Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Solar Music Festival (3/1/2009)

By Pat

Hello friend! My name is Pat and I will be joining Jimmy in our quest to see and review 100 gigs in 2009. Fantastic isn't it?

An (optional) quest I have undertaken for this time is to devise a "perfect" rating system for gig enjoyment with an aim to actually predict how good a gig will be prior to attending!! This seems like an impossible task currently but i believe it is possible and imagine it will evolve as time passes.

Anyway the purpose of this post is to review SOLAR MUSIC FESTIVAL (click the link for background).

Poorly organised, bogan crowd, 4 beers and 4 jagerbombs consumed, some good bands and great friends!
Highlights: Cog, Pnau, revolution of the drinking pens, not finishing one drink card all day,
Lowlights: Everything not mentioned above with the exception of the bands mentioned below that don't have the description "you suck".
Final Comments: Despite the poor reveiw, I had a great day and didn't get too sunburned!

Organisation, planning and management are critical enjoyment factors for any gig experience but I would rank them even higher for a music festival as there are a butload things that can go wrong. Solar music festival sadly scored poorly in all of these categories, it took us an hour and a half to get in, causing us to miss a potential 5 acts! The waiting didn't stop there, on average there was a 20 minute wait if you wanted to do anything except see an act, including: buying drink cards, buying drinks with the drink cards, toilets, food and migrating between pens (farcical! - set up at an 18+ gig??? then torn down by the public in 2 hours). At times I doubted the festival organisers had attended a music festival before! This was a poorly organised event however to their credit (excluding the withdrawal of 1 act) the bands i wanted to see ran within 15 minutes of schedule which is probably below average but solar did such a good job of setting the bar so low this seemed like a benefit.
Sorry for ranting so much up there, I'll try to keep it brief now...

The key feature of the day! I was impressed with the majority of what i saw, however due to the massive amount of waiting in queues I did, I didn't see as much as my companions.
I saw:
  • Josh Pyke - not impressed generally, but i didn't know any of his music, watched it on a audio delayed LED array, and he played an acoustic guitar for most of his gig. So he was probably pretty good if you were closer and liked him.
  • Miami Horror - disappointed, I've seen Miami horror play 4 shows now (3 in gameboy/gamegirl) and I was expecting some original stuff, however if I was expecting a DJ set, he is a skilled DJ and uses his own mixes so he's still alright in my books. I expect he would have whipped out his stuff for a more appropriate crowd.
  • You Am I - These guys were the first rocking band for the day, being the most experienced band at the festival they delivered an awesome set. I only knew 2 songs and watched it from that same LED array with the delayed sound, so maybe Josh Pyke sucked after all.
  • Kisschasey - you suck
  • Pnau - Awesome, I only knew 1 song that kind of annoys me (baby?) but they played it early and delivered and entertaining show. Biggest surprise of the day for me.
  • COG - Wasn't expecting much more than I had seen at a previous big day out (seen them at 3 gigs, and 1 festival) but they managed to deliver a great show. Their set was dominated by stuff from their latest album but they did throw in a great version of 'Open Up' (mixture of the versions on the open up EP), as well as a good selection of songs from the new normal. Easily the band I enjoyed the most.
  • Presets - I was expecting the crowd to seriously jeopardise my experience here and they didn't surprise. During some of the Presets' more awesome songs (anywhere, aeons) some of the crowd got bored and decided to climb a fence and jump over it, cheer for the people that jumped over the fence being chased by security guards and send a massive plastic barrier crowd surfing. Despite these interferences, I still managed to enjoy half the presets' gig (i missed the an extra 15 mins due to the below average timeliness of the bands).
The crowd was exactly what I expected of a peninsula music festival, and all I'll say is there was little kinship, trust or general happiness that makes a festival great.
A funny thing happened when I was on my way from Cog to the presets; I was making my way through the crowd when I came to a point where crowd density denied my further passage. All of a sudden the bogan in front of me looked at the guy next to him and started yelling "What the F$%& is your problem? You better hope...." blah blah, you get the point. So I stepped in and tried to reason with the agressive bogan to enjoy the show and stop being a d!ck. He looked at me now and yelled "He just pissed on my leg!". My reaction was confused and I proceded to get away from them.
At Cog the crowd (I'd estimate at roughly 400 people) towards the front started one of those circles where people get a run up and crash themselves into others inside the circle or the people unlucky enough to be standing around the edge. This behaviour baffles me, but each to his own, they didn't bother me.

The venue was as good as any I suppose, a little interference from other stages could be audible between songs which is never a good thing, especially when it's John Course. One of the bar staff who's name has been withheld (thanks again!) was incredibly friendly and made mine and my posse's festival experience much better - however even with such a massive helping hand the queuing system made it impossible to get drunk past 5pm - not sure if that's good or bad.
Drinking pens were a stupid idea, wtf were they thinking? overage gig = free range booze! At least the crowd were good at trampling the pens in a revolution!

No comments:

Post a Comment