In its third year of operation, Red Deer Music Festival has surpassed its humble sophomore efforts and become a raging success. The sold out event sees bands of jovial bodies amass amongst the greenery in a splendid valley of Mount Samson.
It doesn't take long for punters to get a little crazy under the scorching sun and Asa Broomhall amps up the excitement with a powerful offering of bluesy-rock numbers. He confidently fronts the three-piece band with tremendous vocal clarity, and really opens things up as he rocks the hell out of Guardian Angel.
With an infectious blend of roots, reggae and hip hop in tow, The Lyrical commands a strong stage presence as he spits his politically charged and socially conscious expressions. The festival falls to his charm as a cover of the Lion King classic, I Just Can't Wait To Be King, demonstrates there's still always time for a bit of fun and play.
Resident DJ of the night, Blake Thompson, does well to Drop It Like It's Hot over the course of five sets that span the main stage changeovers, and the good time movements continue.
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The eight-piece wonder that is Darky Roots comes on both subtle and strong, manifesting a seductive ambience before diving headfirst into their rapturous repertoire. “We like to play reggae music, in case you didn't realise” – oh yeah, message received loud and clear!
No stranger to festivals, or any other stage for that matter, Clare Bowditch is in her element and You Make Me Happy receives a truly warm response in the midst of increasingly chilly surroundings.
Still channelling the Butterfingers wonder, Evil Eddie unleashes a plethora of exuberant rhymes to a frightfully funky effect. The Brisbanian gets wicked and wild for the night and reminds us just how good some Aussie hip hop can actually be.
When Regurgitator come on they trigger an eruption of inter-connected joy that is certainly more than the sum of its parts. Their set is simply electric, and things get downright outlandish as they play through classics I Will Lick Your Asshole, Kong Foo Sing, and Black Bugs. By the time ! (The Song Formerly Known As) draws their set to an inspiring close, the festivities are spent through an excess of elation that leaves an amazing vibe lingering through the grounds.
Red Deer manages to be a rare breed of festival that benefits from the vast bounties of infancy and intimacy. A celebration of community, culture and life, there is no better way to greet the opening of spring.