Event Review: Field Day 2014

How did you spend your New Year's Day? Probably hungover from the night before, right? Not me. I boarded a flight at 8am back to Sydney for Field Day - hangover-free. Read on to see what went down that day.

Field Day 2014 - Lineup

Field Day.

The New Year’s Day event synonymous with the very best in indie, dance, hip hop, and incredibly good times in beautiful green surroundings.

I couldn’t imagine a better way to kick off 2014.

Field Day 2014 - Ta-ku

Deliberately leaving late, my mate and I arrived a little bit just after Ta-ku had kicked off his set (which I admit, I was just a smidge unhappy about), but as a fan of his work, I was just happy to see him play. If you didn’t already know, the “genre killer” rarely plays live shows and if he does, they’re most likely to be in his hometown of Perth.

Mixing in old and new music, his set was reminiscent of both his Boiler Room performances integrated with his “Drive Slow, Homie” mixes for HYPETRAK. Ending the set with the song that recently reached 1 million hits, Ta-ku played ‘I Miss You’ to an excited and energised crowd that did not want his set to end.

Ta-ku – I Miss You from the5to9life on Vimeo.

Pretty crap that he got rushed off though.. #VERYEMOTIONAL

After Ta-ku, we headed off for lunch with expensive choices all around. Opting for Nepalese because the line was the shortest, we sat amongst the crowd and enjoyed the soundtrack of Hermitude. For me, seeing them live for the first time turned out to be kind of surprising. The duo exhibited a great display of elated pop electro, which had everyone feeling the good vibes, and I’m sure the crowd would have wanted nothing less.

Field Day 2014_

Afterwards, we headed to the main stage to see one of the big names of the day – and possibly the most anticipated set of the day – A$AP Rocky. I’ve seen the “pretty mother-f&$*er” perform live before, but I do not remember it being this bad. I’m a fan of his music, but this performance was a total disappointment. Truly.

I mean, his set started off with him singing over a recorded track, and to me, that was enough to discontinue watching his performance.

Maybe it would have been better if we were in the thick of it with the thousands of Field Day attendees, instead of standing on the outskirts of the crowd, but to be perfectly honest, it just wasn’t good.

We did stick around for a few more tracks though to give him the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, he didn’t win us over. Instead, we took advantage of our VIP-ticket privileges and went to get free drinks and massages. (Nothing sexual. Get your mind out of the gutter.)

Field Day 2014 - Chet Faker

Back over to The Island, Chet Faker worked some new tunes into his set, along with a few golden oldies like ‘I’m Into You’ and his smooth rendition (and crowd-favourite) of Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’.

One of his new songs that really resonated with me though, was a track entitled ‘1998’. Despite being in that environment, squashed between sweaty/drunk beings, and being too short to really catch a good glimpse of Chet himself, the song took over and I almost forgot where I was at one stage because I was just so engrossed in the performance. I loved that feeling.

Looking forward to hearing his new record, which should be released sometime this year.

Although both of us wanted to see Wiz Khalifa perform, his set kicked off halfway during Chet’s at the Main Stage and we were not budging from where we stood in the crowd. To be honest, I don’t think we would have had much luck getting out anyway. And besides that, I was content with where I was.

Field Day 2014 - Solange

But I wasn’t that disappointed to miss his set, because my number one act to see that day was Ms Solange Knowles, so after Chet Faker we stayed at The Island and made our way to the very front.

Excuse me a minute whilst I turn all fan-girl on this next part of the review haha.

Opening with ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, Solange proved right off the bat that the younger Knowles singer can sing live – and do it in a way that will make you forget about the comparisons and associations with her older sister, Queen Bey.

For those who wondered if she could or not, let me assure you, that unlike A$AP, there was no backing track for this young lady. Although “True” already had her sounding sultry and seductive, her live renditions of that entire record sound even better, and she was clearly not afraid to show that she could hit those high notes on ‘Lovers in the Parking Lot’.

Incorporating funky and somewhat choreographed dance moves with her guitarist, Solange also wanted us to grind with her for ‘Bad Girls’, even giving us a little demonstration on how to do it, for those who didn’t know. 😉

Solange performed a fun set of avant-soul and smooth R&B, with songs mainly taken from her 2012 album, “True”. It was pretty obvious that the audience most likely only knew her from that record though – or that one song that is now probably her anthem, ‘Losing You’. But I’m very happy to report that she included her cover of The Dirty Projectors’ ‘Stillness is the Move’ (which you can watch below), and ended her set with the must-dance-along-to ‘Sandcastle Disco’, from her Motown inspired second album, “Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams”.

Solange – Stillness is the Move from the5to9life on Vimeo.

After Solange, we decided it was a good time to end the night.

Exhausted, drained and yet, somehow still buzzing from the day’s event, it was possible one of the best ways I’ve kicked off a new year.

Field Day 2014 - Solange2

*Photograpahy by Huon Lui.
*Videos from The 5 to 9 Life.