REVIEW: Sets on the Beach delivers yet again
Taking over Port Beach once again, sold-out oceanside party Sets on the Beach has yet again proven to be a winner this year.
With the exception of a few tedious acts, the combination of vigorous tunes, the gorgeous Indian Ocean beachfront and sun-kissed vibes all made for an inevitable equation; it was the ultimate occasion to let loose and shamelessly dance the day away.
Although the venue was at capacity, it didn’t detract from the promise of a great day. Even better, the stageside deck and Beach Club provided a serene spot to enjoy the festival, with the latter being a great place for punters to chill out by the shore and sip on a bevvy without getting toppled over. (The sub-par silent disco was its only demise.) To my surprise, the typically rude audience I had anticipated was very much otherwise. Definitely the cherry on top of the entire experience.
Homegrown artist Arno Faraji was the first to have taken to the stage, to everyone's excitement. The triple j Unearthed High 2017 winner has earned a well-deserved spot as one of Perth's up-and-coming artists. However, this time, the young artist's smooth waves of hip hop failed to translate well live. While he and his crew did a fantastic job of hyping up the already enormous crowd, his vocal control soon fell short, letting down the rest of his performance.
Amongst some of the more average main acts, Joyride and Billy Kenny topped the list. The latter played a flat, confusing and static set to hundreds who deserved better. Think cheap, repetitive bass lines.
Thankfully, it was Masego's performance that really set the mood. With his show-stopping stage presence, the Virginia musical maestro mastered every verse imaginable to make for an ethereal experience. Infusing a little bit of trap and house with a whole lot of jazz, he presented a sound that was lush, diverse, and perfect for all. When the audience thought it couldn't get any better, the saxophone made its well-received appearance to bring even more verve to the stage. Honestly, you couldn't fault Masego if you tried.
Cue the sunset and Sydney-based producer Basenji. After a lengthy warbled intro, Basenji broke through to the crowd to stun punters with his refreshing brand of electronica. A momentous occasion for all, it was old favourites such as 'Dawn' that captured the crowd, and newer tracks like 'Mistakes' (played for the first time live!) that kept them around. With Sable playing on the tucked away Beach Stage, smaller audiences were able to get their dose of glittery electronic goodness too.
And of course, who doesn't love the Thundamentals? As natural performers, the boys kept everyone on their toes with hits such as 'Smiles Don't Lie' and 'Sally'. While many might not think the Thundamentals would fit the bill for the line-up, the boys ended up delivering high-energy tunes that made for easy listening and an excellent way to (almost) wrap up the night.
Coming in last was Cut Snake, who officially took the cake for most controversial act. While Cut Snake's music might be something you could find yourself dancing to in a sweaty club (that God knows how you got into), I was greatly divided over their set. Love them or hate them, they were brandishing their trademark of mindless house, which was merely dry music to say the least — the type that an invested audience could try to make do with, or perhaps, devour heartily in their incredibly drunken state.
At the end of the day, everyone was there to soak in each set and let their moves take over — and a few not-so-great acts weren't going to rain on anyone's parade.