Triple J Unearthed kicked off Melbourne Music Week in style on Friday night with Live At The Steps – except it wasn’t on the steps of Parliament as planned, it was just around the corner at the very large, very green and very lush Treasury Gardens.
The upgraded venue allowed for what seemed like an unlimited amount of people to attend, and did they what – from the casual picnickers at the back to the kids at the front packing into an ever-growing mosh pit.
West Victorian folk sweetheart Nancie Schipper kicked off the show with a confident set, which included new tune Your Eyes; the whole felt like we were watching a young Taylor Swift command the crowd’s growing attention. 2017 Unearthed Artist Of The Year nominee Baker Boy took to the sun-kissed stage next, with a short but sweet set that all but confirmed his rising star. The Arnhem Land musician performed Marryuna while popping, locking and dabbing his way through the rest of his setlist. Then, like a poetic thunderbolt, 2013 Unearthed Artist Of The Year Remi Kolawole jumped on stage to help perform Baker Boy’s breakthrough hit Cloud 9 – a passing of the mic from one Unearthed winner to another (making the early call). Princess of Brisbane Mallrat was on next to shower the crowd in her sweet-as-candy set. Accompanied by DJ Denim, the Queenslander bopped around the Triple J stage playing favourite tracks Uninvited, Inside Voices and Hottest 100 belter Better as well as pop-ins from guests Alice Ivy and E^ST.
Now that Arnhem Land, Warrnambool and Brisbane had been covered, it was Perth’s turn in the spotlight with four-piece Tired Lion showcasing cuts from their brand new record Dumb Days (which we reviewed here). Their first round of musical guests were girl-gang Ruby Fields, Jack River and Bec Sandridge who jumped up to perform No Doubt’s Just A Girl – an obvious highlight of the night, and further proof that Australian music’s future is female. Led by my new favourite lead singer Sophie Hopes, TL tore through Dumb Days, Agoraphobia and Cinderella Dracula before the biggest surprise of the night; The Smith Street Band’s Wil Wagner appeared to help perform his track – and last week’s Like A Version – Death To The Lads, Wagner’s face brimming with joy as Hopes belted out his song.
Headlining the night were Byron Bay’s Skegss. As the sun set behind the stage, the trio caused a scene performing Got On My Skateboard and L.S.D in front of the raucous crowd – but it was nothing compared to the second half of their set. What can only be described as chaos reigned when Dune Rats invaded the stage for an unpracticed cover of Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s Wrapped Up – well, kind of a cover… the song acted more as the soundtrack to flying goon sacks, triple shoulder stacks, high flying speaker stage dives and the pungent cloud of smoke that accompanies The Dunies wherever they go. New York, California and crowd favourite Spring Has Sprung closed out their riotous set. Chants of “Who’s Scott Green?” rung through the gardens as punters pleaded for one final song, with several of the crowd answering the question themselves.
Melbourne Music Week runs from November 17 – 25, and there are plenty more shows on in its remaining four days including the Live Music Safari on Thursday evening (250 artists, 40 locations, one night!). Check out the official site to see all the details.