This year marked my fifth year attending the much loved regional touring festival Groovin the Moo. Every year has been incredible, and this year was no exception. Despite the dark and gloomy skies, the rain held off for most of the day, allowing punters to run between stages without being ankle deep in mud. Here are the main observations I took from the day:
Groovin The Moo always puts on a massive show and 2016 was no exception. Amongst the blood, sweat and rain, here are some observations we took away.
Some Bands Are Worth Waiting For
I’ve wanted to see Emma Louise perform live for a long time but have had to make do and keep myself entertained with her hilarious Instagram videos. After finally seeing her perform, it was even better than expected. Her new track Talk Baby Talk was a highlight for me, a solid tune that Emma launched herself back into the music world with, showing how much she has grown.
Of course, Jungle will always hold a place in my heart and was the crowd favourite. Boy & Bear are another act that before Saturday I was yet to see. I’ve now realised how stupid I am for not taking every opportunity I’ve had to see them. Their live performance is rich as they glide through their tracks super smoothly; it was breathtaking to watch. Feeding Line and Limit of Love were extra spec.
Not Even Technical Difficulties Could Stop Artists From Mesmerising The Crowd
The difficulties may have happened due to the storm that was brewing above us, but however it happened, Wafia and Jarryd James handled it like champions. In the ‘Moolin Rouge’ tent, Wafia couldn’t be heard for the intro to her first track. When the problem was fixed, the crowd cheered supportively and forgot about it as they were swept up by her impressive vocals.
Her performance ingrained the name Wafia into my mind as I knew I needed to listen to her again. Sydney-based soul songstress Ngaiire followed Wafia and showed off to the crowd her powerful vocals, complimented by back up harmonies. Ngaiire is an artist that I have recently fell in love with and after her performance at GTM, I’m positive that the crowd would be left feeling the same. Her track Once enchanted punters, with good reason.
Over at the triple J stage, punters were attempting to let Jarryd James know his microphone wasn’t working. It didn’t last for long as halfway through holding a note; his soothing voice was brought to life. Taking to the keyboard, Jarryd James humbly thanked the crowd for being there “even if [they] only came for one song” (talking about his popular track Do You Remember).
I hope that Jarryd caught a glimpse at the front row during his songs as they were passionately singing along to every word; rows of dedicated fans filled the crowd. Lorde’s drummer Ben Barter was playing as part of Jarryd James’ band, but nothing could take the crowd’s attention away from Jarryd’s alluring vocals. It’s safe to say that the crowd were pleased with the last minute addition of him to the line-up.
I Need To Know How MS MR and Harts Have the Energy That They Do
Seriously, I could really use it right now. All the way from New York City, MS MR brought to the stage an incredible amount of energy as they powered through tracks from their album How Does It Feel released last year, adding the best tracks from their debut album Secondhand Rapture to their set. Lead singer Lizzy Plapinger looked so ecstatic to be there. Her smile was infectious as the crowd gazed back at her excitedly.
Keyboardist and producer Max also carried the energy as he danced around the stage. Seeing them once was not enough. Harts is always bringing his best to the stage, even after the passing of Prince, an influential mentor to Harts. He spoke about the impact Prince had on him as a musician and was thankful that he was able to call him a friend. Harts admitted “it’s been a hard couple of days” then proceeded to dedicate his next song to Prince, as he turned to the back of the stage which was lit up with a photo of the legendary musician.
Where There Is DZ Deathrays, There Is Blood
DZ Deathrays hadn’t even finished their first song and already people were being pulled voluntarily from the mosh pit by security. Further into their set and the crowd’s energy hadn’t dropped, looking out to see a few bloody faces soldiering on in between swinging fists. DZ’s cover of Blur’s Song 2 sent the crowd into frenzy (more so than before, if that’s possible).
Client Liaison Time Travelled With The Crowd
Taking us to the 80s, Client Liaison brought their funk with matching outfits, synchronised dancing and, of course, their synth pop sound. The stage was even decked out with a water cooler and plants. I will never be able to listen to triple J’s Hack again without Tom Tilley’s bass face and dancing entering my mind (which may not be a bad thing). Punters were so entertained by Client Liaison’s dramatic performance that their eyes never left the stage. Later in their set, they covered Michael Jackson’s Black or White which suited their sound.
The Rubens Owned The Day
The Rubens built on that vintage aesthetic as they graced the stage dressed in all white, kicking off their set with Hold Me Back. It was obvious that some members of the crowd came to their set for one song only (if it wasn’t obvious, “Hoops”), as they chattered during the slower songs. The Rubens are getting better every time I see them perform live. Giving the crowd what they wanted, they finished with Hoops and Hallelujah.
Walking away from the show ground with mixed feelings, I had an amazing time and witnessed some great talent but it felt like it passed too quickly, and I realised I’d have to wait a whole year before Groovin the Moo returned. It’s one of my favourite festivals, always providing a memorable day.