The heat decided to show up in force around 8:30 on the last day of Byron’s Falls Festival. Early risers were forced to find shade while they ate their breakfast of choice, it was just too hot. Fortunately English rockers Wolf Alice were playing on the Valley Stage, which is conveniently under a tent, and so I headed there to start my day.
The four piece have felt a bit of love in Australia from independent stations, and for good reason. Tracks like She, Moaning Lisa Smile and Fluffy are brilliant and are one of the many reasons that I decided to see this band. They opened with Storm before treating the crowd a few songs later to a beautiful cover of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game. Ellie Rowsell’s vocals were spectacular, and she pulled off intricate melodies without the slightest hitch. Their set was consistent from start to finish, and I can safely say looking back that this was my favourite set from the last day, and one of the best performances all festival. I hope their debut LP explodes and they find themselves down in Australia sooner rather than later!
The Kite String Tangle has had a busy back half of 2014, from playing at Splendour in the Grass, to headlining Stranded, and finally playing touring with Falls Festival, Field Day and Southbound all in the space of a week. Everyone in the crowd knew what to expect, but what they couldn’t prepare for was how darn good Danny Harley is live. The setlist didn’t change too much from the previous festival shows, but that isn’t a bad thing. His cover of Tennis Court by Lorde again made the crowd go off just like the other festivals and closed with his hit single Given The Chance.
Glass Animals travelled all the way from the rainy UK to play the run of festivals, and I’m sure they’d agree that it was worth the trip. They surprised the audience by playing Gooey just three songs in, and the crowd got so riled up, a lone member of the crowd climbed up one of the pillars in the middle of the tent. They enjoyed this lofty view for mere minutes however, because the show could not go on without him climbing down, as told by a Falls Festival staff on stage. He was down within moments and the show resumed, much to everyone’s happiness.
Milky Chance flew great lengths to arrive in Australia as well, and led the European charge of artists playing on the last day. Hailing from Germany, this band has had quite a few hits in a short space of time. The crowd that turned up in the afternoon heat for Milky Chance would rival the headliners from the night before in size, but beat them by far with their audience’s response. A man walked a bendable post the size of an outer AFL goalpost into the mosh, which was climbed up by a punter who was no doubt related to the climber above. That wasn’t the best bit, however. For some reason, somewhere, a member of the audience began doing the dance best known as the Vine, and the entire crowd of 8000+ joined in. The expressions on Milky Chance’s faces were priceless, and the good times were just as good.
Spiderbait were mind-blowingly great, and brought a celebrity out on stage to play with them. For more on that, read their own article here.
It was Bluejuice‘s second last show, and there was no doubt that it was going to go out with a bang. The Forest stage’s crowd overflowed from the tent onto the path and grass surrounding it, it was if the entire festival was there. The band played their best songs they had with all the energy they could muster. Vitriol, Act Yr Age and Broken Leg were insane, and their throwback to their earlier Like A Version cover of Video Games by Lana Del Ray was so much fun. It will be a shame that Bluejuice will no longer exist after they play Southbound, but at least they had the biggest and best shows of their career to go out on.
After listening to John Butler for over 14 years, the stars finally aligned and I got the chance to see this inspirational Australian musician hit the stage for the first time. My family was on a holiday in Perth when we first heard John Butler Trio emanating from a tinny CD player in a cafe, and my parents immediately loved it. We ended up with a copy of his second album, Three, before we left the west coast of Australia. Since then, my love of John Butler Trio’s music has grown, and I am ecstatic to say that their performance did not disappoint. Even though the genres (and the people attending) varied quite widely at Falls Music Festival, everyone there knew the lyrics to John Butler Trio’s songs, and so it came as no surprise that tracks like Zebra became a massive singalong. Ocean threw the crowd into complete silence, but did cheer as each section of the beautiful track ended to show appreciation for the exquisite composition.
Alt-J had the distinct pleasure of closing the festival, and they sure did close it in style. Their light show matched Radiohead’s incredible performances and massive hits like Left Hand Free, Hunger of the Pine and Fitzpleasure overrode the fact that the men didn’t move an inch from their positions they walked out to. The crowd craved Breezeblocks as the band trawled through their two albums, seeming too eager to wait and see when it would be played. As the set drew to a close, the anticipation was high. Alt-J gave the fans what they wanted, and they danced on for another four minutes of bliss.
It was a shame to see Falls Festival draw to a close, but there is no doubt it will return, and I cannot wait to see how the lineup will play out for 2015’s best New Years festival.