“If anybody sees me walking back to my hotel with no shoes, it’s because I gave them to this guy!” says Toni Watson, before popping off her white sneakers – emblazoned with the title of her debut EP – and granting a front row fan’s breathless request (and performing the rest of her set in white-socked feet).

Day #2 of BIGSOUND really was all about Tones and I, the Byron-busker-turned-international-starlet (all of which happened in an unheard-of timeframe of just a few months) whose debut release had already broken several records before it arrived last week, thanks to a trio of blisteringly popular singles.

Most punters passed by the ‘silent protest’ conceived by the artist in the Brunswick Mall: 40 young adults, dressed in Tones’ merch, stared grimly ahead while holding banners begging for a voice. Some read ‘The Kids Are Coming’, which is the title of Tones and I’s debut EP. (Read our review here!)


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The kids are out for @tonesandi – head to stack.com.au to read our BIGSOUND Day #3 round-up ?✨? #bigsound19 #thekidsarecoming

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The fest’s most anticipated showcase went off like a canon; Tones built her beats meticulously, and her pliant growl of a voice occasionally sounded digitally-altered (which perfectly fits the frenetic pace of tracks like the coconut-bongo jam Colourblind). Meanwhile, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a venue properly heave the way Famous did during Dance Monkey.

Towards the end of her set, the artist shared with us a comment some random bloke posted saying that she “seems like a pissed-off chick that hates bullies” – and that pretty much hits the nail on the head, she confirmed. While penguin-walking en masse out if the packed venue, we noted a collective opinion of: “How good was THAT!?”

Later on, UK band The Amazons proved to have a suave Franz Ferdinand look going on with Alex Turner-esque vocals, and they got The Elephant appropriately frothing; meanwhile, EGOISM‘s Olive Rush displayed a delightful Lauren Mayberry streak to her vulnerable-bold vocals.

Tkay Maidza instructed us to be “extra lit” before Awake (“Late night, probably awake!”). Girlfriend sure can twerk while working a killer white outfit with silver bikini top underneath, accessorised by a massive silver neck chain and platform sneakers. When Tkay asked us how we’re enjoying ourselves, she stressed she’d prefer that we always enthusiastically reply: “Bitch, I’m GOOD!” We scored some brand-spanking new songs as well as bouncy, melodic faves such as Big Things. How good is a secret show that’s not uncomfortably packed and therefore not actually a worst-kept secret show?

Punter of the night:

The guy who was balancing three Camparis in his meaty little hands, delicately sipping from each in turn so as not to upset the equilibrium. He was later spotted rolling around the ground in front of the hot dog stand with a mate in fits of laughter .