Day 2 of the Playground Weekender was just as good as the first.Â It was chiefly a day about ping pong, sunshine and monkeys.Â The crowd had diminished â€“ for some reason people were leaving even at lunch time as we were coming into the festival site.Â There were clearly less people on the ground and at each stage and even just wandering about.
Also, many less men in dresses.Â Still a few superheroes though.
Here are my highlights from yesterday â€“
Richard in Your Mind â€“ A weird blend of indie rock, psychedelic eastern sounds, elevator music and 70s TV theme songs.Â They were a bit hit and miss for me, but overall I really enjoyed their set.Â Iâ€™m not at all surprised to see Neutral Milk Hotel in their influences on their MySpace â€“ I donâ€™t really like comparisons, but their acoustic numbers were very NMHeqsue.
Sparkadia â€“ Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ve seen these guys live before, supporting someone or other, but I canâ€™t be sure where.Â They played solid indie rock/pop songs with a very melodic sound.
The Mess Hall â€“ Iâ€™ve heard of them around the traps before and apparently theyâ€™ve been prevalent on the Sydney live music scene for some time.Â These guys are FIERCE in the way the Black Keys are fierce, but more in the pub rock way than the pure blues way.Â Still very, very awesome and I think theyâ€™d suit a venue like the Hopetoun down to the ground.
The Dears last night were worth the price of entry to the Playground Weekender alone.Â The crowd was smaller than it probably should have been, but it didnâ€™t take away from the intensity of the performance.Â Iâ€™ve had Gang of Losers for a little while but have never had a chance to listen to it properly â€“ Iâ€™m going to rectify that quickly.Â Clearly lyrically very strong, they have such a huge sound, and they do both massive rocking out and beautiful, lilting melody equally well.Â All the guitars and keyboards mean there is huge variety in the sound.Â Iâ€™m new to The Dears, but Iâ€™m definitely a new fan.
It was a great, great day.Â I hope next year they manage to land at least one big (as in, commercially big) international act.Â As much as the small crowds were good for comfort, it kinda made the vibe weird.Â Also, the security really could do with less of the agro â€“ at a festival you want to know theyâ€™re there, but you donâ€™t want them in your face.
Beautiful location though, great music and there are definitely worse ways to spend the weekend.