Listen Out 2014 - Sydney

In its second year since taking over Parklife, Fuzzy’s Listen Out festival has swiftly established itself as an electronic tastemaker’s paradise, scoring some impressive fresh bookings as well as legendary acts to boot. The Sydney leg, nestled in the beautiful Centennial Park was accompanied by some stunning Sydney weather on hand, created a simply breathtaking atmosphere.

To the start off the day, local young guns Just A Gent and Tkay Maidza opened the festivals two main stages, with a haul of party tunes in tow. Kicking off proceedings on the 909 stage, Maidza’s set, rich in bass-heavy beats and constant crowd involvement, was definitely one of the most fun openings to a festival out, with ‘Uh-Huh’ and ‘Brontosaurus’ (complete with a team of dinosaur onesies no doubt) underscoring the set.

Much to the equal surprise, delight and frustration of many, the festival highlight actually turned out to be on very early in the day. Scottish alternative hip-hop act Young Fathers were without a doubt the most energetic, exciting and underrated acts of the festival. Charging through tracks from their debut album Dead, all four members on stage exuded pure intimidation. Equally as energetic as it was theatric, the debut Australian set from Young Fathers was an unforgettable start to the day.

Melbourne beat maker and beard enthusiast Chet Faker, who received the illustrious dusk set has always comfortably ridden the cusp of dance, trip-hop and soul, so it’s difficult to know exactly what to expect from his live shows. Appearing in complete solo mode, Faker made it known from the first note that he was here to party, providing upbeat mixes of his Built on Glass tracks as well as classics like ‘I’m Into You’, providing the perfect smooth transition into the night mode of the festival.

Certainly one of the main draw cards of Listen Out was the debut appearance of the anonymous Zhu, with punters hoping to catch their first glimpse of the illusive performers appearance. With a projection screen covering the whole façade of the stage, there was but no chance of seeing any more than a silhouette of the producer. Putting that aside, Zhu’s performance was rather impressive, providing a non-stop dance fueled set that seemed to be appreciated by all.

What wasn’t quite so appreciated, was the clash of set times for indie dance legends Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Four Tet. Thankfully the stages were really quite close and allowed for a half-half scenario to take place, because missing out on either one would’ve been sacrilegious. TEED’s DJ set was fun, engaging and incredibly cool, spinning hit after hit of his own work as well as Caribou’s banger ‘Can’t Do Without You’ and some Danny Brown for good measure.

Four Tet’s status as dance god remains perfectly in tact after his Listen Out spot, playing a career spanning set of slow burners accompanied by his signature psychedelic artwork. Really amazing stuff.

To cap it all off was of course the unstoppable local legend Flume. Still riding the wave of his 2012 monster debut album, Harley Stretan shows no sign of ever slowing down. Flume’s set proved his worthiness of headlining any festival, with each verse of each track being recited by the crowd and with drops louder and harder than any other act of the day. The crowd loved it, Flume loved it and the hints of new material show a huge couple of year for Sydney’s golden boy.

To say that this year’s Listen Out was a success is a complete understatement. The event as a whole ran like clockwork, with quick entry and relatively short queues for most facilities, there was already a big tick for the day before even seeing live music. By bringing a perfectly curated lineup in a picturesque location with stunning Australian weather, it’s hard to fault the Fuzzy team this year, who seem to have established themselves as the go-to festival team in the Australian industry.

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