Live Review: Field Day conquers sound issues in bringing a great New Year’s Day experience to the Domain

You should start the new year off celebrating and having fun, so what better than to dance in a field with over 26,000 fellow friends? With three stages at The Domain, I did exactly that on January 1st at the Sydney’s Field Day.

Starting the day early in full sunshine on the Centre Field stage was E^ST, who commented on what we were all thinking about, “How fucking hot is it?!”. The young musician played through her tracks looking equally as excited and happy to be there as the growing crowd. She then, in her true unique style, did a cover of Post Malone‘s “Congratulations” over on the Left Field tucked in the corner people sought shade by the trees and good times by the tunes. Enschway certainly brought this with his classic mixes along with throwing  it from Kendrick‘s “Humble” to Blink 182‘s “All the Small Things” which got everyone singing. This was the first time I noticed that the sound level seemed significantly lower then at most festivals. He still had a good set with another Post Malone throw in, this time “I Fall Apart”.

Back  on Centre Field was Baauer and sadly the bad sound quality had spread. Not sure if it had to do with sound restrictions or just the set up but it was definitely noticeable. The American producer brought it back at the end though with a lot of Flosstradamus being featured.

Being dragged by a friend to A-Trak‘s set, I was pleasantly surprised. The sound was much better and he brought a cool vibe with his electronic beats mixed with an almost Jamaican percussion sound. He had everyone moving to the beat of his track “Push” then slowed it down with his song “We All Fall Down”. DJ Snake had everyone with the first drop of Mercer‘s “Welcome to the Jungle”. The breeze came for “Turn Down for What” and when he played “Get Low”, everyone did exactly that. I finally thought the sound issues were  resolved until I hopped over to The Island stage for Mura Masa. 

His first and only Sydney show, for lack of better words, was a shit show for sound. Continual cut offs to the power on the stage ruined the flow of his set, which I think would have been a highlight otherwise. “Nuggets” got everyone going along with “1 Night”, before the music cut out again. The crowd didn’t let it dampen their festive spirits taking the silent time to do a mass karaoke of the festival favourite “Hey Baby” with everyone oohing and aahing in the interlude. Clearly concerned, an annoyed Mura Masa explained that their was an issue with the sound on stage and he didn’t know if anyone could hear him. Yelling “Sydney are you still with me?!” he brought it back with a loud erupt from “Love$ick” ending late, but on a good note at last.

Leaving the start of Vince Staples, who seemed to be killing his set, and running over late to see the end of Golden Features, he had everyone with his hits like “Guillotine” but more importantly Field Day was getting the first taste of his long awaited album which has finally been finished being made. Personally I wasn’t a fan of the new stuff I heard but all of his fans seemed to like what he was giving them.

While the festival in parts was a fiasco when it came to sound, I knew my favourite Flume would save the day. A huge crowd was happy to see him as he welcomed us to 2018.  Moving quickly through his tracks including “On Top” and “Lose It”, while remixing with new sounds, he showed how talented a young producer he is. “It’s so good to be home, Sydney,” he declared and requested everyone put their hands up for “Insane”. The end was a massive build up with “Tennis Court” mixed with “Never Be Like You” and of course, “Smoke & Retribution”, with none other than Vince Staples featuring. I won’t lie in saying I was lost in the moment and didn’t keep clear track of what songs were being playing, but I’m certain there was a cheeky “Core” by RL Grime chucked in. “Say It”, Disclosure’s “You & Me” and “Wall Fuck” to end had everyone sweaty and satisfied ready to take on another great year of festival fun.

Photo of Flume by John Goodridge.