WHAT: On The Bright Side
WHERE: Esplanade, Perth
The iTunes generation was out and about, as On The Bright Side took over the Esplanade with a day of fun, music and the band that changed the decade.
Opening acts, The Middle East and Bluejuice may have been missed by many, as the line to collect tickets was rather large. I missed them because it was Saturday morning.
Hot Chip played a short but interesting set. This is a band that has been around awhile and they play their fun time party tracks with a lot of professionalism. Crowd favorites, Over and Over and Hold On echoed within the single tent stage to an appreciative and growing crowd; a crowd that knew the singles and ran to hear them when those singles dropped. On the down side five songs is not much of a set from a well-respected international band.
From professional and talented, to completely woeful and pointless; Art vs. Science. A fifty-minute set which had not one single redeeming quality. They make music by numbers, everything seemed contrived and by the book looking for a set reaction by a crowd that unfortunately lapped it up. They have energy but energy doesn’t write you a decent song. They rely on stupid and aimless clichés, basic chord progression and the same drumbeat in every song. If you were fifteen and had copious amounts of chemicals in your blood you may have enjoyed it, if you’re not I hope you walked away.
Thankfully Band Of Horses are one of those true American bands, in the vain of The Traveling Wilburys and The Band. Standing before a crowd looking to party, they produced a set that drew the energy level down but in no way let down the crowd.
Older favorites, There’s A Ghost, No Ones Gonna Love You and Ode To LRC, along side newer tracks Loredo and Factory were highlights. This band writes songs not to impress but to entertain and enlighten.
Considered by some as Australia’s answer to the great American band Angus and Julia Stone stepped up next. Full of innocence and true talent, the siblings played a subtle almost subdued set. Big Train and the slowed down You’re The One That I Want brought the crowd to them but they seemingly struggled to maintain a level of energy and intrigue perhaps needed at the later time slot.
Every now and again a band comes along who garner a hell of a lot of success off one or two singles. Mumford and Sons are that type of band. Of course they played the song, the fucked it up song and the other one, The Cave and the crowd enjoyed every single moment, dancing like they had never heard it before. That is the beauty of this band, they know how to arrange a song to get people moving and singing and they play those songs very, very well on stage.
It was some of the quieter moments incorporating a brass section and strings that really made this set. Dust Bowl Dance is a beautiful song and hearing it belted out within a packed festival tent was something even a cynical music snob could enjoy.
To The Strokes and a return to 2001. From the onset this Manhattan garage band played the songs that the ten thousand strong audience wanted to hear: New York City Cops, Hard To Explain, The Modern Age, Is This It and the quite brilliant Someday.
The Strokes were all there and they were all played with absolute perfection. Finishing off with Last Night before returning for a quick fire encore, saying goodbye with Take It Or Leave It. You could argue that they were half an hour short for their allotted time, but they are a garage rock band who play three minutes songs, an hour of dam good music was more then enough.
©Chris Wheeldon. 24th July 2010.
Click on an image to see full size. All images by Nicole Norelli