Originating from a single festival in Gloucester, NSW, back in ’05, to a touring festival reaching right across Australia, Groovin’ The Moo has stood up proudly against all the trouble faced by many other festivals in our country. This year, marking the 10th year of Groovin The Moo, we south aussies were treated to something special in the first appearance of the festival in our state. A sold out crowd, the crow eaters had rocked up in force to dance, mosh, crowd surf and rave to over 20 acts from Australia and around the world at the Oakbank venue.
The setting at Oakbank was incredible, at least from my perspective anyway. The double main stage provided extraordinary viewing from the barrier, twenty metres back and even from the line-ups at the bar. The massive marquee tent bringing back memories of Splendour for myself, created an intense atmosphere during the sets of Parkway Drive and Violent Soho especially. Minus a wait for over an hour for a punter friend of mine at the ATM, it was a near perfect day out.
Being a massive fanboy of any local act to anywhere ever, we made it in time to the grounds to catch the girl with the most game in Adelaide, Tkay Maidza, who was throwing verse after verse inside the Moolin Rouge marquee tent. It’s been a big couple of days for Tkay, announced to play on the Splendour lineup and then to open stage at Groovin The Moo, you could forgive her if the moment may have been a little overwhelming but she grew and grew while on stage. Bangers Brontosaurus and Handle My Ego both drew a massive response from the crowd, and it was her energy that kept the crowd stomping around. Brilliant!
Admittedly it as odd to hear Robert DeLong on so early as 1 o’clock in the day, that didn’t bother any of his fans though. A solid crowd formed in front of the [V] stage dancing and moving oh so sweetly to his electro-house as well as punters spaced out across the racecourse, finishing with DeLong closing the set with hit Global Concepts. Good timing, I need a drink (bought 5 instead, seemed more reasonable than lining up again).
Bouncing around between stages, catching parts of sets of Allday, Kingswood and Jungle Giants, the day rolled on until it was almost time for one of the feature events of the day, Parkway Drive and Violent Soho back to back in the Moolin Rouge tent. An hour and a half of punk / hardcore moshing hurt. It still hurts. But it was all worth it. Anticipation hung in the air before Parkway Drive and the boys from Byron delivering the goods when they hit the stage. Bodies flying, even having a guy crowd surf over the top of me (while I was crowd-surfing myself!), the energy never dropped once during the set. The crowd continuing to build toward the end of the set kept up the influx of numbers into the pit.
Cut out Parkway Drive, insert Violent Soho, the crowd never changed. It is unbelievable to see the rise and rise of this band over the past couple years. With the amount of shoes lost in the pit, one could’ve set up their own foot locker franchise. Burning through many tracks off their most recent album Hungry Ghost, many of us were left wanting more songs (in particular Tinderbox and Muscle Junkie dammit!) but wow. Definitely an hour and a half many fans will take with themselves til the end of days. Hard to top that Groovin’.
And Karnivool, where do we begin. Few times have I seen a band take phenomenal performance such as the one seen by Parkway and Soho, and kick it to the curb. An unparalleled display of rock by Ian Kenny and co. The vocal range of Kenny, the connection with the crowd and one of the most outstanding feats by a drummer, Steve Judd. Clear crowd favourite, Simple Boy, emphasized the devotion of fans to this band, with voices ringing out across a packed hill with most festival-goers packing in to catch the set. Karnivool delivered the set of the Oakbank leg. Karnivool showed everyone there that rock is still here, beating its chest and screaming in your ear. That was intense, immense, simply amazing.
Feeling completely at ease with the day and life, I took the liberty of settling down on the hill to catch The Naked & Famous after years of missing out. Older tracks Girls Like You and Young Blood still bringing fans up as well as a roll of tracks off their new album. The perfect way to end a day at the grounds and make way for those with much more energy than I to finish off night. The first Groovin’ The Moo at Oakbank, a raging success.