Falls Festival Byron featured many great acts on New Years Eve, from the awesome Brisbane acts in the morning to the incredible Client Liaison and Alison Wonderland. The day featured a nice southerly breeze that definitely kept the festival a few days cooler than the day prior, and the mist tunnel provided that extra relief to set up for a perfect day.
The forest stage was open until the afternoon, which was when the Valley Stage opened, and boy was the valley packed. It felt like everyone attending the festival turned up to see Client Liaison, who I last saw playing to approximately 400 people at Stranded. Last night, the duo played to well over 15 000. This didn’t put the two off at all, instead, they seemed to draw on the crowd as lead singer Monte Morgan carved up the stage with sweeping dance moves reminiscent of the 80’s. Hell, the whole set was a throwback to the pop of the 80’s. The good kind, mind you.
Client Liaison’s set ended far too quickly, and were followed up by none other than Salt N’ Pepa. They had big shoes to fill as they called themselves the “The greatest of the great, the Queens of Hip Hop”, and for some people, I am sure they delivered. There were issues with the set, one of which being that they almost exclusively played other people’s songs (including a sacrilegious snippet of Smells Like Teen Spirit), essentially making them dancers infront of a DJ rather than the tremendous trio of the early 90’s. They also played a remix of their own song rather than playing the original, and so it felt like they were covering their own song. It was somewhat disappointing to see such an impressive act fall so far from their heyday when they won a Grammy.
Alison Wonderland had to bring the crowd back up in time for the countdown, and boy oh boy, did she ever. After seeing an act like Alison Wonderland, you just can’t see other producers and DJs live. She brought the entertainment and energy in every sense, from jumping on top of the decks and DJ’ing to running up and back on the front of the stage sending the crowd into a frenzy. As the countdown approached, a sneaky punter shot off a flare they smuggled in, against the list of banned items, and the crowd was momentarily distracted as the red glow floated rather eerily to the ground. Confetti, lasers and screams from the crowd greeted the New Year, and it was safe to say that it was brought in in the best way possible.
A storm greeted the campers as they returned to their tents, but it didn’t seem to bother anyone. The tents were all entact (mostly) the next morning, and slowly but surely, the crowd trudged back into the festival to start the third day.