Falls Festival Fremantle: REVIEW

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Photo: The Music.com.au


The clear, blue skies and warm weather started the weekend off the right way. But much to my surprise arriving at the festival was a hassle, as the line to get in spanned kilometres with most of it dispersing into the Fremantle streets, this meant it took an unexpected hour to get into the festival itself and had crowds fuming as they were packed like sardines outside the entry gates.

But from the moment, I scrambled through the gates, the sweet sound of Methyl Ethel’s classic hit ‘Ubu’ drew me to one of the two main stages conveniently placed right next to each other.

Then Daryl Braithwaite had the crowd belting out some of his all-time classics, ‘Howzat’ and crowd-favourite, ‘The Horses’ and was surprisingly accompanied by Confidence Man who were humorously grooving around on stage alongside Braithwaite and his spontaneous high-pitch trills.

Heading to the Valley Stage, the crowd energy and atmosphere turned up a notch as Thundamentals literally owned this smaller side stage. Performing classics like, ‘Sally’ proved to be a major crowd favourite, including ’21 Grams’ and ‘Think About It’.

As the sun began setting and the warmth in the air cooled, Angus and Julia Stone graced the main stage featuring a slow magical acoustic version of ‘Big Jet Plane’ and their latest catchy sing-a-long tune, ‘Chateau’ which was just beautiful as the sun set over Fremantle.

Walking through the abundance of cute vintage markets to return back to the Valley Stage to catch a glimpse of Perth duo, Slumberjack. Despite the rather smaller crowd, considering the majority of punters were checking out Glass Animals, the boys performed with a bang. Their set also featured a fiery performance of ‘Afraid Unafraid’ with Sydnee Carter.

Finally, we made a mad dash back to the main stage to get near the front for Flume (aka. Harley Streten). It was a jam-packed mosh, and as soon as ‘Helix’ dropped and everything turned up another notch as punters passionately bopped to Streten’s every hit old and new. I was personally particularly pleased to see Flume included ‘Sleepless’ into his set list, which has been one of my favourite tracks of his ever since it was released back in 2012.

However, as soon as you moved to the back of the Flume mosh, that’s when you could really appreciate all the visuals and the expanse of the carefree crowd losing themselves to Flume’s atmospheric, ambient tunes. Making you appreciate the magic of music.


Thankfully there were no line issues this time around, as we walked into the sounds of Detroit musician, Flint Eastwood catching her performance of ‘Queen’ as she flung her hair wildly fully immersed in the song.

It wasn’t too long until Vince Staples bounced onstage and performed a slew of hits from his most recent album ‘Big Fish Theory’. Staples appeared a little exhausted onstage but as soon as he dropped bold hits like ‘Yeah Right’ and ‘Big Fish’ the energy within the mosh made up for it.

Liam Gallagher was a rather memorable moment for many punters, particularly when he had everyone singing in unison to ‘Wonderwall’ and his live vocals sounded impressively just as good, if not better than the recorded version.

Personally, Foster the People were a stand-out, taking us all back with their nostalgic tunes, ‘Call It What You Want’ and ‘Pumped Up Kicks’.  They also included many of their latest hits including ‘Pay the Man’, ‘Sit Next to Me’ and ‘Doing It for The Money’. Lead singer, Mark Foster even made a rather brief but heartfelt speech about unity and change.

The mood suddenly changed and everything moved up-tempo as Peking Duk made their grand entrance onto the stage. Being in the middle of the mosh you couldn’t hide from anything as crowd surfers made their way over the crowd on inflatable toys and a hard core mosh circle opened up as the bass dropped. The Aussie duo turned it all the way up as they transitioned effortlessly through all their bangers including ‘Take Me Over’, ‘Fake Magic’ and ‘Stranger’.

The Kooks were another crowd pleaser performing ‘Naïve’, ‘She Moves in her Own Way’ and ‘Seaside’.

Closing out the festivities, Run the Jewels turned the party up a notch blasting a number of their big hits such as ‘Talk to Me’, ‘Legend Has It’ and ‘Call Tickerton’. Run the Jewels member, Killer Mike addressed the hyped crowd that he would have security “kick your punk a** out and drop you on your f***** face: if he saw anyone inappropriately touch another crowd member.

This sobering message was a recurring theme at the Sunday festivities with a number of acts, from Ecca Vandel to Thundamentals co-member, Tuka donning ‘The person wearing this t-shirt stands against sexual assault and demands a change’ t-shirts. The shirts follow on from Camp Cope’s call for a more gender equal line-up and demanding more action against sexual assault at festivals.

So, despite the long lines and blistering heat at times in the mosh, it was all worth it as the line-up definitely lived up to its hype. Only thing is now we are in for another long wait for next year’s festival.




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