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LIVE: Falls Festival Fremantle – 5 and 6 Jan, 2019

| 15 January 2019 | Reply

LIVE: Falls Festival Fremantle – 5 and 6 Jan, 2019
Parry Street Oval, Fremantle
Reviewed by Melanie Scrafton
Photography Day One by Stuart McKay
Photography Day Two by Adrian Thomson

This year’s event, boasting two main stages, two marquee stages and an indoor DJ stage was SOLD OUT and HOT!

Some of the festival punters went above beyond and all out with their outfits and efforts to get into the party zone, and were rewarded with great sound and vision for every act over two jam-packed days.

Facilities provided adequate bars and food trucks, a variety of stalls to browse and ever – thanks to local government investing $50,000 – the chance to be tested for STD’s whilst there, with results to be texted to your phone within 14 days.

Admittedly the demographic for the diverse line up was favoring the fluid Gen Y, and the two marquee stages monopolised the EDM crowd with the various DJ/MC Rap, Dance etc acts performing back to back, and the live musicians plying their craft on the two main stages.


There were some notable set time clashes but with sets running at an average 40-plus minutes each, you could push your way through the crowds and get around if need be. There was a very helpful mobile App to assist you day plan, although getting a signal wasn’t easy once the event peaked in bodies.

To their credit, Falls Festival became eco-friendly this year, meaning cartons of water instead of plastic bottles, no paper flyers or plastic straws – I’m sure there were hundreds of minor adjustments in their mission statement that I didn’t notice but I appreciate the concept, as do we all.


Triple One – an awesome opportunity for these young hip hop artists from Sydney to gain exposure and when they launched into their single “Show Off ‘ the crowd seemed to remember who they were and surge forward, doubling the size in seconds.

Soccer Mummy – these emerging artists seem to have heaps of fun on their early set time.

Hockey Dad – did a great job in their time slot, Aussie Surf Rock at its finest.

Dean Lewis – it felt like quite a long set on the main stage, he has a couple of notable releases that have made him very well known, the crowd adored ‘Waves’ and ‘Be Alright’

88 Rising – is a American/Asian record label, showing a collective of artists that certainly lifted the atmosphere for the EDM crowd.

Briggs – Multi talented indigenous Australian rapper showed his talents like the pro he is, holding the crowd’s attention simplistically. Spreading awareness to causes close to him through his music.

Amy Shark – it’s no secret that she is rapidly rising star. Her tunes and lyrics hit you right in the feels and her live delivery is flawless. Amy was in good spirits and instantly connected with the crowd. ‘Tell them all I said Hi’ was her finale and it would seem 1000’s modern music consumers can relate.

Flight Facilities – they lifted the atmosphere considerably from the beginning of their set. The artists have been growing in popularity over the past few years as they have a unique EDM sound that sets them apart from the masses. The live vocals were stunning throughout their set.

Catfish and the Bottlemen – another shift change for the crowd from the dance scene to live indie rock set, these guys have travelled from Wales to be on this tour, to increase their profile beyond the UK.

Dizzee Rascal – was a regular to the Australian Festival scene for several years and has a respectable fan base down under. His stage was mobbed bordering on the ridiculous, it was another notable time clash with Chvrches even if he started 10 minutes earlier than advertised. With people over spilling to way beyond the marquee it was difficult to get a spot. Still Dizzee and his entourage command the room and its energy. With his EP “Don’t Gas Me’ released last year he will hopefully keep returning to our shores to share more music in the future.

Chvrches – This Scottish trio could arguably be in the headline spot. They have been around for 8 years and their 2018 album ‘Love is Dead’ is more ‘pop’ than previous releases. They were the festival stand out for me as I wasn’t expecting such musical deliciousness, starting with ‘Get Out’ and ending their set with ‘Never Say Die’


Bishop Briggs – so impressed by this emerging artist. She has great energy when she performs as well as solid vocals. Sarah was born in the UK to Scottish parents from Bishopbriggs, she spends her time in the US now and released her debut album ‘Church of Scars’ last year. I anticipate great things from this young lady.

The Vaccines – played material from their back catalogue, their sound has evolved since their 2010 debut to the UK indie scene, an they proved themselves as a seasoned touring band with their Falls performance.

Ocean Alley – they have their biggest year to date with the release of ‘Chiaroscuro’ last year, they are a Alternative Rock band from Northern Beaches in Sydney. Exploring genre fusions to create a great sound, that is capturing the ears of their generation. Covering the 1977 hit ‘Baby Come Back’ by Player may have gone over a few heads though.

DMA’S – 3 lads from Sydney sounded great – self confessed Brit Pop, I’m guessing that means they have strong musical influences beyond this hemisphere. They have a solid fan base here in Perth. They played their most well known tracks to their pumped up crew. Stay tuned and watch these guys evolve both here and overseas.

Toto – Obviously the most mature band on this line up, a masterstroke by organisers though. The entire crowd got it, when I wasn’t sure they would. Excellent double punch of the new and a classic to start off, the brilliant ‘Alone’ followed by ‘Hold The Line’ to start off and they managed to keep both themselves and the crowd happy in just a 50 minute set. Including a 15-minute rendition of THAT song. They could have done it for another 15 and no one would have said stop. They showcased their elite class musicianship, and the crowd displayed genuine love for these Legends. They are still very much on top of their game.

Hilltop Hoods – Arguably the biggest crowd surrounded the main stage for Australian Hip Hop and Rap royalty. Every tune was a winner, the anthems that unite generations and saw a sea of faces mouthing every word from their classics. Some of these kids were only toddlers in 2003 when ‘Nose Bleed Section’ came out, and ‘Chase that Feeling’ is now 10 years old and as relevant today as it was back then. The new album ‘The Great Expanse’ is due out Feb 23 2019.

Vance Joy – Managed to do an amazing job in holding the attention of a crowd who faced a massive gear change. There was a consumer shift to another stage for the remainder of Touch Sensitive followed by Juice Wrld. Not surprisingly though as the man is loved, seems very nice, and has the songs, the appreciation was clearly shown, by his emotional Perth Fan Base.

Juice Wrld – As popular as this guy is his set was somewhat clumsy to start, this didn’t deter his fans, I guess time will show us the evolution of his talent but for now he has a solid youthful demographic impressed by his words.

Golden Features – Those with enough energy gave it one last go to Golden Features. A perfect choice to end the event. You could show off your moves for one last dance or you could take in the remainder of the festival atmosphere, either way, you were still nodding your head.


Falls Freo 2019 was a great festival, boasting themes that stood out promoting social freedom and individual understanding & tolerance, environmental awareness and responsibility.

Even though at times it felt overcrowded, tension remained low. Musically there was something for nearly everyone, and most of the bands threw in a cover or two to keep it familiar. Good work, well organized and most importantly, FUN!

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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