Ngaiire by Emilie Linahan
I’m sure Everyone’s heard Ngaiire’s stella voice and smooth, groovy tunes before and so seeing her live wouldn’t be much different right? Well, this is what I thought walking through the gates and over to her set in the early afternoon of Listen Out… And oh how wrong was I! She was so much more than I had expected. The way she grooved her way through every song with such confidence and soul was just incredible. She dressed to impress with her two back-up singers, dancing and interacting with such ease, providing groovy vibes all round. The audience totally hooked by the end of her opening and she did not disappoint from there, playing bangers like ‘House on a Rock’ and ‘Once’ while still keeping us on our toes with twists, breakdowns and a voice that was just truly epic. I’ve been lucky enough to attend many good music festivals throughout the years, but never have I had the chance to start a day like that. She was truly the best way start to Listen Out.
Jauz by Ellie Buchanan
Having missed out on Jauz previously, I was absolutely stoked to hear of his return with Listen Out’s lineup, and believe me, he did not disappoint. His set was a cut above any of the other performers from that day in my opinion, he interacted really well with the crowd and captured the masses with his tracks in a way I’ve never experienced any artist do before. It is safe to say that I, along with all the other thousands of punters that crowded to catch his set, definitely ‘felt the volume’.
We managed to score a pretty good spot in the crowd situated only a couple of people back from the very front. The speakers made the ground tremble beneath us with every drop, adding to the already heightened feeling of anticipation and excitement among punters. Heads were banging, fists were pumping and people were so care free and having an all round belter of a time. Aesthetic visuals, lighting and lazers complimented his set so well, especially when he dropped classics such as ‘Higher’ and ‘Feel the volume’. He then transitioned seamlessly into back to back bass heavy bangers and sick remixes such as Kaskade’s ‘Every Time We Touch’, Keisza’s ‘Take U There’ and all time banger ‘I Can’t Stop’ by Flux Pavillion. He really knew how to work the crowd with the inclusions of these tracks, escalating the excitement of the crowd even further. All in all, Jauz is one of those unique artists that is set apart from many other DJ’s that produce in the alike genres. I can safely say the festival blues had already kicked in once his set came to a close; I along with many others in the crowd, were left on such a high after experiencing Jauz at his best and I cannot wait until he returns to Perth.
Claptone by Sam Holden
Sunday marked the inaugural Listen Out festival featuring some of Perth’s most anticipated artists. Rocking the 909 stage from 6:15 was my main man Claptone. For those of you new to his music, Claptone is a German groovin’ deep house artist, recently bursting onto the international scene with his own unique style and appearance, rarely seen without his trademark DJ outfit (black top hat, white gloves, and gold witchdoctor’s mask).
I managed to get to the front of the stage just before the crowds and let me tell you, it was so worth it! As soon as the letters ‘CLAPTONE’ moved across the white pulsating dots on the black background, he hit the play button and the beats began. Starting his set in typical chilled fashion, he built intensity to drop an as yet unreleased remix of Charles Mingus’ Moanin’ which certainly got the crowd buzzing. Coupling the awesome baritone sax bass line with the sleek mixture of percussion certainly hit the spot with the audience. Continuing the set, he played with the beats in his typical smooth transition vibes so that about half way through, the crowd was getting down to his sounds. Just past the half-way mark, Claptone really stepped it up a notch by mixing in some of his better known tunes. His remix of Gregory Porter’s ‘Liquid Spirit’ with its funky jazz-inspired lines got the crowd moving as one, clapping in unison to the beat and spurring Claptone on. He then certainly delivered, playing two of his biggest hits, ‘No Eyes (feat. Jaw)’ and ‘The Music Got Me’, in quick succession, energising the festival goers to the next level.
Now in the final quarter of the set, Claptone fades in his 2-month old edit of Golden Summer’s ‘In The City’ – an absolute banger and in keeping with his laidback jazzy style. In similar fashion to the chilled set beginning, he then wound down the audience to the close. But as he stood on the speaker stack and threw his white gloves out to the crowd, I could hear the occasional shout of ‘Jauz’ [playing next] and couldn’t help think to myself how wrong these people were since it was indeed the man in front of them who had just grooved the crowd right to the edge.
RÜFÜS by Naomi Alban
What a way to end the night-with headline act RUFUS creating an eclectic atmosphere within the crowd. After regrouping with the whole EMAS crew previous to this final set of the day, we headed to Listen Out’s mainstage in a space that gave allowance to have a groove, as it was impossible to make our way through the masses to the front. With a simplistic but effective light show accompanying their performance, RUFUS got the crowd dancing and good vibes were felt all round. Playing crowd pleasers including Desert Night from their 2013 album Atlas and a variety of favourites from their Bloom album including Say a Prayer for Me and You Were Right, it was impossible to not be enjoying the show. Tyrone Lindqvist’s vocals were as smooth and mesmerising as ever and together with Jon George on keys and James Hunt on drums, the band was perfectly in sync, making a live performance look so easy. Their energy was simply contagious.
RUFUS had the crowd enjoying every moment, adding dynamic to their set when they slowed things down a bit with hit Innerbloom, allowing the raw synths of the song to be not only heard but felt by the crowd, and complemented by strobes and an array of blues and greens, this was certainly achieved. This was before once again conjuring up a blissful atmosphere in the peak of the song, which is what makes this track so hypnotic. Speaking of hypnotic, Dena Amy was then invited onto stage to lend her beautiful voice to perform Hypnotised, which only amplified the energy of the crowd. RUFUS performed crowd favourite after crowd favourite, clearly not failing to disappoint. They then wrapped up with Like an Animal, the pulsating EDM pop tune that is adored by all. However, they couldn’t finish there, following an absolutely remarkable show with Take Me and You Were Right which both went off. We were all left smiling and trapped in a blissful euphoric mood. Having the crowd sing and dance all night, it’s safe to say that RUFUS pleased all, marking the perfect end to an amazing day.