Splendour has set precedence for some of the best performances across the Australian festival benchmark, and 2017 was no different.
With a mix of international superstars, Aussie big names and local up and comers, 2017’s edition was delicious. We were there to pick up all the juicy bits – so here are out top performances from the weekend to get you keen for 2018.
Ask anyone who went along and no doubt they’ll tell you that Peking Duk were arguably the best day one act of the festival. They brought some instruments to their live show for the first time, and smashed a lengthy set out. From classical strings intro-ing the show, a tonne of guests, live mixing and performances of course of their own music, the Berra boys upped the anti big time. They even managed to throw in an robot-EDM-inspired version of Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name, which sent the thousands-strong crowd into raptures. A defining set for the duo.
RL Grime has done a lot for a 26-year-old producer, and this set was a fierce reminder of the lad’s ability to absolutely dominate live. His large build up, intense drop, catalogue was on full show for all – mixing in his own tunes with his even more out of control collabs with the likes of Skrillex and your boy What So Not. His set was stopped twice no thanks to some dickhead punters who decided to climb the scaffolding of the tent he played in. But that didn’t hamper Grime from dropping some absolute filth that is made to close out a festival evening. Has an aura.
Thanks so much everyone for making Splendour such an awesome homecoming for us! ??✨?? #splendourinthegrass #sitg2017 #mixup . . . . . ? @druanjames
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A staple in Australian dance music for nearly two decades, Cut Copy both threw back the clock and took a step into a new musical vibe during their 2017 Splendour set. It’s amazing how much the passion the boys still have, you can feel that they legitimately care about the music they make when they perform live. Having paved the way for so many, their return to stage was vibrant and funky as you would imagine. Their fan-favourite Hearts On Fire went down a treat, but it was their worldwide beat Lights And Music that had the packed out crowd in raptures. V keen for their new album.
If you’ve ever seen Royal Blood, it’s always hard to believe that two guys can make so much noise and have such a presence on stage. I had my doubts when they were scheduled to play the huge Amphitheatre stage, but to my delight a bumper crowd turned up to see the British boys absolutely kill it. The set had a dark vibe, perfect as the sun set into the Byron Bay Parklands. Perhaps only beaten when drummer Ben Thatcher got up from his kit, took of his shoe to the request of the crowd and smashed a shoey. Legend status son.
Mr Fanning is an Australian musical icon in his own right. But it was that moment when he brought out all of his Powderfinger bandmates to reunite in celebration of the band’s performance at Splendour ten years ago. The nostalgia fabulous, the performance powerful. An iconic moment that will be replayed for some time yet.
Two Door Cinema Club
Back from a hiatus of sorts, Two Door Cinema Club returned to Aus with new music and a myriad of old bangerz. Some are still getting used to their new tunes, but their can be no doubt that their older records blend in poppy guitars with infectious and up tempo melodies, to make both singable and danceable tunes. Not the most fan-engaged group you’ll ever see, so just let their music do the talking because that’s more than enough.
Well don’t these boys just go from strength to strength. They have well and truly brought their 70s-80s vibe back, and with a bit of modernisation, taken it to the masses. Honestly you could see every age group in this crowd, and that’s testament to their music. Add a surprise appearance by Tina Arena, Tom Tilley get his gear off on stage (some will like, some will loathe), and some retro suits, you felt it was a big moment for the group.
The new benchmark for Aussie hip hop? That’s what a few people in the crowd thought as the Thundamentals brought their exuberance, energy and banter in this brilliant set. I wont lie, Aussie hip hop is a bit of a mixed bag for me personally, but this performance did a decent job on convincing me. From their danceable hits to more mellow jams, the power group had everyone in the crowd groovin’ as they proved why they are one of the hottest local music products going around right now.
State your name cuz. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Stormzy has had a lot of hype behind him, ever since he released Shut Up. But unlike some others (cc Lil Yachty), said hype is well justified. The South London MC kept it simple with devastating effect, needing nothing more than his DJ, his mic and ‘Stormzy’ plastered on the backing visual art panels to get the people going. Bantering throughout the gig, Stormzy is a definite showman who had the audience eating out of his hands. Big For Your Boots got a massive response, but Shut Up had everyone spitting bars.
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard
You gods of psychedelic-indie-muff-rock. Yep, that’s what I’m terming it. And it might be hard to believe, but King Giz are on another level when live. Sporting a huge stage presence with over 12 people at times, the band fuses snippets of their ridiculously big discography into a continuous set that almost never stops. Hits like Sleep Drifter, Robot Stop and Gamma Knife all went off as you can imagine – but it’s the seamless fusion of all the songs which makes this a real sensory experience. Add these boys to your bucket list.
A mainstay of the British dance scene in particular, Bonobo mesmerised punters during one of the final closing performances of the festival. His dreamy, atmospheric music has gathered him a strong following – and he brought that to life in his live set. To many’s surprise, he came armed with a complete live band which really injected some life into the performance. Kong brought the tropical vibes, while his hit Kerala from his recent record Migration increased the tempo. Not many words feature in Bonobo’s music, but he left many without much speech after this cracker of a set.
Queens Of The Stone Age
It’s not often you get to see rock music royalty, but that’s just what QOTSA are. In particular Josh Homme who has some serious status when it comes to icons in the genre. Playing a fierce catalogue from their 20+ years of existence, Homme led the show with his expected charm and swagger. At one point absolutely ripping apart a punter who jumped on someone’s shoulders just to give him the finger. Who knows if or when Homme and Co. will be back, but it’s worth experiencing QOTSA at least once.
Image source: Stills In Time