Sydney City Limits
February 24, 2018
Austin City Limits Festival has found its worthy equivalent in the Southern hemisphere: With the name being more than a subtle hint to its big sister, Sydney City Limit incarnated the first time in 2018 against the lush backdrop of Centennial Park.
With its eclectic line-up curated by the fine heads that gave birth to arguably the most revered festival on terra Australia, i.e. Splendour in the Grass, geared towards an all-age crowd,
To pay respects to each of the more than thirty acts that graced the total of four stages would be too much for the confines of this review, so let us focus on the cream of the crop of the artist roster that was well calibrated and comprised both of international independent royalty as well emerging locally grown talent:
It proved to be difficult to catch a glimpse of all the great acts that at times were scheduled simultaneously.
What a joy it was to the grande old diva Grace Jones incarnate in the flesh. Eccentrically poised, on point, only clad in body paint and a hint of Chanel with attitude galore she prowled the stage, dominated and held the audience in the palm of her hand. Glad to have witnessed Andy Warhol’s muse in the flesh and has left her indelible mark on both the 1970s and 80s.
At the same time, an inspired Beck incarnated with a fun filled set that showcased his qualities as an entertainer and musicianship, that did not have to rely on any of his crowd pleasing chart topping hits. Charming.
An early highlight was Sydney-based Gang of Youth’s energetic set that effortlessly ran the gamut from melancholy to uplifting emissions, which was their last show before their impending world tour. Make sure to catch them if they come your way to see some of Australia’s current finest rock exports. Impressive.
Dune Rats were as enthusiastically received as ever with their gimmick spiked performance and odes to brews and THC. Think a Simpson episode come alive, including inflatable beer cans.
We have sung the praises of the multi-instrumentalist Tash Sultana within the confines of Scene Point Blank for quite a while and what has been predicted has become reality: Tash is on her way to become a global sensation and rightly so. A one woman, no bullshit band focusing on the essentials with talent galore that has grown used to bigger stages and works them expertly. Danceable, mesmerizing and infectious.
There is no shortage of summer festivals in Australia, however, the first Sydney City Limits proved that it was a much needed addition that created its own lane with its diverse line-up and chilled vibe: The audience saw a surprising big number of familiar and middle aged peeps mingling with the young.
On the beverage, food and market fronts Sydney City Limits proved to be an exquisite affair with craft beers on tap, outlets of Sydney’s more geschmäcklerische cuisine outlets proffering their best, a curated market offering everything from clothes to vinyl and none of the usual carnival low-fi high-carbohydrate affairs in sight – SLC was all about the protein in every sense of the meaning.
The bar has been set high - something to look forward to in 2019 . . .