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Review - Good Vibes 2008 - Melbourne

Author: Phil Watkins
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
Good Vibrations does it again!

One of the most respected festivals on the summer calendar in Australia is the Good Vibrations festival. Annually compiling a line up of the best artists and bands the world has to offer, things seem to get bigger and better every year for Jam entertainment and, after last year bringing us Snoop Dogg, Jurassic Five and the Beastie Boys in one amazing day, this year was going to be hard to top.

But top it they did, presenting the likes of Kanye West, Cypress Hill and Thievery Corporation, not to mention the Rapture, Calvin Harris and Pharaoh Monche together with the cream of local and Australian artists. It is always a very exciting day with so many artists on offer, leaving it hard to choose where to go and who to see when.

After the decisions had been made, it was time to set off on what would turn out to be an eight-hour, non-stop musical journey, starting off with Thievery Corporation who went about showing that they are just as amazing on stage as they are in the studio, bringing together all the best of their discography for a great live show.

As the rain began to softly come down, it felt good to see that no one was really too bothered, caught up in all the great music around. Nubian Crackers (PQM, for those who don't know) who had the job of warming up for Pharaoh Monche, went great guns playing a lot of original material and detailing the past, present and future of east coast hip hop. He really had the place going by the time 'Welcome to the Terrordome' opened Pharaoh's set. Going through some new cuts and finishing with 'Simon Says', the crowd was well satisfied.

Moving into the evening, a memory I will probably treasure for a long time will be arriving at Cypress Hill at the main stage only to see a 20-foot inflatable Buddha holding a marijuana leaf. Cypress Hill was actually a great surprise for me, as not only did they perform a lot of their old stuff, they also included an amazing percussion show as well. I don't think I was the only one taken back in time to those smoke-filled rooms listening to Dr Greenthumb.

Kanye West, it seems, was almost born to do what he does. He oozes confidence, together with more than a little arrogance, while he's in front of the cameras and his stage show is a reflection of this. His music is great and we got to hear all of the best form his last albums, together with back up singers looking like they had been pulled from Tron and a women covered in a sheet going through what seemed to be a performance art piece.

All in all, I greatly enjoyed myself throughout the day and would like to send a special respect to High Contrast and MC Wrec, whose sound system was cut due to the limiters being poorly programmed. In fact, if I were to express a negative of the day it would have been the terrible sound on some of the stages. Let's hope it improves next year and let's hope that Good Vibrations continues to bring us the best in music every year too as they excelled this time once again!