Yet again Gang of Youths put on a killer show. Even though Dave Le'aupepe admitted he was struggling with his voice, he still thanked the crowd for putting up with it and being there to support them. Regardless of Dave’s vocal struggle’s, seeing them live and playing the album's already-cherished, polished stadium-indie tracks, they played with poise and confidence of seasoned professionals. Once again, good old Dave giving the ladies in the crowd a good booty shake.
Mac De Marco, the coolest/quirkiest dude in the industry to date, and someone who I've loved for a fair while now. He rocked up to the Amphitheater stage with his bucket hat and baggy khaki pants on with a huge screen behind him of his housemate with his number available for everyone to give him a buzz during the show. I was expecting his mum to join him on stage as she normally does, she is also his manager, but instead Mac's band members offered many laughs and constant grooves. After releasing his album Another One late last year, we got to hear plenty of tracks from it, such as The Way You'd Love Her, No Other Heart and A Heart Like Her's.
The oldies and anyone with decent taste in music started to make their way to the Valley Stage to watch the legend, Paul Kelly and his band Merri Soul Sessions. The band consists of Clairy Browne, Dan Sultan, Kira Puru, Vika and Linda Bull, all amazing artists in their own right. Not many Paul Kelly classics were played but when they were the crowd went insane and a choir of drunken fools was created, singing along to Dumb Things and How To Make Gravy. I caught Paul and Merri Soul at last years Bluesfest and was also a bit saddened by the fact not many of his solo tracks were played throughout his set but man the members in Merri Soul Sessions are incredible and extremely dynamic.
As the sun began to set Gary Clark Jr brought us into the night at the Valley Stage. Watching Gary Clark Jr on stage the first thing the popped into my head is that this is exactly what music should be about. It was soulful, it was raw, it was blues and it was rock. Every single person was getting down to his guitar solo’s and incredibly powerful voice. Clark sprints easily up and down the neck of his guitar while's singing rueful verses, his performance bolstered by his backing trio, Johnny Bradley, King Zapata and Johnny Radelat.
Closing the night as well as the 3 day festival, Disclosure took that stage. The energy of the crowd was ridiculous. As we made our way into the crowd, we picked the perfect spot to not only have a dance but be able to see everything that was happening around us. Dancing to crowd favourites like When a fire starts to burn and co-lab with Sam Smith Latch. Then all of a sudden a wave of sparkles was lit off right behind us and as i looked around a flare was next to take off. Throughout the crowd there were people draped in fairy lights, animals balloons hung in the air and people were walking on top of the crowd. As the last song began to play we decided to catch a squiz from the side of the stage so that we could see the entire hill and people around, unexpectedly we saw a man dancing on top of the sound tent, then 1 by 1 more began to climb on top. Obviously to follow was a mound of security and police officers making their way through the packed crowd to retrieve the culprits. Dispersing rapidly the men began to run and jump into the crowd, cannon-bolting. The original man almost didn't make it, but the copious amounts of people cleared a path way for him and the crowd began to roar in encouragement to get this man through. Disclosure delivered an intense set spanning over 80 minutes along with a brief appearance from Brendan Reilly, who contributed vocals for “Moving Mountains”.
Image - Kyle Butcher