Are we human, or are we dancers?
Yesterday I attended the V festival on the Gold Coast where The Killers were the headlining act. It was an awesome day. Every performance we attended was excellent. Even the festival organisation itself was much improved on last year. This year I only had to queue for ten minutes for the bathroom. Last year I queued for at least forty (the vast majority of the Air set).
Festival themes: Rain and skinny jeans (for guys – note this is especially the case if you are a lead singer in a band). Rain is a strong theme for V. Last year it rained so much in the leadup to the festival that we spent the whole festival day walking through a soupy mud puddle that was often mid calf deep and occasionally smelled like cow dung. This year we weathered a brief shower during the Snow Patrol set and hoped that was the end of it. Sadly no. The skies opened up during the last 20 – 25 minutes of The Killers set. I don’t think I’ve been that drenched while fully dressed since practicing survival swimming in High School. Skinny jeans were a must, especially if fronting a band. There was definitely a skinny jeans and big hair policy in force (see Mighty Boosh series three). I saw a few contenders in the crowd as well. Those pants were so small and tight I’m surprised they could still walk in them.
I attended again this year with my flatmate. We managed to get there in time to see most of Duffy (we caught public transport like good festival attendees so it was a much longer trip to Merrimac than it would normally be). Duffy was excellent and she can belt out quite a tune despite being a tiny person.
We also attended the Elbow performance. I didn’t really know who they were (flame me if you must) but they were also excellent (and it turns out I did know one of the songs). Their lead singer was great and it was an enjoyable set.
After Elbow was Razorlight, which I had been really hanging out to see. Razorlight were awesome and I am so glad they cam to V fest. Last time they were in Australia they only did a Sydney show, which was of no use to me.
I stayed for the whole Razorlight set which meant I missed some of the Madness one. I did however catch the last 20-25 minutes which was excellent. I knew all the songs they played (which meant they saved all the best stuff for the end). Madness definitely wins they award for getting me to dance like a fool. Because if you don’t dance like a fool to Madness, there’s something very wrong with you.
Following Madness, we headed for the stage where Kaiser Chiefs were going to play. I stayed for this whole set too, while the others made their way to Snow Patrol after about half an hour. They missed out some of the good bits too. I heard all the songs I wanted to hear and got to see their lead singer climb on the scaffolding, crowd surf and encourage the crowd to make enough noise so that the Snow Patrol attendees could hear us.
I saw the last little bit of Snow Patrol who were mostly only known to me as possessors of the video clip in which the lead singer lays down on a road and sings about laying down. And I understand that this description may be an issue with some of the more rabid Snow Patrol fans I saw last night. They were good though and contenders for nicest band of the day.
But we left Snow Patrol a few minutes early because The Killers were about to start and we wanted a good spot. Lead singer Brandon Flowers did not disappoint. He turned up in his best feathered epaulets (though sadly wore them only for two songs – there was no sign of the red lycra spacesuit alas). I would have liked to see the red lycra but for this issue I blame David Bowie, which is another post entirely. The Killers set was fantastic and we stayed to the end despite the rain (and there was a lot of rain). The Killers also win for most attractive lead singer.
It was a great day and V has a much more relaxed feel to it than the Big Day Out. Early in the day I was sorry I hadn’t taken my camera (that’s why no photos this post) because you could get close enough to see the bands onstage without being crushed, but after the downpour I was happy it wasn’t in my dripping wet bag.
Another thing, apart from general issues with tall people in crowds (me being somewhat short myself) I have one thing to add. You! Dancing backpack in front of me (jiggling too close to me). I understand that the reason you’re wearing a backpack is probably because your girlfriend made you carry everything. But seriously dude. It’s at most nine hours. Learn to pack lighter.
Overall it was definitely a contender for best festival of recent attendance. All the bands were fantastic and we had a great time, even with the rain.