REVIEW + PICS: Field Day | The Domain, Sydney

Written By Alistair Rhodes on 01/04/2016

Sydney music lovers have accustomed themselves to dusting off the cobwebs from big New Year's Eve celebrations to attend this premier New Year's Day musical festival that is Field Day. The 2016 lineup gave you no choice but to attend the event showcasing international artists such as Disclosure, RL Grime, Boys Noize, Skepta, Pusha T. Mix that up with some of our homegrown Aussie talent in the forms of Golden Features, Flight Facilities, JOY. Allday, Ta-ku, forming the biggest lineup Field Day has seen to date.

Allday saw the majority of the foot traffic out of those early set times as the crowd was starting to flow past and congregate at the main stage. One of the leading aussie hip hop outfits to burst on to the scene in the last few years showcased their immense talents to a jovial crowd. You Always Know the DJ stopped people dead in their tracks as the whole crowd busted out the lyrics to the catchy number.

Ta-ku set the tone for the day with his live set drawing in people from all angles. This live set showcased Ta-ku’s immense talent and ability to find the perfect balance of progressive beats and hip hop whilst never neglecting his signature heavy basslines. I Miss You was the crowd’s favourite and by now everybody was well and truly up and dancing to what was an exhilarating performance.

A quick duck over to the left field stage situated in amongst the Domain’s famous Moreton Bay fig trees saw Daniel Avery bring the house down with his psychedelic techno. As that clock drew extremely close to four o’clock everybody frantically made a bolt over to the main stage to make sure they didn’t miss one bit of Skepta.

Skepta was the first of the international acts to hit the main stage and boy did he hit the ground running. It’s safe to say that at least three quarters of what was a sold out Field Day were witnessing UK Grime at its best. The beaming down sun and hot temperature had everybody feeding off Skepta’s high energy and massive stage presence. As soon as Shutdown came on the whole crowd went into overdrive and everyone was at a whole new level screaming out those infamous lyrics and what better way to lead into the next big name international artist.

With the massive crowd still growing rapidly at the main stage, out stepped RL Grime. One of the pioneers behind trap music, RL Grime has the arsenal to deliver a set like none other. Love Sosa was the first track that sent the moshpit into a frenzy and from that point onward each and every song had everyone finding new energy levels you didn’t know you had. The crowd was jammed right up against the front barriers and stretched has far back as the eye could see. With the recent release of his debut album Void, it was no surprise as to what tracks would ramp things up a knotch. Scylla and Core managed to do this with ease and then RL throws in one of his personal favourite tracks Kingpin. Tell Me gets thrown into the set and all you can see in the crowd is a sea of trap arms and the odd circle pit opening up. When you mix RL Grime’s passion with a pulsating crowd you’re only going to get fireworks and this is exactly what RL Grime brought.

The sun has well and truly set for the day and anyone that’s a fiend for hard hitting elctro house and techno was champing at the bit for Boys Noize. Even though he was on one of the smaller stages he pulled one of the biggest crowds of the day. You could hardly move amongst the masses of people although there was still enough room to dance and go absolutely mental. This stage had the best sound system of the festival and Boys Noize pushed it to exetrmes. There was never a backward step throughout the entire set with every track and transition just building and building, getting heavier and heavier and louder and louder. As soon has Boys Noize dropped Do You Like Bass? The whole crowd erupted in unison and at times your whole body was left feeling like it had been hit by a ton of bricks. By far the standout performance of the day went to Boys Noize and his ever so passionate bass heads.

The biggest act was left till last and closing out the main stage was Disclosure. The two brothers from England have made Australia a frequent stop in their jam-packed touring schedule. With the recent release of Caracal adding more material at the brother’s disposal, you knew you were in for a good end to the night. This album doesn’t quite have the big hits that featured on Disclosures previous album Settle. This was constantly evident throughout the entire set, especially after Latch and When A Fire Starts To Burn had been played. During both those songs you could hear the crowd belting out the lyrics way above the speakers. But sadly they were the only two highlights of the set. Quite frankly you demand more from the headline act.

Field Day once again lived up to its reputation of being the best way to spend your New Year's Day.

All photos by Brayden Smith (BCS Imaging).