Live Review: Vision Festival

8 October 2015 | 3:43 pm | James Dawes

"Vision Festival is a positive step forward in the Adelaide music scene in promoting young artists on the same bill as more established bands."

The blooming sun created a blissful atmosphere around the city streets; the immaculate spring day screamed a grand day for Vision Festival. The midday start ensured an 11-hour stretch of awesome local music hosted by the passionate Jonty Czuchwicki, the local music lover who volunteers his services around Adelaide. When you think of music festivals, most would think of open parklands, nature, trees... but Vision Festival was held in Jive — an indoor event without a beer garden, which was possibly a mistake. The half-hour intermissions between bands allowed punters to head out for a nicotine hit, soak up gorgeous spring rays and rest their eardrums. Despite it being a festival, it functioned more like a regular gig where people came for one or two select bands rather than making it a whole-day event.

Attila My Honey were unfortunate in making up half of the people in the band room, while Druid Fluids saw a slow rise in attendance. The two thriving high school bands showed a promising future for the Adelaide music scene, dealing a groovy, '60s inspired sound.

The room was starting to fill and as Slick Arnold graced the stage with their animated charisma, their fun and energetic stage presence lifted the venue's intensity. Their catchy hooks stay with you long after the set's done.

Sparkspitter hypnotised the audience with their progressive instrumental sets. The infinite loops and ambient drones that layered to create a soundscape of sonic and rhythmic evolution fed into the crowd's excitement and wonder, ending on a chaotic reverie. Cobra followed, continuing the embryonic instrumental motifs in a heavier, dissonant fashion. The addition of minimal vocals near the end of the set helped weave a strong build-up to an explosive break down. The future of Cobra seems rather promising.

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West Thebarton Brothel Party lived up to their name, drawing the biggest and the rowdiest crowd for the day. The growing reputation of the madhouse nine-piece ensemble didn't disappoint with thumping floor tom rhythms, versatile guitar work and gritty hooks; their epic proportions created a 16-track studio overdubbed sounding live band.

As evening rolled around, we heard the fuzz-fuelled, driving riffs from the stoner rock trio, Battlehounds, delivered in a tight and punchy set. Smashing out a string of fast-paced tracks, their raucous vocal textures lend themselves to out-of-tune chants by drunken fans. Archers too are a vocally-driven band, drawing influence from post-rock, but providing stronger dynamics within their flexible set of manic groove and harmonically eerie chord structures.

The reverberating wall of sounds within Jive saw The Dunes showing off their thick, moody vibes to a rather light turn-out. A sonically-driven band who know their effect pedals like their ABCs, providing audible colour and frequency depth, The Dunes proved why they're one of the biggest psych bands coming out of Adelaide at the moment.

If you took the best aspects of each of the bands that took the stage before the headline act, bringing it all together in a professionally polished set, Glass Skies would be the result. The live, onstage production, faultless execution, intriguing musical contrast and awe-inspiring stagecraft of Glass Skies is that of which you would expect from an internationally acclaimed band.

Vision Festival is a positive step forward in the Adelaide music scene in promoting young artists on the same bill as more established bands. In future, perhaps, a better choice of venue could attract and maintain larger crowds.