It’s Saturday night, and you’re buzzing amid a rustling crowd. The lights drop and a band takes the stage, hands raised to the mosh. The music begins.
This scene was unthinkable a few months ago. It still is across much of Australia and indeed the world. But here in WA, the COVID-19 risk is low enough that live gigs can recommence. Castaway Festival’s WA Unlocked line-up on Saturday took full advantage of this fact, which feels utterly utopic considering the global state of affairs.
The show at HBF Stadium boasted an array of WA-bred talent, kicking off with an energising set from Tina Says. Her 2019 single Elevate lived up to its namesake, gearing the crowd up for an evening of unabashed live bangers.
Headliners Crooked Colours were up next. They cruised onto the stage in matching, astronaut-esque boilersuits: fitting costumes for the stars of the show. The energy was palpable as the trio played to both one another and the crowd. They were clearly as excited to be back performing as their fans were to watch them, stopping to give a shoutout to Mark McGowan after their first couple of songs.
Pulsating lights and energetic beats characterised the set, creating a classic EDM atmosphere which was much appreciated by a live-gig-starved mosh. Hits like Do It Like You encouraged many a shoulder ride, as the stadium leaned into the novelty of finally being able to watch their favs in real life again. Crooked Colours topped off the set with their dreamy 2017 track Flow, which led the room happily into a more mellow vibe.
However this mellowness was quickly succeeded by energy firing on all cylinders when Slumberjack took the stage. The duo debuted their new single Surrender, and needless to say the reception was a warm one. 22-year-old up-and-comer Sydnee Carter made an appearance for Afraid, Unafraid, and her sublime vocals were a welcome addition to an already spectacular set.
Producer and DJ ShockOne rounded off the lineup with an abundance of energy which was reciprocated by a lively mosh. He shared the stage with his sister Reija Lee, who graced the room with exceptional vocals. This set topped off a night’s worth of high-powered dance tracks to leave fans sweaty and euphoric, our hunger for live shows finally satiated.