By: Elize Strydom
The clouds have cleared and it’s a sunny 21 degree-er in Byron Bay. I’m at Splendour In The Grass but there ain’t a lot of green stuff on the ground at Belongil Feilds. No matter, no one really comes to this festival to hang out on the lawn, right?
I make my way through the gates sans sniffer dogs and my friend and I head over to the Supertop. “Let’s watch Manchester United!” I enthuse.
“Um, okay.” He says, “Not sure who they’re playing this weekend. But I know Manchester ORCHESTRA are about to play on this stage.”
Uh, yeah, that’s what I meant!
Manchester Orchestra look nothing like I expected – and no, I wasn’t expecting a real orchestra. Lead Singer Andy Hull reminds me of Joaquin Phoenix post identity crisis – a massive mop of hair, unkempt beard and wild eyes. He and his four band mates play long rock jams (with two drum kits!) with minimal lyrics and not a whole lot of interaction with the audience. I’m way up the back and people around me are into it, despite the fact that for most this is the first they’ve seen or heard from the Atlanta quintet. When they break out with triple j fave ‘I’ve Got Friends’ the crowd goes wild. It’s pretty different from the rest of their set. The song has the distinct structure of a ‘single’. When it’s over a bunch of people clear out but I stick around to the end and am not disappointed.
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