Review: Parklife Perth 2012

02/10/2012
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Review: Jess Boccamazzo
Photos: Courtney Holloway

Perth certainly knows how to turn up the heat on a public holiday, making the third stop of Parklife 2012 a sensational start to the festival season. A sunny 35 degrees made Wellington Square the perfect setting to catch some rays along with some of the hottest acts going around.

Rizzle Kicks made an impression on the crowd early on in the day, with their fun, easy vibe getting everyone up and moving. Mixing TV and movie theme songs like Inspector Gadget, James Bond and Harry Potter into their set made it all a bit more fun and even their mix of an Ed Sheeran song kept the crowd happy. Songs “Mama Do The Hump” and “When I Was A Youngster” were well received by everyone but their current hit song, “Down With The Trumpets”, was the real kicker. These boys were a highlight of the day.

It took a couple of songs for Chiddy Bang to find their groove with the large crowd that had gathered to watch the American duo, but once it all caught up they were in full flight. With smash songs “Ray Charles” and “The Opposite of Adults” thrown out mid-set, the crowd was lapping it up. The chance for the guys to freestyle on words shouted out from the audience was a little bit painful to watch as it slowed things down and easily distracted punters headed to check out the other entertainment. With sound from other stages creeping in, things were not looking good but it all ended well with “Mind Your Manners” rounding things off nicely.

UK rapper Plan B didn’t grab the crowd as most other acts did. Guitar and funk beats sounded good at the time but you could see the punters half heartedly bopping away with only a few diehard fans at the front of the pit really getting into it. This was an opportunity to make way to the Atoll stage to check out electro-indie pop duo Chairlift. Taking the time to sit out and see these guys was a nice way to ease into the afternoon, and watching some of the older punters groove to the ethereal sounds provided plenty of entertainment. Note to kids: stay off the grass.

Night was coming and it was time to check out the much anticipated Labrinth under the big Kakadu tent. Not surprisingly, this man drew a huge crowd, with the temperature rising rapidly and sweaty bodies moving in turn. Everyone seemed very happy he was there to bring them through as the sun came down. Labrinth’s eclectic music style bought the tent down with punters dancing with force, keeping the performer energised. One of the best performers of the day, “Earthquake” went off like a firecracker in that tent, quite fittingly finishing in style.

A nice change of pace for the day, locals Tame Impala are always a win at festivals, giving the crowd a smooth ride into the night. Sweet guitar riffs blending with those psych-rock vibes, Tame Impala always brings it to another level, leaving the crowd ready to pick up again after a moment of calm. “Half Full Glass of Wine” smashed it, with the punters giving an almost giddy shiver throughout when it was all over.

Back on the Sahara stage, Nero easily drew one of the biggest, most raucous crowds of the day. A blinding set of their drum and bass beats kept the crowd moving in its entirety – songs “Promises” and “Crush On You” saw the huge crowd bounce non-stop, and certainly bought out some more of the interesting dance moves from the young boys and girls on the ground. To sum it up, a spectacular show – lasers and heavy beats always win over the crowd.

As the temperature dropped, Passion Pit came on and frontman Michael Angelakos’ vocals cut through nicely, pitch perfect and taking the crowd to another level. Encouraging the crowd to sing along as much as possible, these kids entertained by throwing in tracks off their new album Gossamer, mixed with old favourites including “Little Secrets”. Their songs have that ability to get the crowd moving even if it’s not full of diehard fans. Upbeat and shiny, a beautiful set mixed with that Passion Pit vibe.

The Presets bought it home with a stellar performance to a huge crowd, showing why they’re always a hit. With the crowd seemingly tired from a big day, they got back on it and gave the guys a crowd they deserve. Punters were impressed with the performance and danced non-stop to a mix of old and new songs.

After a big day in the sun, punters were left with their heads full of beats, bellies full of beer, slight sunburn on their faces… and a pinch of a hangover for work tomorrow.
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