Live Review: Corona SunSets Music Festival

18 January 2016 | 11:27 am | James Hunt

"An unrelenting showcase of her beautifully distorted creations allowed for a comprehensive display of sustained energy..."

2016 marked the inaugural year of Fremantle's Corona SunSets Music Festival. A centrally located food tent known only as the 'Fire Kitchen' hosted two chefs that could easily have been hired actors: two mysterious and colourful caricatures that had to be seen to be believed. Contemporary Melbourne glam rock outfit Pearls kicked off proceedings with their gloomy and dreamy take on the important 1970s subgenre. The joint male/female lead vocals is undoubtedly unique and captivating, and even more so live. Admittedly, the melancholy atmosphere that Pearls is known to conjure up doesn't exactly inspire the enthusiasm that is typically demanded of an opening festival act, but somehow it all just seemed to work.

George Maple gave a high-energy and incandescent performance over at the main Griffin Stage. Accompanied by a live drummer, as well as brief but welcome inclusions from the likes of Tkay Maidza and What So Not, taking on Kendrick Lamar's mAAd city, it made for enlivening entertainment. Turning a blind eye to the total fire ban at the end of the set, flames spurted sporadically from the perimeter of a giant geometric mosaic sun to the delight of an easily excitable crowd.

"How's the serenity, eh?" were the words that kicked off the set of Wagga Wagga born DJ and music producer Nina Las Vegas. Frantically switching between genres and tempos including most prominently Jersey club, hip hop and grime, Nina exuded pure joy in her performance, which the crowd increasingly reciprocated, assisted by a miniature barrage of fireworks. For some of the more avid and particular fans of the scene, Nina was generous enough to provide a set list via her twitter afterwards: "Haven't done a mix or playlist for a while, so here's my setlist from Corona Sunsets <3."

Making the switch from grassy to sandy terrains at the Crown Stage, core Future Classic member Basenji gave off a lucid and ludic aura that was strongly juxtaposed by the worryingly over-serious volleyball match in the same general vicinity. Hudson Mohawke's rumbling electronic anthem Thunder Bay went down a real treat as a torrential downpour shocked the masses for its short-lived duration.

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New South Wales electronic duo Flight Facilities have thankfully largely discarded their other lacklustre performance moniker 'Hugo & Jimmy', but one thing that they have maintained is their high production standards and their attention to detail. Complemented by the delicate vocals of Owl Eyes as well as an abundance of aeronautical related visuals, they gave a memorable and purely biting set. It began with a stretched out and looming bass line, a sea of red light washing over the audience as the boys constructed playful Caribbean drum sequences, before playing their more notable hits to the indebted festival patrons. Alison Wonderland served up a heated and heavy concluding set for the night, helped by the fact that she now has a growing dance floor artillery at her disposal. She has been selling out live events even before she was picked up by the radio, and has since become a veteran of the scene. An unrelenting showcase of her beautifully distorted creations allowed for a comprehensive display of sustained energy without all the slumps.