📷 Photo by KS Digital Media
Despite the weather, over 20,000 people made their way to Joondalup’s HBF Arena for Listen Out 2017 last weekend to catch a killer lineup of local and international artists. Catch up on the day’s antics from some of our favourite artists we caught below.
Jai Wolf by Will Marsh
Despite being the second act of the day, and playing to a relatively small crowd, it’s safe to say that Jai Wolf put on one of the best performances at Listen Out. The New York based producer is known for his incredibly soothing, mellow music that’s sure to relax anyone who listens to it. His hits Indian Summer and Starlight are absolutely beautiful, and hearing them live provided me with a sense of sheer euphoria, and were incredibly well received by the crowd. His set flowed beautifully, and playing everything from Odesza to The Chainsmokers, Jai ensured the crowd were kept engaged and entertained for the entire hour. His background visuals were just as mesmerising as his music, and seeing beautiful sunsets and palm trees appear behind him really amplified my enjoyment of his set. Soothing, melodic, calming and intimate, Jai Wolf was an absolute pleasure to see at Listen Out, and although I initially questioned his early start time, seeing him first really set the bar high for the rest of the following acts.
Vallis Alps by Chantelle D’Souza
After just arriving at Listen Out, you can say I was extremely keen for Vallis Alps to start off an amazing day. Having just recently seen them at Jack Rabbit Slims in Perth, I was excited to see if they could bring something new or different. Personally I feel like their set was extremely similar to their recent Perth show, only their stage presence was less noticeable as it was a bigger crowd and less intimate. Nonetheless, every time I see them their vocals and live performance still amazes me. There’s no better way to start Listen Out than being with your mates belting out Fading in an eccentric crowd in between bursts of rain.
Getter by Will Marsh
Getter, the meme-lord producer from California, was one of the most anticipated acts for many people over the course of Listen Out. The up-n-comer has really made a name for himself over the last year, and those who missed him at Origin last year were definitely excited to see what he’d bring to the table. Personally though, much to my disappointment, Getter put on what I would call a sub-par performance. However, I have to say that despite this, his opener was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in a while. To appease his young Australian crowd, Getter opened with the theme song to every Aussie teen’s favourite show, one loved by all, Summer Heights High. It was unexpected, and honestly, quite amazing. After this, he put on a very strong first 20 minutes, playing his new Throwin Elbows remix alongside some of his most famous songs, Rip n Dip and Head Splitter.
Sadly though, after a while, things really seemed to take a turn downhill. His energy seemed to lull, and as the music slowed down, so did the energy of the crowd. Some of his mixes were heartbreaking, as he got everyone hyped up for a drop, then instead of letting it play out, skipped over to his next song. The music seemed to stutter, and it was very hard to stay engaged. There was a point for 5 minutes where he just didn’t play any music? Maybe there were technical difficulties, maybe he was just too fucked, I’m not sure. I just wish that the energy he brought out in the first 20 minutes could have continued, if it had, Getter’s set would have been one of the most memorable of the day.
What So Not by Andrew Ring
What So Not returned to Perth for his first run of Australian shows since January, and while eight months is a long time in between performances it didn’t feel like it had been all that long. Anyone who has been to a festival in the last few years has likely already seen What So Not perform. He is an act that has fast become synonymous with the Australian music scene. Having seen him nine times previously I went into the set knowing that more often than not, he provides the punters with a good time. Sadly this time, however, the set just failed to deliver on a number of different levels, which for someone known for his consistency across the years, is really disappointing. This was a view held not just by myself but most of the people I was with, where some had seen him many times and others were experiencing his set for the first time. Songs such as his new release Better, and Divide and Conquer EP tracks Buried and Trust were played in what turned out to be a fairly flat and uninspiring opening 30 minutes. A down-tempo introduction is always ok, but when it takes up about half the set of an artist known for his heavy hitting music it does get a bit tedious. While the second half of the set saw a return to more familiar territory, it was not enough to remedy the flat opening half. Recent favourite tune Divide and Conquer led seamlessly into the much lauded Nosia remix of the same song. Crowd favourites Jaguar, Touched and the always-enjoyable Innerbloom remix helped to bring some decency back, but in my eyes it was too little too late.
Knowing that he often pre-plans many of his shows added insult to injury for me on the day. Anyone who has seen him perform a few times over a short period can tell you that his sets hardly differ. Now as long as they are an enjoyable time I don’t see too much of an issue with this. Hermitude for instance have been playing the exact same set since their most recent album, and it works because it’s a damn good live show. But when the set is disappointing, and you know it has most likely been constructed also, it’s hard to feel anything but disappointment that one of your favourite artists over recent years has somewhat let his game down.
Green Velvet by Sam Holden
American techno and tech/deep house producer, Green Velvet, kicked off his 2017 Listen Out set with one of his best known tunes, La La Land. Following Getter’s expectedly hard set, Velvet stuck to his traditional vibe where the crowd was immediately feeling his signature hard-housey beat. Just after cuing up the track, he casually pops open a bottle of champagne – he was keen to party! More well known for his use of effects rather than quick mixing, the punters got lost in the music until he dropped another one of his more well-know hits, Lazer Beams, which really got the crowd pumping. Soon returning to a more minimal tech-house style with probably his best-know track, Voicemail (a collaboration with Patrick Topping), Green Velvet excited the audience with his use of echo combined with crush effects to build a sense of tension and release in song transitions. An interesting live aspect to his set was the use of vocals. Since Velvet typically uses his voice as vocals for his tunes, he sung/talked over one of his classics, Flash, which was awesome to witness – keeping the crowd entertained while keeping up the beaty atmosphere. All in all, the green Mohican man really succeeded in grooving the the 909 Stage, providing an experience quite different than those offered by other artists at LO.
Duke Dumont by Will Marsh
Closing out Listen Out Perth 2017, alongside Hip-Hop artist Future, was the English house producer by the name of Duke Dumont. Arguably one of the most popular house producers in the world at the moment, he put on an extremely upbeat, yet very chilled closing set, which was a very nice conclusion to my Listen Out Experience. Coming on very shortly after PNAU had just finished playing their hit song Chameleon, Duke Dumont made sure to capitalise on the crowds buzz and high energy levels. Opening his set with Need U 100, the smooth synthetic house music seemed to pulsate through the crowd, forcing everyone to move in time with the music. He seemed to focus more on soothing the crowd than amping them up, playing what I would call a relatively relaxing set. His feel good tunes like I Got U and Real Life were beautiful to listen to, and paired with mesmerising backgrounds, were the highlight of his set.
Probably using the most diverse backgrounds of anyone at the festival, i couldn’t tell if he was trying to sooth the crowd, or scare them. The visuals seemed to jump back and forth, one minute showing beaches and palm trees, then the next, showing some Walking Dead style shit where zombies were trying to burst through the screen. His ability to keep the crowd engaged was fantastic, and despite playing such a slow set in comparison with other artists of the day, Duke Dumont had no trouble keeping everyone’s energy high. Overall, his set was incredibly euphoric and relaxing, and what better way to end than with crowd favourite Ocean Drive, which dominated radio stations earlier this year. The atmosphere as he closed his set was fantastic, and I was still buzzing as I began my walk to the train station. It was a fantastic end to a great day.
Official Listen Out Afterparty ft. Malaa by Nick Wood
For the people who aren’t quite ready for the day to end, or for those of us who couldn’t afford to go to Listen Out, the after-party has the potential to perfectly tie the day together. I think most people who went can agree that it did exactly that. Supposedly playing a very similar set to the one he played at the official Listen Out event, and donning his signature ski mask, Malaa made his grand entrance at Villa on the stroke of midnight. His hour long set was exactly what I expected and everything I could have hoped for; playing my personal favourites Prophecy, Diamonds, and of course Notorious. Villa provided the perfect venue, allowing the me to enjoy dancing with the other punters, as well as providing an awesome vantage point from which I could watch one of my favourite artists at work. He played a well-paced and interesting set, and I left glad that I had the opportunity to witness it for a more suitable price.
Photos by KS Digital Media