DAY 1: Highway to Splendour with Murray Wiggle
IT doesn't get any more Australian than this: Murray Wiggle playing Acadacca's Highway to Hell with DZ Deathrays at Splendour in the Grass.
We're not kidding. That's exactly what happened on the first day of the festival, when the Brisbane dance punk duo made everyone in the audience feel three years old again by bringing Murray Cook to the stage.
Cook had previously participated in the music video for DZ Deathrays' song Like People, but this collaboration on stage was something else, with the musicians covering AC/DC's Highway to Hell together.
Let's just say that the reaction from the audience was bombastic.
It's clear that if any festival decides to bring back the old Wiggles' group, it will sell out in minutes.
What happens on stage...
DZ Deathrays also featured in one of the highlights of the day: Dune Rats' performance.
The Brisbane trio (what is it with Brisbane and great music these days?) killed it with a set that was fun, energetic and super Australian.
Danny Beusaraus, BC Michaels and Brett Jansch invited bands Hockey Dad and DZ Deathrays on stage, the later ones to perform a cover of The Offspring's 1994 hit Come Out and Play.
Now that I think but it, the whole day felt like a trip back to 1994.
Murray Wiggle is on stage, Come Out and Play is being played, and Henry Rollins is on stage talking crap about America and its presidents.
OK, this was another extraordinary moment of Splendour 2018 Day 1: American punk provocateur Henry Rollins offered a spoken word set and audiences loved him.
"You may want to question: how did America find itself in this state?" Rollins said to his audience.
"What is America's problem? What's your problem with race? What's your problem with gay people? What's your problem with women people (sic)?"
American R&B singer Khalid brought a laid-back cool to the Amphitheatre stage. Busting more than a few moves with his four backup dancers, he gave the crowd exactly what they wanted and have been streaming on their phones for months. When he finally performed his biggest hit, Young Dumb & Broke, the packed Amphitheatre erupted into a giant singalong that was so loud at times the thousands of voices drowned Khalid out.
Some of the artists who got audiences engaged with polished and entertaining performances were Baker Boy, The Presets, Miguel, Angus and Julia Stone, and Lorde, who closed the first day with a fantastic show.
But the real stars of the first day were the crowds: great weather and a sense of exhilaration made festival goers really come out of their shells to play hard.
Parents with small children, bogans on leather pants, millennials dressed like early 20th Century flappers, plus some boho chicks that looked like mermaids hatched a bit too prematurely.
All them were met by male mermaids wearing see -through lace pants and red cropped shorts, or drag queens, and many males were covered in sequences, glitter and diamantes.
We are happy to report that few felt hats were sighted yesterday, and we can also confirm that in 2018 glitter is out: only a bit in the partition of your hair do is enough... glitter-boobs and glitter-beards are a thing of the past.
The one trend that is not subsiding yet is that of unnecessary bottoms: young ladies (and a few gentlemen) wearing leotards that cover only their fronts but leave their backsides for all to see, despite the cold weather and the fact that after just two hours walking around the festival, wearing such garments must produce a severe case of chafing.
Some of the artists gracing Splendour stages are:
- Byron Bay's Seaside opening the Amphitheatre at noon
- Alex the Astronaut at 3pm at G W McLennan
- Amy Shark at 3.30pm at the Amphitheatre
- Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite at 10pm at GW McLennan
- Hilltop Hoods at 10.30pm at Mix Up
- The forecast for Saturday in North Byron Parklands is for a sunny day and light winds, with temperatures between 6C to 18C with no chance of rain.