Nov 18, 2012

Sydney Harvest Festival 2012

The first year of Harvest was such a great success that it would take a big effort to top it in 2012. In someways it did, in others perhaps not. Full credit to the organisers for making changes to the layout. They moved all the stages to different areas, creating more space in between, with the Great Lawn Stage (the main stage) being situated in a valley creating a huge ampitheatre with great views from everywhere. Movement between stages seemed easy too and I didn't notice too many queues for food, drink or toilets. So, in all a smooth day for all. 2011 was such a huge lineup, for me, that it would be hard to top this year. And they didn't. Of course it's all subjective but many acts weren't for me. Mike Patton's Mondo Cane was hard to take seriously and Cake were OK I guess but apart from "Frank Sinatra" it all seemed a bit pedestrian. Can't say I have ever loved Beck or Ben Folds Five or Beck either, although I'm sure for some people they were huge draw cards. But I still had a great day. See below...

The War On Drugs were on way too early. I know the reasons why they had such an early slot, but they are so talented they deserved a bigger audience. They sounded great, pounding out in a short time their trademark waves of beautiful guitars. So glad I got to see a full set Thursday night.

Set List
Best Night
Baby Missiles
Your Love Is Calling My Name
Come To The City
I Was There
A Needle In Your Eye #16

Liars were definitely a huge standout of the day. Although I think their driving, pulsing synth driven rock would be better suited at night rather then 3pm in the hot sun, they gave their all and then some. Playing mainly from this year's stellar "WIXIW" they pleased no end. I really loved "Brats" and "Who Is The Hunter" in particular. I was also very happy to hear the older "The Other Side of Mt Heart Attack" close the set in magnificent style.

Set List
To Hold You, Drum
Let's Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack
Who Is the Hunter
We Fenced Other Gardens With the Bones of Our Own
Flood to Flood
No.1 Against the Rush
Plaster Casts of Everything
The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack

To many people Beck is huge. To me not so much. I mean I like a few of his songs, but he never struck a huge chord with me. The songs never made a strong emotional connection. And I had massive guilt on missing the sublime Grizzly Bear. I did this mainly to ensure a good spot for Sigur Ros. Plus I had seen Grizzly Bear the night before and that was perfection which couldn't be improved upon. But in the end I enjoyed Beck, not hugely but enough to put a smile on my face, Plus every one was having such a good time. Especially with the closing section of "Devil's Haircut", "Loser", "Where's It At" and "E-Pro".
So to the climax of the day. As the sun set we waited with great anticipation for the mesmeric Sigur Ros. They didn't let us down, playing a blockbuster set that pulled out all the 'hits'. Playing before sublime visuals, it was an aural and visual feast. "Glósóli" and "Olsen Olsen" were delicate and superb. "Festival" was triumphant and ecstatic, whilst "Varuo" was a thunderbolt. Then they closed with "Popplagið" reducing us to puddles of water. A perfect end to a fine day.
Set List
Í Gær
Með Blóðnasir
Olsen Olsen


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