ALISON WONDERLAND @ Belvoir Amphitheatre gets 6/10

Alison Wonderland @ Belvoir Amphitheatre
w/ A$AP FERG + Friends
Sunday, December 10, 2017

6/10

Alison Wonderland is like EDM’s golden girl. She packs a hard attitude in her sets and has continued to travel the world in her 10-inch platform boots for many years. Her self-curated scarehouse /warehouse projects ran a very successful course the first time around, so the addition of A$AP Ferg to the line up this time made it one not to be missed.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Belvior. Between taking 17 hours to get out there and experiencing 54 degrees of scorching heat, it doesn’t always leave much room to appreciate the bowl and it’s inclusivity between artist and the crowd or the eventual cool down as it turns to night.  However, for a thoroughly implied grand set up it was a risk I was willing to take. Alas, unfortunately there was nothing special or different for this festival. There were no caged performers as there appeared to be in Brisbane, no essence of a haunted house vibe – it was really just Alison and friends and a couple of confetti canons. The promo videos from other cities, and the promise that they’d saved the best till last were a far stretch. Inevitably, this disappointment left a markedly bad taste in my mouth.

Not letting this color the upcoming acts and performers, we watched a little bit of Quix push through the sweat to deliver a fairly trap heavy set and get a few kids up and dancing on the barriers. Following soon after, Lido took to the stage surrounded by a drum set, drum pads and keyboards, however some early technical problems saw parts of tracks missing resulting in a sweet improvised melodic interlude about a taco place romance during the last time he was in Perth.  There was a lot more of his own singing and percussion than I had originally expected which definitely gave him more points of appreciation. His old school Ain’t No Sunshine rendition tuned even more into his style and there was a definite uniqueness. It wasn’t just hard hitting beats, it was jazzy, wavering noises  and a whole sound journey that has somehow kept it’s own pocket of specialness away from the whole electronic music scene.

The stand out artist of the day would have definitely been Lunice. One half of the 2012 memorable duo TNGHT with tunes such as Higher Ground and Goooo, Lunice brought that same energy but presented it so differently. The beats were still packed full of bass but there was more space, more minimalism to his solo stuff. He mirrored this whole vibe completely in his on stage set up and his contemporary styled dance moves. From platform to platform he transformed the stage into his own playground of movement and energy that had the crowd totally riling up for it. It was very refreshing, very new to watch movement and music being incorporated into one act.

As night fell, French producer Danger played out some cool anime/ samurai warrior visuals paired with some super epic electro house/ synthwave tracks. It was big sounds and bigger visuals that kept the crowd’s attention to the front.

Still sweating, A$AP Ferg had the whole bowl eating out the palm of his hands with Shabba, Work and What Do You Do. Every squad was turning all the way up as Ferg got all the ladies on shoulders and got a good call back and forth.

With a huge building entrance track and what looked like the motherboard of Star Trek, Alison Wonderland made her arrival onto a smoke covered stage with Run and backed it up straight away with Cardi B’s Bodak Yellow. Her mix was a full collection of high energy hits and remixes that kept the tiredness at bay. A little bit of jersey, a little bit of house, a bit of trap and a bit of future bass created the perfect AW set. Although the set up was a disappointment, she was able to pull together an impressive line up of international acts and still knows how to rip a solid set.

Words and photo by
MIA CAMPBELL-FOULKES

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