words by Jess Sommerfeld // photos by Rick Clifford (@rcstills)
“…with a very smooth, oh so alluring ‘Tasssssmannniiiaaaaa’ from Mr. A .Paak himself, the crowd is crazy and so ready for this glorious man of many talents..”
Opening the second day, with something of a little more substance then the closing act from day one - hailing from Northern Tasmania, Meres were local legends. Introducing their set by thanking their lovely friendship group and other strangers for coming along to watch them do their thing.
Watching very wonderful band like this made my heart sing super loud, it made me so happy that there are local bands that are playing music like this and have the opportunity to perform at such a festival. Meres set was super refreshing and basically in the most simple of terms, fun to listen to and kick off day two of Falls.
At 11.30am on a Sunday morning - Melbourne based punk band Amyl and the Sniffers greet the early morning punters with “it’s early - fuck yeah, thanks for coming down’. For anyone that doesn’t know this band, or perhaps weren’t expecting something like this, this early - this band are a presence of what punk is, embellished with some killer mullets.
Amy Taylor (front woman) has this stage presence that is definitely needed for hyping the early comers to the festival grounds and rightly so, it draws a crowd that’s super eager to put that coffee down, crack open a can of VB and get rowdy at midday. Despite a not so large crowd, this band clearly doesn’t give a fuck and play a set that’s full of classic Amyl and the Sniffers explosive punk ruckus-ness.
For a festival with a pretty big family turn out inclusive of young and impressionable kids, Amyl and the Sniffers was a little bit of a weird pick for a slot this early in the day, but for the kid that was sitting on a set of shoulders right up the front, he was clearly having the time of his life and getting right into those early morn cusses of fuck, fuck, fuckity fucks as they were screamed out.
Introducing their last few songs by noting that "I don’t really have much to say, so I’m not going to bother trying” they start to wind up the set and also let the crowd know that “one day when the band is heaps famous the punters will be able to say "we saw them, when no one saw them at Falls"“ followed by a "nah sick, thanks for coming" by Amy.
Even though she didn’t have much to say, in the end Amy left the crowd with some words of wisdom - ‘ you gotta be crazy or what’s the point’ and at this moment you feel as though she might jump into the crowd true to Amyl and the Sniffer form but instead she just busts out some air drums and sweet, sweet dance moves. To end, Amy is a legend; a mulleted (is this a word?) up, punk babe and anyone who hasn’t experienced this bands vibe needs to get around it as soon as possible - please and thank you.
Labelled a revolutionary artist in ‘the world of transformative pop music’ in their little Falls bio - LPX is the latest project of Ms. Mr.’s red haired, full-of-amazing-energy-and-smiles, Lizzy Plapinger. Lizzy has these incredible moves, locks and vocals that captivate audiences and it only seemed fitting for her to be on the line up for this lovely sunny Sunday afternoon.
Starting the set with so much energy and vocals that echo up and through the surrounding trees - this glorious lady and her band create an atmosphere of pure joy and what being at a summer festival should feel like.
Being a fan of Ms. Mr., and comparing this project to them is a challenge because the two bands are total opposites. While Lizzy’s vocals are as per usual, powerful and moving - the vibe is different. LPX portray this dance around feel while being super loud and in your face. Flying into Tassie yesterday from New York City, Lizzy promises to give the crowd 115% (sorry, what jet lag) and the crowd reciprocates. Introducing the 3rd song as one of her favourites to perform Lizzy notes that the weather could definitely be a little cooler, but that certainly doesn’t hinder her ability to live up to that promised 115%.
This act is so lively and I am sure that dreary punters would agree that when this sort of thing happens, you wake up, feel alive and want to witness every little bit of movement and smile. I saw Lizzy out in the crowd after her set and my dear god, what an absolute pleasure she was - full of joy to be out there enjoying the acts and taking photos with her fans. What a gal!
Walking on stage to Queen’s ‘I want to break free’ The Vaccines started filled up the Field Stage’s arena with the classic sound of British pop-punk that has seen The Vaccines last for over a decade even after going on a FOUR year hiatus. It’s now the 4th song in an the band are yet to say hey but I mean this band has been around for many years now and probably stopped giving a fuck about pleasantries long ago.
The Vaccines are one of those bands that while there look has changed over the past decade (obviously) their sound is as collected and rehearsed as it was 5 or so years ago when I first saw them play in Brisbane with Two Door Cinema Club. The Vaccines are easy to write about because chances are, you know them, you like them and they know what the hell they are doing. Being on stage for the Vaccines seems like their most natural habitat, as they definitely appear to be right at home on a stage, even if it is in Tassie, miles and miles away from London, England.
Towards the middle of their set, Justin Young (lead singer & guitarist) asks whether Falls is awake and explains that jet lag is one hell of a drug as he introduces his band.
For a band like this – who are super rehearsed, obviously talented and are clearly professionals, it really surprised me that they are performing on this smaller stage. I guess going on a 4 year hiatus and playing at Festival like Falls where the demographic is mostly 18-24 year olds, it has them pegged for a smaller “OG” fans crowd. With that being said, as the set went on, the amount of punters gathering at the stage increased ten fold, with everyone taking their place and getting right into it, dancing away to their classics, ‘If you wanna’ and more recent favourites like ‘I can’t quit’.
Cut Copy is always a fun time, every time- no matter the venue. Mixing up a delicious set of get down, electro goodness that always draws me in and makes a totally sober me want to get amongst a sea of munted 18 year olds dancing up a storm (what would normally be a total nightmare).
The strobes and the back lighting lit the stage up, highlighting the silhouette of the front man Dan Whitford doing his thing with those amazingly simplistic yet attentive vocals mixing with the distinctive new wave vibes, putting on a dancey-dance display. As you would expect.
Cat Fish and the Bottlemen are insanely popular and I found this out the first time I saw them play for a room of teenage girls and their dads at Festival Hall, in Melbourne back in July. On the second night at Falls, during their sound check - the valley stage where they were about to perform, was already packed out and this time it wasn’t just young girls and their loving fathers acting as chaperon’s - it was almost every kind of person at the Festival. Their set starts and the band open with a very big wave out to all of their loving fans before launching into their first track, Homesick. Putting on a show within the first 20 seconds, front man, Vann McCann invites the crowd to sing back the first verse before heading straight into that oh so catchy chorus.
No time to waste and we are head first into the second track Kathleen and at this point the whole front of the crowd is a sea of shoulder rides and arms. Honing the classic British pop rock ethos, CATB were obviously slick and their whole stage presence was so on point with what you would expect. They also get an A+ for just being plain lovely and friendly to those adoring fans at their feet.
The set consisted of tracks from their two albums, weaving in and out of, The Ride and their debut EP, The Balcony while even covering a little bit of The Kinks with Sunny Afternoon being intertwined one of their tracks mid way through the set. Closing out their killer set with the last song off The Balcony album, Tyrant - Catfish and the Bottlemen play a festival so well and it’s as though performing in front of bigger crowds is their forte, especially when the crowd is so receptive and gag for all they’ve got.
He may as well close out the second day of the festival in my humble opinion but whatever, it still happened, I got to see him and all is well. Anderson .Paak has been one of those acts that you always want to see and every time a festival rolls around, you hope he is on the list - well that’s how I felt.
Opening with a very fancy stage production, the guy next to me yells ‘this guy is cool’ okay, thank you mate, you’re not wrong there - as red lighting fills the stage creating silhouettes of the stage set up and dancers projected onto a sheet that’s dropped from the ceiling. The colours of the lighting are alternating, creating a very cool projected effect of whats happening behind the giant white sheet before us.
Anderson .Paak doesn’t need a hype man to open his set (as a lot of RnB/ HipHop artist tend to use) with a very smooth, oh so alluring ‘Tasssssmannniiiaaaaa’ from Mr. A .Paak himself, the crowd is crazy and so ready for this glorious man of many talents to take the stage.
Glowed Up plays and even though, I am used to hearing the version with KAYTRANADA, this live version is undoubtedly better. Paak requests for all of the stage and crowd lights to be dropped and asks the crowd to get their phones out and ‘glow them up’. Being the super nice dude that he obviously is, he later thanks the crowd for ‘being glowed up’.
As I noted before, Anderson .Paak is a man of many talents which became extremely evident when he would go from singing some delicious tunes, having a dance and then running to jump on the drums to hit out some beautiful beats.
Not even mid way through his set, he jumps in the crowd - yep he’s there just cruising around on top of his frothing fans who are obviously just eager to catch and touch his gloriously cool, sexy - all the positive adjectives you can think of - body.
Over the first 2 days of this festival there have been a few acts that you think would for sure make the jump into the crowd but no, he’s the first and this means no one can compare to this guy.
Closing out his set with all of the favourites including - Heart don’t stand a chance, come down, Am I wrong and his latest – Tints. Could he get any better? Visuals, swim in the crowd, live tunes that replicate his recordings, slick dance moves and just being an all round vibe.