Finally, after months of waiting, Spin Off Festival, the sister music fest of Splendour in the Grass, made its huge stamp on Adelaide. Considering it was mid-July, you could not have asked for better weather as the sun was shining and all 20,000+ attendees got to soak up the rays, as well as the music and good vibes. Located at the Adelaide Showgrounds, the main stage consisted of one humungous tent that allowed each artist a chance to shine without clashing.
Once the gates opened for Spin Off at 11 am, the mood was set with Adelaide up and coming band TOWNS kicking off the festival. Word through the grapevine was that a highlight for people who got to see their unfortunately short 20 minute set was a cover of the Friends theme song. Bringing their set to a close was Safe To Say, TOWNS set up the festival strongly.
Bringing in very different vibes for the afternoon was Kian, who was then followed by Kwame. Based on those who were lucky enough to see them, both of them brought on a lot of energy and charisma in their performances. Kwame in particular, who is very new in the Australian hip hop scene, as he brought the crowd together with WOW. and CLOUDS.
After that, Ruby Fields brought the crowd together with her rocking anthems. Friendos that got to see her mentioned specifically a moment when she touched the hearts of the audience as she paid tribute to a friend she tragically lost two years ago. Continuing to bring the reliability, Ruby dropped the lyric “I want to be more than my parent’s opinion and my ATAR” in I Want, something that a vast majority of high school students MIGHT be feeling at this stage. As she drew her short set to a close with Dinosaurs, everyone could not help but sing along to.
Next was Mallrat. Once again, word has it from punters that it took a while to warm up crowd, but once she finally grabbed the audience, they were well and truly on board. Mallrat brought out fan favourites including Groceries and Better.
Following up with another Aussie duo, Hockey Dad brought an effectively rocking atmosphere for the crowd. Using only a guitar and drums, the band got the audience to sing along to their hits like Sweet Release and I Need a Woman.
Next up was the UK band, Wolf Alice. In comparison to the other bands, their performance changed the atmosphere to a more alternative rock/ pop vibe, from Moaning Lisa Smile to Don’t Delete the Kisses. A personal highlight of the performance was getting to hear Silk live. Quite a wholesome part of their performance was the band celebrating the lead singer/ guitarist Ellie Rowsell’s 25th birthday. The crowd joined in singing happy birthday to her as the band brought out a cake and a bottle of champagne.
Ball Park Music was definitely a surprising part of the festival. No matter what song they played, from The End Times to It’s Nice To Be Alive, every single person under the tent sang in unison with the five-piece pop-rock band. Ball Park Music brought very positive vibes to the crowd and they simply ate it up.
To bring a different vibe to the festival was Ocean Alley. Filling their hour with surf-rock, they almost blew the roof off as the crowd felt the powerful bass as Confidence played. Following that with their cover of Like A Version and Baby Come Back, the psychedelic band definitely warmed the crowd up for the main headlines.
As the night drew closer to the end and as the tent shrunk down, Catfish & The Bottlemen energetically grabbed the audience. Kicking off strongly with Longshot, a single from their newest album, The Balance, the band gave a confident and powerful presence, despite their first album only being released 5 years ago. It was clear that the crowd could not get enough of the British band as they played songs from their three albums, including 2all, 7, and Soundcheck. Catfish & The Bottlemen also played at Splendour during the weekend and aren’t even finished with touring Australia as they are performing in Newcastle, Melbourne, and Perth throughout this week.
And last, but certainly not the least, to bring Spin Off to an epic finish was Childish Gambino. Without wasting time, Gambino grabbed the ridiculously packed out tent with a new song, Algorithm, supported by a band, dancers and choir singers. After the song, Gambino asked of two things for the crowd; which were to put their phones down… and to have a f**king good time. The first request was a bit of a stretch on his part, but his other request couldn’t have been asked twice. Gambino also grabbed the audience, really utilising the catwalk stage as he connected and danced with the ecstatic fans that more than likely got crushed to stay in their spot. The point where Gambino REALLY grabbed the crowd was with This Is America, and then mellowing it out with Sober, 3005, Sweatpants and Redbone.
But the most sincere part of the night was when the singer/ writer/ actor declared his love to the crowd. So remember, Donald Glover/ Childish Gambino loves you. (And we love him too!!)
Overall, Spin Off 2019 was an excellent time that showcased a wide variety of talented musicians. With the perfect weather and allowing each artist to perform without hassle, Spin Off 2019 was an absolute banger.
Images provided by The AU Review.