Snapped back to reality, you notice the Falls entrance is behind you and the exit – a place where your ride awaits – is fast approaching. Looking around, there are only smiles on the parallel patron faces. Somewhere ahead a cluster of middle-aged men, somewhat happily-influenced, are singing Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’ like a wolf pack howling for the moon. And like that Liam’s back…
He wasn’t walking into a stoked crowd, unless you call a sopping soup of individuals who can barely see ten metres in front of their own eyes ecstatic. Though the chorus of screams that followed Liam Gallagher as he strutted into view was anything but dull; it was as though the lion had been woken and the roar was quaking from the cave. It turns out the rain was only encouraging for Gallagher fans.
Throwing out some stellar tracks from the latest record, Gallagher shouts in an outrageous below “Are there any Oasis fans out there?” Amidst the bangers, Gallgher is victim to the rain in more ways than simply getting wet. The mic, as it seems, isn’t up as loud as it could be for Gallgher, and with a few angry hand gestures and classic Liam Gallgher staunch, the mic’s amended – turns out you don’t need Noel to witness a bit of Manchester attitude. ‘Wonderwall’, as expected, envelopes the entire festival. From the Valley stage all the way through to the drink vendors and food stalls, “Babyyyyy…” is on everybody’s lips.
Liam was the one to save us… or so we thought….
The rain wilted after that. Slowed. Stopped and the mud was back (though the temptation to slide down hills died with day two). The Valley fills with a record amount for the weekend. It battls Flume’s crowd for the New Year countdown, though there’s no way to tell.
The back screen suddenly comes to life with an intro from Channel 9’s Richard Wilkins, whom explains his excitement for “Australia’s favourite DJ set.” And just when we thought the epic intros are over, Big Lez from the Big Lez Show jumps on screen after Wilkins also announcing his absolute froth for Peking Duk. Was the double intro necessary? Who the shit cares, there is a lightshow blasting from lasers of all shapes and sizes, dancing all over the Valley. The night was black no more.
Back in real-time you’ve reached the carpark and the three highlight sets of the third day are still fresh in your mind, though somehow you’re still humming along to ‘Chateau’ from Angus and Julia’s most humbling (yet somehow haunting) set. A. and J. have a religious following who are the perfect combination of your favourite slow bopping riffs and melodic vocals. The totem pole they had on stage with the glowing eyes reminds you of the headlights across from you and you can’t help but smile as you unlock the Holden Astra you’ve come to a stop at.
Without enough time to fall through your entire time at Falls, as you step one tired foot into the car, then the next, you remember the rest of the morning, the goods and the betters. Winston Surfshirt smoking a spliff on stage in-between swigs from a Galliano Sambucca bottle, and Ecca Vandal opening the morning to a swarm of heat. The Smith Street Bandas their energetic selves and despite competing with Methyl Ethel – who clashed on the opposite stage – the two Aussie bands both drew like-minded spectators. Vince Staples, Bad Dreems and Slumberjack we’re a whirlwind of energy and it was no wonder you can remember any act all. It’s not every day you drive away from a field full of memories of an all-star artist line-up, yet it is something we do do every god-damn year.
And it’s brilliant.