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Live Review: Groovin' The Moo 2013

Monday 29 April 2013

Live Review: Groovin' The Moo 2013

Groovin' The Moo
Maitland Showgrounds
April 27, 2013

Driving up Les Darcy Drive in Maitland, it’s not unusual to spot the odd cow or horse hanging out in a roadside paddock. But, dinosaurs and giraffes walking up the main street can only mean one thing: the Moo is back in town.

Revelers in immensely popular animal onesies, as well as those in regular festival garb – see standard bindies and flower wreathes for girls and sweaty bare-chests for boys – turned out in droves for the sold out Groovin’ the Moo at Maitland Showground on Saturday, taking in a diverse line-up from electronic It-boys to hardcore rock acts and everything in between.

Brooklynites Matt and Kim put in a hot, sweaty and down-right-sexy performance on the main stage in the early afternoon, promising to get everyone laid via Twitter using #kimsdatingservice and pleasing the crowd even more with their bouncy ’09 hit Daylight complete with plenty of confetti and balloons, before Seth Sentry got the crowd singing with a ten-track set packed with hits like Float Away, My Scene, Room for Rent and, of course, Dear Science

Meanwhile, over in the Moolin Rouge tent, The Bronx and the Amity Affliction offered up a double dose of hardcore rock on a stage that was otherwise dominated by DJs throughout the day. Despite their success recording and touring under their alter ego Mariachi El Bronx, many (notably older) audience members seemed stoked to see the LA five-piece back in their original form.

As the sun disappeared a long line at the cloakroom appeared as scantly clad festival-goers rugged up for the night. Around the same time, one of the most anticipated acts of the evening were taking to the main stage in front of a massive crowd – although admittedly not as huge as what Flume would be greeted with at the Moolin Rouge tent an hour afterward. Tame Impala delivered a fluid set focused mainly on tracks from their massively successful album Lonerism with the addition of Alter Ego from Innerspeaker and Half Full Glass of Wine from their self-titled EP, which they jammed off for a solid ten minutes. Pity Kevin Parker had lost his voice.

Flume. Who knew that guy was going to get so big so quick? Surely if the bookers at Groovin’ the Moo had have known early, they would have put him on a bigger stage. I mean, lets face it – this guy can sell out back-to-back shows at the Hordern Pavilion in next to no time. The Moolin Rouge was impenetrable as more than half of the sold out crowd flocked to see the 21-year-old producer of the moment. Moo management even took the step of closing the pit to photographers as security tried desperately to control the crowd and help the bruised and battered patrons being passed over the barrier. Gotta give them props for demonstrating safety first.

That brings me to the choice of headliners. Although the Temper Trap and Example are both stellar performers in their own right and one has the fact the he is an international on his side, surely, with the hype and interest surrounding Flume at the moment surely he should have headlined, or at least performed later in the evening. That being said, Dougy Mandagi sure can sing and Example was absolutely electric as the closer.

Weirdly, for me, one of the most memorable parts of the whole GTM2013 was how smoothly everything seemed to run. Plentiful bars with reasonable queues – you had to pay a container deposit on your drinks, which may have annoyed some, but what festival doesn’t have a recycling system these days? There were tonnes of food vendors, even fancy ones serving tasty stir-fried noodles and salt and pepper squid, and unlike some bigger festivals in capital cities where hordes of people exit at once just to wait around for hours to get a bus home and tempers boil over as cabs become a valuable commodity, leaving Groovin’ was a dream. Streams of buses, a train station across the street with regular service and one huge entry/exit meant no confusion for Mums waiting to pick up their dazed and exhausted teenage daughters. Nice one Moo!

- Amelia Parrott