It has been a bumper season of outdoor summer festivals – that mostly makes up for the previous pandemic years when touring festivals were an impossibility. And Vintage Vibes, another welcome addition to our music calendar, was fitting finale to the season, boasting an excellent line-up of (mostly) Australian talent and a perfect location.
Headlined by Gang of Youths, the second day of the event was marked perfect weather and a solid, appreciative crowd.
One of the strengths of Vintage Vibes was its commitment to programming local, South Australian acts, with the likes of Trent Worley, Druid Fluids and Jess Day providing the early soundtrack to the day under the Adelaide Hills sunshine.
Wanderers had the early afternoon crowd up and moving with their slick yacht rock sounds – a perfect pairing with the local red and white wines on offer. With a dedicated percussionist and the sweet guitar solos of Dusy Lee Stephenson, it was a great vibe.
George Alice, another local product making a national impression, has clearly developed a strong fanbase with the audience singing along to her tunes, particularly the breakthrough single ‘Cirlces’ and her cover of Tove Lo’s ‘Habits’.
A later addition to the line-up, San Cisco were terrific fun, really lifting the mood of the event as we transitioned to the evening sesssion. Their infectious pop, instrument-swapping and crowd work made for an excellent set that covered songs from across their decade-long career.
Middle Kids were a real highlight of the day, making excellent us of dynamics across their hour-long set to really engage the crowd. Frontwoman, Hannah Joy really is such a joy to watch in performance, as she completely loses herself in the songs – and they are such well crafted pieces. For band that only has a couple of albums under their belt, they do have such terrific material to draw from, with set highlights including ‘R U For Me’, ‘Stacking Chairs’ and ‘Edge of Town’.
Angus and Julia Stone followed up with a blues and roots masterclass – including one fantastic banjo solo. Backed by an excellent ensemble, their voices blend so well together, creating a rather magical atmospher under the moonlit hills. Along with the act’s signature tunes such as ‘Big Jet Plane’ and ‘Chateau’, there were some great covers like ‘Streets of Your Town’, ‘Stay With Me’ and even one of Angus’ Dope Lemon tunes in ‘Home Soon’- with its cool funk vibe, it was really one of the highlights of the set.
The day then ended on a high with Gang of Youths, whose rise from small bar rockers from Sydney to worldbeating stadium headliners was underscored with frontman Dave Le’aupepe reference to their nacent Exeter gig in Adelaide – that was really not so many years ago. Having fully toured their most recent album last year, the band presented a balanced set of their strongest material, delving most into the sophomore effort, Go Farther in Lightness. They really do present such a big live performance, full of musical nuance and taking the audience on a journey that has brings a true emotional punch. Le’aupepe is also one of the best in the business in fronting a band, strongly engaging with his audience and even going rogue at one point and running into the crowd mid-song.
It was a great performance to end an excellent day of wine and song in hills!
Reviewed my Matthew Trainor
Photos by Laura Franklin