Back You are here: Home Reviews Festival Review: The Falls Music & Arts Festival Day 3 @ North Byron Parklands, 02.01.2016

Festival Review: The Falls Music & Arts Festival Day 3 @ North Byron Parklands, 02.01.2016

We made it! Day three of this beautiful musical marathon has arrived upon us. The third day is always the most interesting and testing. Rising from tents-turned-saunas, the strong are separated from the weak, as everyone has a mini-existential crisis while digging deep to find the last ounces of energy to make it to the finish line.

The festival programmers deserve a great deal of credit for their clever late morning programming of the shady oasis that is the Forest Stage. The diverse arts selection see-sawed between hip-hip yoga, music from the dreamy Jesse Davidson, to a film screening and then comedy; the perfect way to help alleviate all the sore heads before the partying begins again.

Having left the hip-hop yoga to my fellow AAA Backstage reviewer, I made my way from the media tent to the Forest Stage to catch Jesse Davidson where I strolled past the misting tunnel to find 30-odd people having their morning showers. Anyone that has been to Falls or Splendour In The Grass knows that the showering situation in the camp grounds isn’t overly fun thanks to the lengthy lines once the sun rises; so seeing this humourous innovation by some punters brought a smile to many faces.

Jesse Davidson has been kicking around for a while now since being featured in the 2012 selection of Triple J Unearthed High acts. His melancholy indie jams are infectious and insist a head bop and foot tap. His banter between each song was comical and confusing. Continually thanking everyone for coming,  before introducing himself and his band as “Jesse Davidson and the Bois”, and finishing up by saying “RIP Eminem”. This obviously confused the ‘off the grid’ and tired crowd, with one punter yelling out in a distressed voice “is Eminem really dead?”. Nonetheless the superb musical performance showed us that this won’t be the last time we see Jesse Davidson on a festival bill.

Following a lunch break it was time to migrate to the Valley Stage for its pleasant afternoon start. Irish prodigy, Soak, kicked things off with her delicate voice and ethereal folk sounds, much to the delight of the slowly filling amphitheater. She’s definitely one to watch!

Next up were Gang Of Youths who were arguably one of the biggest highlights of the festival. Wow…just WOW! At the time I couldn’t conjure the words to describe what had just happened. Euphoria levels were at an all time high. The Sydney lads have quickly, and deservingly, become known as one of the best live acts in Australia. The set may not have started out as planned with frontman David Leaupepe having guitar tech troubles, though professionalism ensued and there was no noticeable difference in sound without the extra guitar.

The sun soaked crowd was dancing up a dust storm and chanting the lyrics at the top of their lungs. There was crowd surfing, circle pits, beach balls, sweat (a lot!) and a hell of a lot of love being thrown around. Gang Of Youths were notably humble and looked as though they were seriously enjoying themselves, with Leaupepe thanking everyone for “giving a flying fuck” about them. Closing their set with their anthem (and strong Triple J Hottest 100 contender) Magnolia, Gang of Youths taught us how to not be afraid.

As the afternoon progressed we were treated to some smooth soul from Leon Bridges. My god, where has he been hiding? (more importantly, where have I been hiding?) We were transported back to the early 60’s from the moment he opened his mouth. There were 12 bar blues, there was an astounding sax solo, and there was even a romantic slow dance… the set had everything you could imagine from a 1960’s American soul act. The boogie game at Leon Bridges was strong.

Climbing that dreaded hill for the last time (you know the one I’m talking about), we encountered the Fiesta Parade, which saw hundreds dancing through the festival arena with dragons, drums, some fresh newlyweds (seriously, a couple got married at Falls!) and obscure costumes… an interesting and nice spectacle to witness.

Up next was Gary Clark Jnr, who warmed up the crowd with his draw dropping guitar solos and groovin’ blues. Opening with Bright Lights, Gary Clark Jnr had the crowd in awe of his guitar prowess. It’s not everyday you get to see one of the greatest guitarists alive! 

The crowd were getting a bit impatient as the wait for Foals to take to the stage felt like an eternity. The crowd, squashed together like sardines, threw up a massive roar when frontman Yannis Philippakis and the band finally made their way on to stage. The crows lost their collective shit as the Brits dove straight into their set with Snake Oil from their latest album “What Went Down”. Deafening crowd sing-alongs and hectic moshing followed to fan favourites Mountain At My Gates and My Number. By now, everyone’s sweat levels were high, as if we all just walked into the shower with our clothes on.

There was no slowing down as Foals continued to smash their way through the set with impeccable delivery, mixing the old with the new. Every line, every note, every beat had the utmost energy, meaning, and sincerity. Foals are one of the hottest live bands in the world right now and they completely lived up to their headliner status.

We somehow found the strength to pull through the three days and forget about the tiredness, pain and sunburn, and had the time of our lives! Theres something special about spending new years eve at a festival, with a bunch of friends and thousands of strangers, making incredible memories and having the time of our lives. We saw out one year, we saw in another, we danced, we laughed, we sang, we got dirty, we got sunburned, we got drunk, we made new friends, and we made memories. We fucking love you Falls!

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