LIVE REVIEW: ORIGIN NYE 2016
Origin 2016 was… kind of weird.
It was a festival with so much potential, so much hype, yet perhaps the high expectations were, as they so often are, the real issue here.
Now don’t get me wrong, it was still a great night, but when you spend close to $200 for a one-day festival, you don’t want to settle for a great time, you want it to be amazing.
But hey, let’s start with the good stuff, most notably; the ultimate Denzel Curry. The Floridian Hip Hop artist delivered an electric set showcasing the raw energy and power that has seen him announce himself as arguably the best young rapper in the emerging new generation of Hip Hop artists. I’m still trying to grasp why someone able to create such epic vibes didn’t perform in a later time slot. Perhaps it was because he was meant to be followed by another young Hip Hop extraordinaire, the brilliant and charismatic Chance The Rapper, who continued his rapid rise in 2016, blowing up with brilliant features in Kanye’s ‘Life of Pablo’ and with the release of his third mixtape and arguably 2016’s finest album ‘Coloring Book.’ So when Chance pulled out and replaced by local electronic dance duo Twerl (who did an admirable job of filling the void left by Chance), reportedly due to dissatisfaction with the general organisation of the event and the length of the stage for his performance, suddenly the festival seemed to be lacking star power. Logistic issues proved to be a theme for the night, with a killer set from What So Not being marred by his frustration at event organisers when his set was cut short, declaring “get your shit together Origin!”
But as we squeezed our way into a prime position for international heavyweight rapper A$AP Rocky to get us wild for the night to end the year on a high, any reflection on a thus far somewhat disappointing festival was disregarded. A$AP would make it all worthwhile, or so we thought. Yet even Rocky and his entourage seemed incapable of igniting the lethargic crowd with a lackadaisical performance.
Whether it was the crowd’s energy that wasn’t inspiring Rocky or whether Rocky wasn’t inspiring enough to galvanise his audience, ultimately the good vibes weren’t quite there. Even his persistent attempts at trying to animate the audience into forming mosh pits and getting as many girls on stage as possible to “show us your titties” (provided they’re 18, he added) seemed too forced.
But as the A$AP Mob wrapped up their set and the countdown clock began to the sound of… nothing really… everyone stood and waited for 2017. A$AP returned to stage just before the new year kicked off and sent the champagne spraying into the crowd as fireworks erupted to start 2017 with a bang.
Indeed, Origin festival proved to be a remarkably accurate reflection of 2016 itself. Chance pulled out, Trump got elected. The middle part of the festival dragged on uneventfully, whilst the middle part of year felt like the longest Perth winter ever. You get the idea.
Thankfully, South-African rap-rave group Die Antwoord and legendary Perth drum and bass electronic rock band Pendulum were there to save the day. We stayed for the start of Die Antwoord who instantly injected new energy into the crowd with their weird personalities, unique performance style and badass prison outfits, before crossing over to the Base Tent to witness Pendulum’s return to their home town. It was just as epic as we’d hoped for with a DJ set that transcended time and genre, whilst the general vibe was far more welcoming. It’s such a shame they clashed, as they were the clear standout acts along with Denzel Curry.
Origin was set up perfectly to bring the year to incredible end, but whilst many people would’ve had a sensational time, it seems most agree that there was something amiss about the atmosphere. And perhaps it was even more noticeable for us in contrast with the fun, loving vibes at Southbound.
10 years in the making turned out be a somewhat ironic slogan considering the logistical issues throughout the festival, but overall there were still some incredible moments, from Denzel Curry’s lit performance to Pendulum’s amazing homecoming. And the fact that it was a bit of a mess was truly an apt representation of what has been a strange year, the irony alone giving the night a comical, bittersweet silver lining.