Live Review: Pandemonium Festival Sydney 2024

Live Review: Pandemonium Festival Sydney 2024

Photo by Sergio Martin

Pandemonium Rocks! Yewwwwwww!

Sydney hosted the second date for the Pandemonium Festival and a real mix of Sydneysiders turned up for a day at the (Cathy Freeman) park. The line up, admittedly smaller than originally advertised, brought together hippies and rockers, both young and young at heart. Fans who decided to throw caution to the wind, ignore the scrutiny and hang out with some serious home grown and international talent, were thanked with good weather and great music.

The weather was warm and the beers cold as first act, flame haired Jet Fyrebird took to the stage. Hailing from Coffs Harbour, Fyrebird is no stranger to opening for bad ass bands, including Jimmy Barnes, Jet and Everclear. Taking it all in her leather clad stride, the crowd cheered appreciatively to a solid set including original works and a couple of well-loved tributes to the iconic Divinyls and Joan Jett.

Cosmic Psychos took to the stage a short while after. A punk rock outfit from country Victoria – so country Victoria, rumours have it that they travelled to the gig in a you bewt ute. An absolutely true blue, ocker Aussie set proceeded with hits like Fuckwit City and Nice Day to go to the Pub. Don’t be fooled though, as much as the Hard Yakka shirts, Blundstone boots and faded singlets make it seem like this three piece are quietening down, they are actually off on a world tour after this! Celebrating 40 years of fun, schnitzel and VB.

Photo by Sergio Martin

As the sun started to set and the temperature cooled, the crowd warmed up to the psychedelic sounds of Wolfmother. The unmistakeable sound of lead singer, Andrew Stockdale piercing the air with Victorious, Midnight Train and of course, Woman. Even White Unicorn got airtime – it would be rude not to as one of the crowd was bouncing around wearing a white unicorn inflatable!

By the end of the set, the crowd was much larger and the queues for pizza and gyros was growing as hungry fans looked to refuel ahead of the night time shenanigans. Bands were watching bands, with sightings of Jet Fyrebird’s red hair and custom embossed leather jacket to the right of the stage. Wheatus were the first of the internationals for the evening. The late 90’s sound felt warm and nostalgic, apparently a reciprocated feeling as lead, Brendan B Brown told the crowd about his love of the Aussie fans who had given Teenage Dirtbag a huge four weeks at number one. As the Psychedelic Furs were passed the baton, the crowd were transported back to 70’s London for a post-punk, new wave moment. Sampled by The Strokes, covered by the Foo’s and famously loved by Director, John Hughes, brothers Richard and Tim Butler continue to bring a well-dressed, pivotal sound to the festival circuit.

After a quick hard seltzer and pale ale break, Debbie Harry gave us a masterclass in vibe. If she had stood on that stage and sashayed, waved and blown kisses all night, the crowd would cheered and sang for her. What an icon, what a woman, what a presence. Supported by a number of ‘guns for hire’ wearing Crayola coloured suits, and original Blondie drummer Clem Burke sporting a CBGB shirt (earned, not bought!), Harry gave fans over an hour of bona fide hits and Blondie moments.

And then just like that, it was over to Mr Alice Cooper.

If you have seen Alice Cooper’s show before, you know what to expect – but that doesn’t make it any less fabulous. All the crew is there, including Sheryl Cooper who reprised her role of the ghoulish Marie Antoinette running around on stage mid-set with Alice’s freshly severed head. Mwhahahahah! And that’s what it’s all about! From Welcome to the Show, to No More Mr Nice Guy, Eighteen and Poison, you’re on a ride and we’re all in it together. It’s a magical combination of passion and theatrics, each musician playing at the top of their game (we love you, Nita!!) for the man who refuses to give anything less than everything, every night. The white Tuxedo and School’s Out signals it’s the end of the show and the day. The crowd slowly starts to move towards the train station, tired but happy, cold but fulfilled.

Great work, Pandemonium Rocks! Rocks, you did!

Photos by Sergio Martin

#Live #Review #Pandemonium #Festival #Sydney

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