An old aircraft hanger was the perfect Launchpad for Splendour In The Grass. A weekend of bohemian hedonism was in front of the Brisbane gig-goers, already hungry for a taste of one of Australia’s most hyped music festivals. Speaking to those at the pre-party, there was a common theme of many punters not being able to make it to Splendour. That, or they just really wanted to see the Dandy Warhols (who were on point by the way).
So in the aircraft hanger a jumble of characters arrived. A fan of Dune Rats walked past me, in direct contrast with an undeniable lover of The Dandy’s. Last Dinosaurs seemed to have their own giant group of fan girls and boys, who followed them everywhere and let me stand near them (what a moment for me!). Circa Waves played the opening set and got the jumble jumping. The boys, all the way from England, jeered up the placid crowd and prepared them for the insanity of Dune Rats that was to follow.
I’ve seen Dune Rats play 3 times before, and every time was a barbaric, loud mess (which is always incredible), but never before have I noticed the insanity proudly displayed on Danny Beusa’s (guitar/lead vocals) face. He was definitely into his set… that’s for sure. His face is one face that will haunt me for life (in a good way, of course).
If there’s any band you should see at Splendour, or any time for that matter, it is the gloriously perfect Last Dinosaurs. Their live show is just as polished and put together as their elaborately and exquisitely produced recordings. They had everyone in the audience singing along to classics like ‘Zoom’ and ‘Andy’. Their humbleness and poise on the stage blew me, and the crowd, away. Just to think, the next gig of theirs would be in Byron Bay in front of a mud soaked crowd. They were born to play in marble mansions.
Need I say anything about the Dandy Warhols? I am constantly in amazement at their ability to tour and travel constantly. Every time I see an update of theirs on Facebook, they are about to launch into a new country, and new city, a new state. And you can tell they truly love the life of touring. Their presence, combined with the absolute enthusiasm of the crowd, was a sight to behold. And their set was filled with hit after hit, which really brought the jumble of characters off their feet and dancing into the night.
Now I am sitting in bed, regretting I didn’t get a three-day pass to Splendour. For those who did, just be jealous you weren’t at the Triffid on Thursday night.
Words and photos by David Simmons