After the release of Pacifica, The Presets have grown accustomed to playing large capacity venues and headlining festival slots. It was this level of popularity that made the extremely intimate, abandoned sandstone gaol gig even more special.
Tucked away in the Australian Art School, Darlinghurst, Australia’s leading authority on good music (triple j) decided to celebrate Australian Music Month in style, curating a mini festival, set within this amazing venue. Sporting a lineup of their own Nina Las Vegas, Hermitude and The Presets, it was clear from the onset that the odd 400 attendees were in for an absolute treat.
Nina Las Vegas kicked off the evening, blasting her electro and hip hop goodness, soundtracking a cheeky game of volleyball, which broke out mid set. Ranging from Major Lazar to Flume, her unique sound got all in the hall excited for the evening to come.
Triple j’s Breakfast host, Alex, announced the entrance of Hermitide, which saw a majority of those in attendance ditch the pop-up bar and join the crowd. Blasting through tracks from their entire discography, including tracks from their J Award-nominated album, Hyperparadise, the climatic point came in the latter half, which saw the band move from a live Michael Jackson remix to a mash-up of their track Hyperpaeadise fused with Flumes famous remix of the track. Their set pulled together when they dropped their festival favourite Speak of the Devil, which saw the small crowd turn into a moving sea of bodies.
Nina returned to the stage, keeping the mood of excitement, as everyone eagerly awaited The Presets. Storming the stage with Kicking and Screaming, it did not take the band long to turn the sandstone gaol into a dance floor, causing an absolute frenzy amongst the audience. The Australian duo eliminated all questions about their popularity, performing alternative versions of their favourites, including a sensational rendition of their 2009 track This Boys in Love.
They continued to smash through their hits, as the extremely intimate setting saw some punters storm the stage for a spontaneous dance, and with no security around, who was to stop them? The crowd-friendly Ghosts witnessed a chorus of 400 chanting the distinctive vocal melody, which may have put a stadium concert to shame.
Technically, The Presets performed an extremely tight set, transitioning into each song almost too smoothly. The sandstone setting acted in favour of their bass-heavy sound as their iconic synth sounds rebounded off the walls, creating an acoustic that many venues only dream of.
The electro twins finished with their biggest single My People, once again causing many to jump up on stage (myself included). As they left the stage, to a raucous round of applause, it was clear why tiple j chose them to perform, outdoing both occasions where I had previously seen them. However, what was even more clear was that Australian music is stronger than ever, and with ambassadors like The Presets, I think we’re in very good hands.