.
#3 Kendrick Lamar
Well you knew it was coming didn’t you? Kung Fu Kenny is just a global powerhouse at the moment, and potentially the best solo performer in the world (we still love you Beyonce). Unsurprisingly he brought his A-game to Splendour, featuring a full live band, and dropping hits primarily from DAMN. and To Pimp A Butterfly, in front of possibly the biggest ever amphitheatre crowd Splendour has seen. With ‘lil bits of video in between every few songs adding some vibrance, the closing Sunday set had a full production to it. From King Kunta and Alright, to DNA, and a stunning crowd rendition of Humble, it was special. Although he started late and didn’t quite finish later, Kendrick packed in a tonne of energy that will certainly have us punters raving for days.
The Scottish trio made a super strong return to Aussie shores, bringing a solid dose of nostalgic and new tunes. And it’s that eclectic mix of emotion and electro-synths that make their live sets something pretty fabulous. Lead-woman Lauren Mayberry is honestly also one of the most captivating performers you’ll ever see. From bantering back and forth with the crowd, to her cheeky dancing on stage, and overall fierceness, you get why so many people love her. They started with Get Out, while Never Say Die absolutely shook the place, proving that these guys are mainstays.
Do you believe in life after love? #DMAS #love #sitg #likeaversion ♥️
W O W. That’s really all I have to say. There is so much variance to these Sydney lads, and they just go about their business like it’s any other day. They don’t have much to say on stage, they just let their tunes do the talking. The set was arguably defined by their stunning Like A Version cover of Believe by Cher, which became a full amphitheatre sing along. Their circa 90’s-guitar-pop keeps things simple, yet very catchy and engaging. You could honestly see them selling out stadiums, not only in Australia but around the world.
Image Source: Jess Gleeson