Having all the bands literally under one roof made it easy and took the pain out of deciding which to see or not to see. Whilst the attendance figure wasn’t disastrous there was still plenty of room to squeeze in a few more who might have changed their mind on the day but opted to watch The Crows instead.
Like any festival it is a full day commitment if you want your money’s worth with the pick of the bunch early being The DZ Deathrays and The Rubens. Good to note that The Bleeding Knees Club didn’t run quite a muck as previous visits to A-Town. UK band Friends were ok and didn’t quite reach the lofty heights of their highly touted debut album Manifest. Good to see but the big question is whether they’ll see album number two.
The Last Dinosaurs played a lively and energetic set. Personally, I was never was a big fan of their debut album In A Million Years but after seeing them on the big stage I’ve changed my tune on them slightly. Returning to Adelaide for the first time since touring Europe they look psyched to be playing in front of an Aussie crowd. Honolulu, Andy and Zoom were obvious crowd pleasers.
The Band Of Skulls were freaking brilliant! They owned the stage winning hearts and minds with punters like myself wanting to buy both albums and source any other releases they might have. In a haze of orange lights the bruising opening of Sweet Sour heralded the beginning of a memorable set. The intensity of drummer Matt Hayward’s should be duly noted breaking a stick early in the piece. Their stage presence was definitely the lack of stage presence letting the music do all the talking. They had the look and did seem “to cool for school” but hey when you’re this good. Lies, Patterns, Fires and Bruises were nothing short of sensational.
It was right about now lead singer Russell Marsden said to punters “let’s have some fun” pulling Hollywood Bowl out of the kit bag. Marsden also asked punters to help out with I Know What I Am but it was the bitchin’ rendition of The Devil Takes Care Of His Own that stood out as the highlight in their set. Death By Diamonds And Pearls bought their set to an end and we can only hope they grace our shores again sometime soon.
Lana Del Rey! Wow! If there was ever a performance that would silence the critics it was this one. She won the hearts and minds of punters ten times over as they were full of admiration of adulation of this pop princess. There were no real surprises with her stock standard nine song festival set but that’s all that was needed to push punters over the edge. Even before she came out on stage they were chanting her name which turned to screams when she entered stage right. No doubt Del Rey should have headlined.
After the technical problems were sorted Del Rey walked out waving to the crowd and looked a little surprised by such a reception. Opening with Blue Jeans she had the audience in the palm of her hand even treating them to a new song Body Electric. Born To Die brought the house down and wanting to say hi to her fans she jumped down to hug, kiss and pose for photos with the lucky few who’s waiting down on the front fence paid off big time. Going a bit jazzy with Million Dollar Man proved a highlight as did Video Games. Del Rey echoed the sentiment that she “had fun, it has been good and I hope you feel good” leaving a lasting impression with National Anthem.
Interesting to note how many people left after Lana Del Rey’s set ahead of Kimbra. Kimbra for me anyway is an acquired taste and probably not a festival headliner at this point in time. Having said that though she did bring plenty of colour, excitement and energy to the stage. After a massive year touring overseas and jumping on board the Gotye gravy train she proved that she isn’t no one trick pony. Limbo and Good Intent got her set off to a flying start continuing that energy on in Love Is A Two Way Street and Marigold.
The Nina Simone cover Plain Gold Ring was a good one and familiar faces Samaritan, Call Me and Old Flame were well received. The recent collaboration with Mark Foster and A-Trak Warrior went down well and when Kimbra announced that Come Into My Head would be her last song it was comical watching just about everyone making a mad dash for the car park to get a ahead of the traffic.
Thumbs up Spin Off! Fingers crossed for a return next year.
Review: Rob Lyon
Photo: Supernova Photographics. Check out all the pics here