2019 has seen the birth of some brand new festivals to the Brisbane and Gold Coast region with Sandtunes, Festival X, Wildlands, Scene And Heard and One Electric Day adding some vibrancy to the growing live music scene. But another festival that has welcomely expanded their reach to the Gold Coast is the Cairns annual favourite, The Grass Is Greener.
Following Listen Out in kicking off the summer festival season, The Grass Is Greener provided a day and night of euphoric vibes and sun soaked aesthetics in front of the water. Boasting a huge line up of Australian favourites as well as a special headline spot from US rapper TYGA, the specially created line up ultimately had something for everyone.
With dark clouds hanging over the coast throughout the morning, they finally started to go away, allowing blue skies to spread their radiant energy as GRAACE took to the main stage. With an excited crowd building, they helped her sing her sassy opening tracks ‘Have Fun At Your Party’ and ‘Kissing Boys’ loudly and proudly. Gushing about the loud and unexpected singalong’s that were occurring with the deep EP cut ‘SOS’ and the newly released single ‘21st Century Love’, she was completely taken aback by the support. “My heart flutters when I hear you sing” she excitingly confessed.
Her stripped down Live A Version cover of ‘Avril Lavigne’s ‘Complicated’ was ecstatically received by the well acquainted crowd while the singalong’s continued to build during ‘Last Night’ and her Hayden James collaboration, ‘Numb’. Her live set has grown a lot over the course of the last year and she seems so comfortable and authentically herself from start to finish.
Ready to ignite the singalong’s even louder, Mallrat casually strolled her way onto the stage with a coffee in her hand and kicked off her set with ‘Tokyo Drift’. The Brisbane singer-songwriter has just returned from a massive American co-headlining tour with Allday and she was very excited to be back performing to Australian crowds even if she was performing quite early on in the afternoon. “Thank you for getting your friends out of pre drinks and coming to see us play really early. I know how important pre-drinks are, so I appreciate it” she cheekily quipped.
With her new EP ‘Driving Music’ out in the world, she played fresh cuts like ‘When I Get My Braces Off’, ‘Circles’ and ‘Drive Me Round’ for the first times down under which were unsurprisingly already met with loud singalong’s. Joining the euphoric summer vibes were fan favourites ‘Nobody’s Home’, ‘UFO’, ‘Better’ and recent hit ‘Charlie’.
Thanking the crowd for making the first show back in Australia a special one, she closed her set with ‘Groceries’ and the bouncy ‘Uninvited’. Mallrat’s festival sets are always a hit with the crowd because her songs are dreamy and have a natural feel-good energy to them.
They may have been included on the line up as a nostalgic throwback, but The Veronicas proved why they are so much more than that. The dynamic sister duo stormed the main stage in the mid afternoon with the unreleased ‘Ugly’ which they later unveiled to the crowd will be the theme song from their upcoming MTV series ‘Blood Is For Life’ (out November).
With the massive crowd packing in to the waterfront spot and the glaring sun radiating a lot of heat, this didn’t stop the crowd from jumping up and down and screaming all of the words to the anthems ‘Take Me On The Floor’, ‘Everything I’m Not’ and ‘Hook Me Up’. With the hyped up energy creating such an enthralling vibe, both Jess and Lisa were visibly so happy with how receptive the crowd were to them and in turn they were giving them a whole lot of interaction and energy with their choreographed moves and their free-spirited approach.
Taking a moment to strip things back for the power ballad ‘You Ruin Me’, they stressed the importance of not letting someone take advantage of you and to proudly stand your ground. They also took a moment to scream “fuck Qantas” which the crowd cheered in support before turning the energy back up with ‘In My Blood’ and an updated rendition of ‘4ever’.
Dedicating ‘Revolution’ to their day one fans, the girls returned to their pop-rock roots with Jess showcasing her strong screaming skills which are still intact. Wrapping up their set with the euphoric ‘If You Love Someone’ and the iconic ‘Untouched’, they delivered a highly memorable performance that reminded everyone of the powerhouse entertainers they are.
With the afternoon vibes in full swing The Kite String Tangle provided the perfect sunny drinking soundtrack with tracks like ‘Arcadia’, ‘P()L4R’, This Thing We Got’, ‘Selfish’ and ‘Given The Chance’ igniting their chilled out electronic set.
Continuing those chill but hype vibes, Crooked Colours were another act who have just returned from a massive American and festival run of dates that has seen them in a whirlwind since their sold out Australian tour in May. Opening their prime time set with ‘Come Back To You’, they made sure the good vibes kept rolling with ‘Hold On’, ‘Heart String’, ‘Vera’ and ‘Do It Like You’. Closing out their set with ‘I’ll Be There’ and ‘Perfect Run’ as the sun set over the crowd, they highlighted their growth as a live act.
It’s always an exciting time when one of the headlining acts of the festival is having a homecoming moment and Amy Shark’s return to the Gold Coast for The Grass Is Greener was certainly one of these moments.
Decked out in her signature Adidas tracksuit, she ran onto the stage for the hype opener ‘Blood Brothers’ and recent single ‘Mess Her Up’ which heard the crowd immediately singing along. She was only one verse into ‘Psycho’ when all of the lights went out on the stage. Being unsure to what was happening, Shark continued the song and the crowd supported her by illuminating their phone lights.
With the stage lights working again, she continued her set with ‘Weekends’, ‘Never Coming Back’, ‘The Idiot’, ‘Drive You Mad’ and a cover of Maroon 5’s ‘Girls Like You’ which even heard her boldly tackling Cardi B’s verse.
Reminiscing on her early years living on the Gold Coast she told the crowd how she used to drive around the surrounding carparks of the venue drinking vodka and creaming soda which she laughingly admitted has now only upgraded to soda water and vodka.
As she neared the end of her set she pulled out the three mega hits ‘All Loved Up’, ‘Adore’ and ‘I Said Hi’ which saw her bowing out to a massive applause.
With the dancing vibes back in session, Hermitude delivered a moody electronic set that bounced between their six studio albums and gave a sneak preview to what fans can expect from their upcoming national tour. With ‘The Buzz’, ‘Ukiyo’, ‘Stupid World’, ‘Northern Lights’, ‘Every Day’ and their cover of ‘HyperParadise’ thrown into the mix, they didn’t hold back and got everyone jumping.
TYGA was an interesting act to have as headliner for this festival. With the main vibe of this years line-up being indie-pop and electronic-pop, he was surprisingly quite a wildcard choice to close out the main stage. Beginning his set 25 minutes late, the Californian rapper delivered a set full of twerking from his dancers and repeated crowd interaction as he hyped the crowd up.
‘Swish’, ‘Dip’ and ‘Rack City’ were early highlights, and he kept giving the crowd what they wanted with tracks like ‘AYO’, ‘Loco Contigo’ and ‘Taste’.
It did feel like an odd end to the day, definitely with the female dominated line-up that lead the festival and the chilled out electronic vibes that soundtracked the evening. But something The Grass Is Greener prides themselves on is diversity and delivering an event that would cover all based and have something to appeal to everyone, and they successfully did that.
Check out the full gallery captured by Luke Cummins Photography BELOW;
Photos by Luke Cummins
The Grass Is Greener heads to Cairns on Saturday 26 October