Bluesfest – Day One

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Day one was your average get-your-bearings-right kind of day. We had a number of acts lined up to check out but the show didn’t kick off till 4pm, so we had a good mingle around the festival arena to see what was what.

The arena was a fairly decent size, nothing too extreme so that by the end of your walk you don’t have aching legs and sweat out an entire pints worth of bodily fluid… nice!

Nope, this was just the perfect size. Although to be honest, after all the standing I had done after day one, I was pretty sore.

Somehow I managed to twist my ankle… gold star for me!

The first act I checked out for the day was Zee Avi. She is possibley the tiniest musician I have ever laid eyes on, but the voice that comes out of her is awesome. I knew she would be impressive… they do say good things come in small packages after all!

She’s only 23 but she is the height of half that age! When she held her guitar, it almost dwarfed her tiny frame! She even said herself that her ukulele fitted her better!

Her voice was immense though, it was soulful and powerful. I had never heard her music before, but I’d certainly download her tracks… it’s the kind of music you’d love to hear when you’re in one of those calm/happy/pinnacle-of-chillaxed kind of moods!!

Being left feeling completely mellow, up followed Neil Halstead… a man who I actually thought was a member of the sound check team when he first came on stage! Not that it’s a bad thing of course, in some ways it can mean there’s more of a surprise in store! I suppose…?!

His music was yet again really relaxing, just what you need after a good few hours of wandering the fields! However, I was beginning to sense that the Bluesfest teams were trying to send us off for a nap! Thankfully though, Matt Costa followed, and even though his music isn’t the most upbeat of tunes… I had possibley the loudest set of women standing by me who clearly loved a bit of Matt Costa! One girl was on a right mission to get Costa’s attention with her ability to whistle so loudly that she could probably cause an entire neighbourhood of dogs on a rampage!!

My poor ears!

After the Brushfire Records Presents act were over, myself and Chris headed back to our van… nicely placed near the exit which was to come in handy for leaving tonight!

Here, we enjoyed the ever tasty festival grub… homemade tuna and cream cheese sandwiches! They were even made on the spot for that extra freshness, that you can’t beat! Of course, it’s all Woolworths Homebrand… backpacker style all the way!

We headed back to the Mojo Stage to enjoy ALO, otherwise known as Animal Liberation Orchestra. Querying the meaning behind such a name, apparently the members of the band used to appear onstage dressed as various creatures! I like their originality!!

The crowds were clearly ready for these guys, as the tent was close to being maxed out when I arrived. The four piece band had an array of various musical instruments… all of which were used to the max. Even though I could only truly think of a few songs out of the 2 albums they had previously released, the entertainment value was just enough. I didn’t need to know the songs in order to enjoy them. I’ll never forget how Zak (lead singer/pianist/accordionist) consistently had a smile plastered across his face. It’s the kind of smile that makes you want to smile, it beamed!

A small trip was made back to the Media tent where a few coffees were consumed to keep the energy levels up, and out I headed again. What I stumbled across was something awesome. I had never heard of Ozomatli, but from what I saw, it made me want more!

The act was brimming with energy from all angle. You had a trumpet, guitars, drums, saxophone, steel drums, a rap artist… just a little bit of everything. Put together randomly and it wouldn’t of worked, but these guys knew how to do it. They produced some awesome tunes, and the power they put into the music fired out to the crowd like an eruption. Infact, when their time slot was over, the band carried each piece of kit into the centre of the crowd and continued to play for a good 15 minutes. Everyone loved it. It also had the plus side of taking the boredom of waiting around for the sound guys to set up for the next act! Perfect!

The final act of the day for us was Jack Johnson. I of course heard Jack’s music before, how could you not? His music is beautiful. I did however have the problem of the aching bones and muscles by now… but I pulled through so I could stay and catch the set.

Throughout the entire gig, I swayed along with his gorgeous guitar strumming and vocals that would make anyone want to smile from inside.

My attempt of getting some tasty photos of Mr Johnson didn’t work too well due to the distance I was away from the stage, and the fact that my camera doesn’t particularly enjoy gig scenarios! But who cares about the photos of a tiny blurry dot in the distance that’ll be thrown on Facebook and tagged in order to prove that it really was Jack on the stage. I purely wanted to enjoy his music and the atmosphere. And that I did! I also had the satisfaction of knowing I’d be seeing him again on Saturday… yay for 5 day passes!!

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