Days Like This shows it’s no one-hit wonder with second year

Days Like This came back with a bang for a second year treating Sydney to a one day affair once again supplying a lineup with some of the biggest names in electronic music including the likes of Sven Vath, Booka Shade, The Black Madonna, Motor City Drum Ensemble and so many more. The lineup heavy on the big names for such a small-scale, one-day festival is all thanks to sister Pitch Music Festival running simultaneously on the same weekend down in Victoria.

The one-dayer took place at Victoria Park in Camperdown which hopefully looks set to be a place a whole lot more dancing will be taking place as the park is being opened up to larger scale events such as Days Like This and Sydney City Limits and NYE in the Park. The location was perfect for a jam packed day of short sets that left you quickly jetting from one stage to another, with the stages being laid out within a small and easy to navigate space making it foolproof to get around as the sun set and the night got hazy.

Starting the day off and heading to side stage “This” to catch Kornel Kovacs, he played a usual odd ball set to start the day off on a different note before an onslaught of serious techno was about to consume the day. However the set didn’t feel right with the time of day and the view of the main stage “Times” with The Black Madonna playing was too much of a tease not to get down there. Thankfully, the decision to leave “This” for “Times” proved to be a successful one, as The Black Madonna served the crowd exactly what they wanted at the start of the day, ultimately setting the right tone for the duration of the festival. Starting with soulful house and classic tracks to get everyone moving and singing along, she changed things up towards the end, pushing up the BPM and playing more techno using one of her festival favourites Green Velvet & Harvard Bass’s ‘Lazer Beams’ to take things to the next level which was of course met with sheer joy from the crowd (particularly the moron who launched there drink in the air with the drop proving once again wherever you see a group of topless males avoid at all costs).

After this, it was back to the “This” stage to see Moodymann for another seamless sonic transition between sounds with another perfect set for daytime dancing. Moodymann proved yet again that he is the number one party selector and is sure to put you in a good mood and have you catching eyes with people around you on the dance floor with that knowing nod saying, “Yeah, this my song.” With an eclectic set starting with funk, soul and house that then transported you to what felt like driving around in your friend’s car with your most trusted matey on the AUX, Moodymann had a sole mission to make everyone dance. He went from dropping Kelis’s ‘Millionaire’ to geeing up the crowd up with a sing along to Aerosmith’s ‘Come Together’ and quickly cutting the track to let the crowd take the lead, before Childish Gambino’s ‘Redbone’ took everyone to new heights. And of course, what is a Moodymann set without his MC anecdotes in between tracks and his promises of being your favourite bartender of the day? These breaks acted as the perfect transitions as he took the set to unexpected places like playing Alix Perez’ track, ‘Forsaken’, which set the precedent for a day of full of UK beats. Let’s just say, I really like Moodymann.

Heading from there to the other side stage “Moments” to see Floating Points live set highlighted one of the problems of a short day with so many great acts. Needless to say Floating Points put on an impressive performance but running around trying to see so many people all with different styles can be quite jarring. Even though the foot wasn’t tapping as much as it was for the previous set, getting to see ‘Ratio’ performed live was a real highlight of the whole day.

As the “Moments” stage acted as a place to highlight Floating Points‘ live talents, it also served the same purpose later on in the night putting a spotlight on DJ EZ crazy mixing abilities. DJ EZ brought a solid set of UK beats and absolutely hammered them out with his speedy, seamless transitions, effortlessly going from guilty pleasure songs to sing along to like Florence The Machine‘s ‘You Got The Love’ to mixing into Speed Garage‘s classic ‘Double 99 Ripgroove’. This was the perfect set to get deeper to just before the closing acts took the stage.

Finishing the night off with Len Faki back at the “This” stage which acted as a bit of a sanctuary from the larger crowds of the other two. Len Faki easily dished out one of the best and most delectable sets of the day, all hard-hitting and techno-heavy on the bass. The night could not have been closed in a better way with a long tease of Faithless‘ ‘Insomnia’ to which everyone went nuts to when the unmistakable synth melody dropped. As the set closed, the lyrics, “I can’t get no sleep,” rang a little too true with a 10PM finish ejecting the crowd into a city with limited options of getting home.

The second year of Days Like This proved that it is quickly becoming a premier event on the Sydney festival calendar, and it is here to stay. In such a desolate time for Sydneysiders with so little events happening like this in the city, the huge attendance proves that the people really want it. We can’t wait for next year!

Image by Nick Fraser via Days Like This

Words by Eddy Diamond

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THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF PITCH FESTIVAL 2018