05 December 2010
After a week of storm predictions, Melbourne's weather held out to provide a beautiful sunny day at the Stereosonic festival, officially kicking off the summer season.
A crowd of all sorts came to the Showgrounds for a good time, wearing bikinis, midriff tops and mini shorts, bad orange fake tans, muscle tees and plenty of Ed Hardy tees -- and despite Stereosonic's 'Shirts On' policy, I lost track of how many guys I saw with their shirts off throughout the day! Too many bulging pecs, abs and biceps to count -- it was a bit like an episode of Jersey Shore!
I have to note here the Passion Pop stands with the flavoured sparkling wine setting you back $8 per can/bottle -- a price I find insanely expensive considering that when I was a teenager Passion Pop was known as the '3 buck chuck' as it sold for around $3.00 - $4.00 a bottle!
Despite the sweltering heat, dance fans partied it up at the Carl Cox and Friends stage in the peak of the afternoon sun to acts like Andy Murphy, DJ Dan and Afrojack, while I sweated it out in the sheds at the 'Cream' and 'Sneakerpeeps' stages to Jeff Mills, DJ T, Sied Van Riel and more before heading over to the packed out main stage.
At 5.45 and still no cool change to be seen, UK's Wiley graced the main stage getting the crowd pumped up with his it 'Wearing My Rolex' and his latest work, a cover of the 1997 Whitetown hit, 'I Could Never Be Your Woman'. Not to mention the embarrassing display of "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!"
As the time passed and a welcome breeze filled the showgrounds, it was time for the headliners, Calvin Harris and Tiesto.
Known for hits like 'Read For The Weekend', 'The Girls' and the Dizzee Rascal collaboration 'Dance Wiv Me', certainly drew the crowds, with the main arena filling up in minutes.
But unfortunately I have to say his set was disappointing. Harris has said he'll no longer perform live, for various reasons, so now his performances are limited to DJ sets. This would be fine except that in the half hour I stayed to watch him he chose to play barely any of his own songs, opting for other party tracks like Duck Sauce's 'Barbra Streisand'.
This was the point in the day where I was over it. Not really an avid festival goer myself, the crowds, drunks, douche bags, heat, lack of personal space, incessant doof doof and general filth became increasingly tiresome and irritating! Yes, I am a nanna. So sue me.
Clearly I do not party enough to appreciate the music and atmosphere at a dance festival, nor do I have any idea how to dance to that music! But despite my feelings there's no doubt that the real fans loved the day, dancing like idiots, cheering, yelling, whipping off their shirts and having an all round killer time.
Dutch DJ Tiesto was of course the biggest moment of the day, drawing more people to the main stage than I thought possible, making it almost impossible to move through the crowd! His hit 'Escape Me' kept the crowd entertained and singing along however throughout the two hour set he didn't perform all of his own tracks.
I finished the night by checking out Major Lazer, a Jamaican flavoured dance hall act, one half of which is Diplo who produced M.I.A's hit track 'Paper Planes'.
Unlike anything else you've ever seen, this set was a perfect high energy end to the night, with countless giant balloons and beach balls thrown around, they infused bits of Rihanna and even Ace of Base into their performance!
After a long, hot day the crowd poured out of the showgrounds still buzzing about the great day they'd all had.
Toilet cleanliness -- 8/10. All day I did not encounter a toilet that reeked, was out of toilet paper or had no soap. Nice work Stereosonic.
Crowd -- 6/10. Way too much testosterone and attitude for one place!
Musical talent -- 9.10. Though it's not my scene, there's no doubt most of these acts brought their A game.