Wrap Up: Listen Out Melbourne 2015
Festival season is finally upon us, with boutique festival LISTEN OUT stepping out for its third year to kick things off. Listen Out 2015 mixes together fans of electronica, and hip-hop for some fancy-free crowd shimmying.
This year Melburnians saw the festival move from the central location of The Botanical Gardens, to the sea front location of Catani Gardens in St Kilda. Overall this changed the vibe of the festival a bit as it changed from a round, hub like shape to one long straight line. One down side to this would be that many people probably never made it past the Atari Stage, missing out on giving some up and comers love at the Red Bull Music Academy Stage.
St Kilda is freezing after sundown, but it is a bloody scenic spot for a city festival. As Alison Wonderland did her thing, the moon rose spectacularly behind her, while the sun set in a neon read over the ocean, something which her very clever production crew played out behind her in kaleidoscope like visuals. In true form she walked on stage and said “What the fuck is up?”. Needless to say, as always, she was part crazy and 100% loving life. We should also just take a moment to give her a shout out for being a talented Australian DJ who actually mixes their music live, happens to be female, and doesn’t just play the part of USB warrior behind a DJ booth.
Local act, Client Liaison, has a very distinctive presence on stage. Their sound is retro unique and they offered the full package: mullets, retro outfits, and even 80’s-esque aerobics dancers on stage for eyes to feast on. Adding a back up band (guitar and bass) to their sound on stage gave it a new depth.
Ryan Hemsworth was making his beats at the 909 Stage, while Odesza did their thing with some powerful percussion sounds ringing out over at the Atari Stage. If you stood somewhere in the middle you may have managed an electronic blur, which could have been cool, but ultimately there was a few sad faces racing between the two with a rough case of fomo. Regardless both did a stellar job, bringing the crowd into their vibes in a euphoric way that only refined production seems capable of.
To quote one very elated rager “Dusky were something else, they were fuckin’ amazing!”. No more really needs to be said, but they gave a good dose of techno to the day, and in particular captivated the doofers of the crowd.
It would be hard to review the festival without mention of Joey Bada$$ and Childish Gambino. They drew the largest crowds of the day, and they sure have some energy. Childish Gambino got up there with a full back up band, but sadly a bit of its power was lost due to sound restrictions.
Golden Features and his golden mask finished the day on the 909 Stage in his second appearance at Listen Out. This crowd moved in a very different way, they seemed to become apart of the array of golden lights reflecting off the mask Golden Features is known for wearing. Its kind of a creepy look makes for an awesome light reflector though, and gave revelers something to kick off the rest of the night.
Most people will be hopeful that whatever red tape forced the location change this year gets lifted in time for 2016. Sound spraying straight out to the ocean isn’t exactly great, coupled with residential noise restrictions; this may be the first festival where patrons left without ringing in their ears.
The festival tour hit Perth the day after Melbourne, with Sydney and Brisbane happening this coming weekend. Tickets are sold out so please be wary if you are trying to pick one up, many people got turned away at the gates in Melbourne with fake tickets they had purchased off Gumtree or similar.
Words by Madeline Kilby
Photo Credit: Listen Out