Dz Deathrays @ Maroochy Festival 2015 / Photo: Rebecca Reid

Maroochy Music Festival, 22/08/15

It was a warm homecoming for Flight Facilities at the promising new Maroochy Music and Visual Arts Festival.

After storming everywhere from Coachella to SXSW to Splendour, Jimmy Lyell returned to his home turf for the boutique festival (“Thanks for making it so special,” he said). Shoulders were mounted and fists were pumped under disco ball-like strobes as he and Hugo Gruzman began the day’s most solid set list with the title track from 2014’s Down To Earth.

Singer Owl Eyes picked up where she left off at Splendour on Foreign Language, Two Bodies, Heart Attack, and a cover of The Chemical Brothers’ Another World. Their silky signature track Crave You was capped by lighting problems but it didn’t matter: they instructed the rest of the lights be dimmed so the crowd could hold up their phones to make for an ethereal visual during their dreamy epic Claire de Lune.

The 18+ festival successfully replicated the formula of Groovin The Moo on a smaller scale, shrinking Groovin’s typically diverse local and international lineup to a list of big Australian names for the Sunshine Coast audience at the former Horton Park Golf Club.

Champagne and oysters were on sale alongside churros and pizza, and visual art was on display. Although Flight Facilities didn’t play their funky Sunshine until long after dark, mid-afternoon rain didn’t hang around.

The little devils on everyone’s shoulders were telling them to dance during Hermitude’s closing set, showing why this year’s Dark Night Sweet Light debuted at No. 1. The boys dropped the new Ukiyo (from the upcoming US release of Dark Night) as well as the career-making Hyperparadise, again mashed up with The Lion Sleeps Tonight and mixed with Flume’s rework. Not content to simply hide behind the decks, their cameraman hovered above them with a GoPro to give the crowd big-screen proof that everything they were hearing was live. The boys’ trap-heavy The Buzz ended the night.

Stadium rockers-in-waiting Gang of Youths were one of the day’s best acts. Frontman Dave Le’aupepe climbed down into the throbbing mosh for Poison Drum before the brilliant Radioface. They finished their too-brief set with the broody Magnolia. You won’t see Gang of Youths so low on a lineup for much longer.

Brisbane’s Kite String Tangle, a.k.a Danny Harley, delivered a subdued and cameo-heavy set of tracks drawn from 2014’s Vessel. Danny’s dreamier material benefited heavily from live drums, before he finished with Arcadia and the song-you-must-experience-live Given The Chance.

But the entire lineup was nothing if not solid: hip hop supergroup One Day hyped the crowd up with their joint and solo material (including Triple J staple Love You Less). Pop act Alpine delivered breezy selections from both of their albums as the sun went down around them. DZ Deathrays satisfied those hungrier for harder rock, while Grammy-nominated Hiatus Kiayote helped settle lunch with their smooth neo-soul and R&B.

Gallery: Maroochy Festival 2015 / Photos by Rebecca Reid

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