There are some days that stand out above the rest. Those magical days you wish would never end. Parklife at Johannesburg’s Marks Park on Sunday, May 3, 2015 was one of those days.
The whole So Much Music team got there just as Yorke started their set, and with the big stage kitted out with a beautiful balance of shade and light, Yorke played to a growing crowd. Though they sounded a bit like Gangs of Ballet, it was a perfect opener to a wonderful day.
Jesse Clegg treated us to his usual array of radio-friendly hits but it was KAHN, The Parlotones’ Kahn Morbee and his band, which I wanted to get a taste of. However. I was a tad disappointed. It seems it was The Parlotones with new band members. The style, content and performance style was the same. Good same, but the same.
We intermittently broke to buy beer, enjoy the sun and dance on the outskirts as the crowd got bigger as the day went on.
Monark drew quite the crowd and got people dancing while spreading anti-xenophobic messages, and Gangs of Ballet set the standard for the calibre of performance that was to come.
Meanwhile, we checked out the food. After all, it was food and music festival. With a spread fit for a king, you could choose from gourmet burgers to deep-fried goodness with jalapeno poppers. Though some of the food was quite expensive for what it was – we spent more than R200 between two people for lunch – some of it was quite worth it. My favourites were the tempura prawns, which were sold out before 1pm.
In between the internationals, Jeremy Loops and Prime Circle gave us their usual upbeat selves, with Loops playing well over his allotted time.
It started to get cold, but we just danced to keep the cold at bay.
But it was American Authors who stole the show for me. Their music is fun, clean and their production slick, and they had the crowd in the palm of their hands as they bounced through their hits.
Headliners Modest Mouse hit the stage just after the sun had set, and they treated us to songs like The World at Large, Lampshades on Fire, Bukowski, Fly Trapped in a Jar and The Good Times Are Killing Me. I did feel, however, that their set lacked their usual quirky edge, with lead singer Isaac Brock talking about snakes and other random things between songs instead of engaging the audience. The energy was there, though, and you felt all seven instruments flow through your body with each song.
We left quite cold but satisfied after a day of sunshine, beer, food, good music and good friends.
Until next year, Parklife.
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