Pier Street Party, Frankston VIC Australia 24/02/2018 written by Brendan Lewis
- LET’S PARTY
Photos by Christopher Lowe
Come party down where the city meets the sea, right near the magic fountain, here in Frankston for this year’s Pier Street Party! With a line-up featuring Aussie hip-hop heavy-weights Thundamentals, party favourites Art Vs Science, garage indie-rock legends Gyroscope, alt-rock escape artists The Getaway Plan, attention demanding indie-rockers Rackett and fresh hip-hop artist Jesswar, I’m sure today will make us all feel alive! .....the bar near by may contribute to that as well.
Ready or not, here we go!
To my surprise, Rackett are up first instead of originally intended opener Jeswar, so upon entry to the party, I’m a little anxious as we’re slightly late for when Rackett are scheduled to start. Luckily however, the bands haven’t started yet for some reason, then I realise that this is likely due to the absence of people in the party as yet, which is unfortunate for Rackett as they’re a band not to be missed! Just as I stroll to the front barrier and get set up, the band now start to wow the small crowd that turned up early! Lead singer Bec starts the set by saying hi to us, which normally at a show deflates the hype, but in such a casual intimate setting as this however, it goes down well to connect with us from the get go. As the music is launched in the first song, the musical energy is powerful and with Bec groovin’ around the stage straight away, it awakens our attention nice and early. Unfortunately however, the sound mixer has done a poor job mixing the vocals, so hearing Bec’s dynamic voice is a challenge sadly! Moving further along, attention is demanded even more, with the sound changing from pop-rock with catchy vocal hooks, to a more pop/punk vibe with slightly clearer vocals likely thanks to Bec putting more force into them, plus killer guitar riffs, and as the vibe reaches it’s peak nearing the sets’ end, Bec jumping off the stage, sitting on the barrier next to a certain super-attractive blind guy, which Bec must agree with, seeing as she sings to me, I mean him, while caressing his face with her free hand, then leans down and kisses me, stimulating my full attention in all sorts of ways. Bec goes on to share the love around with the rest of her audience, running a random girls hand down her front, singing with people and just busting a move in front of the barrier, demanding everyone’s attention, and drawing people closer to the front.
Now all my blood has returned to it’s regular parts of my body, I’m going to go take a wander and scope out this place. The area is small, and basic which is good as far as me navigating it, with a few typical festival food options (burgers, pizza, hot dogs etc) a bar and a merchandise stand surrounding the standing area with park benches at the back to chill out and eat at, and if this isn’t good enough for you, we are right outside Pelly Bar, with more beverage and seating options. This may surprise you, but I am only human, so now would be a good time to sample some of the food and alcohol on offer here and chillax while Jesswar take to the stage, before the big guns come out and I park myself at the front barrier like a true groupy.
Jesswar’s gangster rap is getting peoples’ attention as they continue to enter the event, but for me, it’s getting a little repetitive and isn’t living up to the hype that Rackett left.
After refuelling, I’ve returned to the front barrier ready for The Getaway Plan, which is lucky as the crowds are really starting to roll in and near full capacity. The Getaway Plan too start the show with a greeting to their fans, but while an eery bass carries Matt’s voice, keeping the excitement high. The Getaway Plan put on a brilliant high-energy performance filled with awesome guitar riffs and hooks and the band all rocking out on stage enthusiastically, but unfortunately, the sound mixer has again stuffed up, making Matt’s incredible voice which differs in range and dynamics very hard to hear hidden below the rest of the bands’ sound.... I honestly think people can probably hear my singing more clearly then Matt’s... those poor sods. The Getaway Plan’s set features a brilliant blend of old and new hits, flowed well to vary the energy levels at strategic intervals, plus the addition of the song ‘Lovesick’ which the band haven’t played live since their 2013 ‘Lovesick Tour’ to my knowledge, and got the crowd rocking out and energised, but the poor sound mixing with the vocals let the otherwise epic set down dramatically to my deep disappointment!
Now for Gyroscope to ride the hype The Getaway Plan left for them. The crowd is starting to get quite rowdy with the occasional random drunken statement being shouted at the band and peoples’ balance getting a little unstable, this’ll be interesting! The band start the set with a bang, with the bands’ energy at a blazing hot high, but the sound mixer has done an even worse job mixing the vocals for Gyroscope sadly! This hasn’t let down the excitement in the crowd around me though, it’s still extremely positive and lively, made even more-so when the bassist jumps off the stage, stands on the front barrier step, leans back against the audience and continues to play, bringing the excitement up to climactic levels! .....to be honest, I really don’t know which band member it is leaning against the crowd holding a guitar of some sort, for all I know with my limited sight, it could just be a security guard that’s nicked a guitar from the band and felt like putting on their own show? Whoever that party animal is, it raised the hype well in the first song that’s carried throughout the bands’ set! As the set goes on, we are hit with some easy to dance to beats with enticing guitar hooks and seriously muffled vocals, which I can’t properly comment on sadly, as I can’t freakin’ hear them! Oh there they are! I can now JUST hear the vocals in a couple of songs, luckily being my two favourite, but even still, it’s far from level with the other sounds and beyond being able to comment analytically on. Even with the lack of vocal clarity, the audience still manage to sing along... somehow, and the easy to dance/jump to vibe is exploded with the band flowing one of their songs into Midnight Oil’s ‘Beds Are Burning’ in the songs’ bridge before returning to it’s original song, being a definite crowd pleaser! The lead singer now throws an energy grenade into the audience, as he jumps off the stage in the bands’ last song, and proceeds to stand on top of the front barrier in an instrumental section, grabbing peoples hands in the audience riling everyone right up for a big finish! I can’t help but notice seeing as the lead singer is standing on the barrier right next to me, that his pants are down a little with his nickers showing slightly, and I’m so tempted to slip a business card in the top of his undies just above his ass for him to discover later.
Now that everyone’s here and got their party hat on and are filled with obscene amounts of grog, Art Vs Science with their party-anthem hits should go down nicely! For the first few songs, the bands’ energy is a little withdrawn to my surprise, as I was expecting the energy to start wild and get all sorts of crazy as the set progresses. Oh wait, here we go, it’s taken a few songs, but the band are really starting to bust out some moves now, with the lead singer shakin’ his tail feather around across the front of the stage, and instigating clap alongs to get the crowd involved and right in the palm of the bands’ hands! Thankfully, the sound mixer has done a much better job with the vocals this time, and are only slightly not loud enough, which makes the music so much more enjoyable! The band keeps things interesting throughout the set, from playing an awesome cover of Muse’s ‘Knights Of Cydonia’ which gets the crowd jumping and resembling a full-on mosh, closing any space I once had here at the front, to flowing a classic Art Vs Science favourite into The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’, which gets the whole crowd singing the iconic bass hook and really rocking out hard! When the band finishes their set filled with exciting retro grooves, rock hooks, and anthemic party tracks, it’s left us all wanting more, and wishing the band had another few songs to give us!
Now that the sun has set, and the only act left for the party is headliners Thundamentals, the crowd is really getting rowdy and a little too enthusiastic in anticipation for these growing hip-hop masters, that a lot of people came to this event especially for! The band start the show with the energy elevated straight away to then be sustained for the rest of the set. The sound mixer has done well for Thundamentals’ sound, and their skills as a sound mixer are obviously intended for hip-hop rather than rock, because both rappers, the DJ and the drummer’s sound are all set evenly and at a nice level! The band connect with their fans brilliantly, instigating clap alongs and sing alongs in songs, and talking to us between each, giving us insight into the songs’ story/meaning and revving us all up with “are you f***in’ with us?!” And “give it up for our DJ/Drummer!” Etc. The songs in the set flow nicely from gangster rollers to cruisin’ smooth-criminals, to up-beat party-poppers that keep the audience singing along all the way from the start to finish. Randomly after one song, I’m greeted with someone standing right in front of me on the other side of the barrier saying hi to me, and asking if I’d like him to sign that (I’m assuming referring to my note pad). Again for all I know it could be that cheeky security guard that wants to take advantage of my lack of sight and pretend to be a part of the band? I’m a little stunned, and really didn’t see this coming.... in any way shape or form, so I turn to a new page in my note pad and let the guy autograph it, hoping I don’t read some random security guards signature later. The band continue to deliver high-intensity hip-hop anthems that get everyone bouncing and throwing their raised arms from side to side at the bands command, and gets the girls all sitting on random peoples’ shoulders for a better view, filling the area with incredible amounts of positive energy! Even as Thundamental's sound isn’t my preferred style, when the band finish up, I’m glad they give us just one more to close the night on a high and leave me feeling satisfied!
All in all, the sound mixers shoddy mixing in the most parts was quite a let down, but even still, today was a bloody good time, and even with everyone getting a little loose and intoxicated, there were no issues/incidences to ruin a good time! Art Vs Science were a definite highlight for me, and if the sound mixer did a better job for Rackett, The Getaway Plan and Gyroscope, it would’ve been an absolute ace of a day.