Photos: Ash Westwood Photography
Name a better way to spend the first warm long weekend of the season than at an open field, surrounded by friends, tunes and beverages. Approximately 26,000 punters headed up to Joondalup Arena, spoilt for choice with a line up including the likes of Brockhampton, Snakehips, Fisher and Skrillex. With clear blue skies and a top of 25 degrees, Listen Out 2018 had all the ingredients to leave a lasting impression.
Selling out for the last five years, the event organisers were well-versed and equipped with plenty of parking, a variety of food trucks and toilets to make for a smooth and fuss-free time. The snap-chatting and Instagramming had to wait till later because of poor reception but, honestly, maybe that’s what we needed to give our undivided attention to the extremely talented acts before us.Following the recent deaths of two concertgoers at an event in New South Wales, Listen Out saw a noticeable police presence at the venue including drug detection dogs, as well as uniformed and plainclothes officers.
A staple in Perth’s music festival circuit, the following acts commanded crowds of patrons and earned their spots on Listen Out’s stellar lineup.
Poloshirt had the crowd swaying in unison with their mellow tunes, a quick change of pace from the upbeat Haiku Hands preceding them. Their downtempo sound combined with the sweltering sun made for the perfect lazy Sunday afternoon soundscape. The Atari stage was delivering an all-encompassing day and we weren’t going anywhere.Brockhampton
Brockhampton played all their beloved bangers from their SATURATION trilogy including SWEET, BLEACH, GOLD and TOKYO. Arguably the most anticipated act of the festival, the LA-based boy band did not disappoint. Dressed in all black, Brockhampton had the crowd in a trance from the moment they opened with New Orleans. They had a hold of us and they knew it. Their vulnerable verses paired with hypnotic melodies were exactly what the crowd wanted and needed at the halfway mark of the event.Skepta
Skepta represented a change in a more grime direction for the Atari stage. Crowds were beginning to thin just a little to get a break for more high energy acts but that didn’t affect Skepta’s performance in the slightest.Snakehips
Snakehips were in their element as they played all their worldwide hits at the 909 stage. The crowd was graced with hits like Don’t Leave, Cruel, Dimelo and All My Friends, interweaved with everyone’s favourite R&B covers including Snoop Dogg’s Drop It Like It’s Hot. The electronic music duo showed off their genre versatility and drew out a crowd despite being on at the same time as A$AP Rocky.A$AP Rocky
A$AP Rocky didn’t waste any time with his set. He’s a regular in the Perth festival scene with earlier appearances at Origin, and it’s easy to see why he keeps coming back—the crowds cannot get enough. Adding Praise the Lord to his already banging repertoire—including L$D, Everyday, Fashion Killa and F*ckin Problems—Rocky finessed his way through the night. Where he lacked in energy, the crowd stepped in and compensated.Skrillex
Skrillex was, undoubtedly, the show stopper—but who’s surprised? He brought all 26,000 patrons together as he had something for everyone. From remixes of Kendrick Lamar’s HUMBLE. to Travis Scott’s SICKO MODE—and then to what everyone was there for: Bangarang and Would You Ever—you really couldn’t fault it. Capturing fans of EDM, R&B and pop music alike, an exhausted Skrillex ended on the iconic “cinema” to wrap up an incredible set.And if at any given time you didn’t have an act you were desperate to see? The silent disco was not far, with DJ’s spinning tracks to cater for everyone.
Despite the winding food truck lines and lack of phone reception, Listen Out 2018 made a bold statement with a line up to satisfy everyone’s cravings. We can’t wait for what they have in store for us next year.