The first CD I’ve ever bought was ‘Learn to Exist’ from Jungle Giants, so this set had a special place in my heart. Woman crush, Cesira Aitken, was in her element on the guitar playing the crowd’s favourite ‘She’s a Riot’. The Brisbane band played a mix of all the best of the old and new Jungle Giants from ‘Learn to Exist’ right up to their recent oxymoron, ‘Quiet Ferocity’.
Leaving the smaller tent and onto the big stage, we checked out Scottish synth-pop bad Chvrches. Fairy-esque lead singer Lauren Mayberry definitely got the crowd moving. After their set the crowd kept cheering, and cheering, and cheering.
As splendy-goers gathered around a small section of the amphitheatre hill, my curiosity lured me over. Patrons were standing single file facing a small slant on the hill, laying in wait for their next target. I’m not sure what it was about this hill, it didn’t look very slippery, perhaps it was on an odd slant? But no matter how much balance or prowess anyone took to take on this hill, the slant was always the victor. I’m not sure what this says about humanity, but the crowd seemed more entertained watching people stack it down this slope.
For those who remember Stormzy last year at Mix Up, the question was asked repeatedly, why was he not playing at a bigger stage? And that question was asked again as Hilltop Hoods performed at Mix Up. But after frantically running from Vampire Weekend to Hilltop I could see why Splendour organisers had put this hip hop duo at Mix Up. It truly lets the crowd go wild. There is no space, and I mean no space, to sit down or have a drink or lie down and enjoy the music. No, if you wanted to see Hilltop you had to fight for it. But that is the strange beauty of it: no one should be sitting down for artists like Stormzy of Hilltop Hoods, so lets not give them a ‘Nosebleed Section’.
Finally for day two, I’d like to cast your minds back to Gang of Youths. I am well aware they were at the beginning of the day so it may seem odd I’m writing about them at the end, but they deserve a spot at the summit. David Le’aupepe’s (leh-OW-peh-peh) movements are unlike any other performer, absolutely captivating every single eye in the mass that is the Splendour Amphitheatre. The Sydney songwriter spoke of the last time the band played at SITG, when he told the crowd to live every day like it’s your last, live in every moment. But this year he came clean, stating that that’s not the way he had been living his life, and that he hasn’t ‘practiced what he preached’. During ‘Magnolia’ Le’aupepe leaped off the stage and fell into the crowd, getting drawn into the mass of people. Now that was a true ‘living in the moment’ moment.
IMAGES (c) Dan Maynard Photography