There’s nothing like a low of eight degrees, darkness and long drives to regional Victoria to test your faith in live music as you wait, shivering, for the next band to take the stage in the Bendigo showgrounds.
Despite the elements, Groovin the Moo always proves to be worthy though, and this year’s edition was no exception.
The 2019 line-up had something for everyone, with an emphasis on indie dance and dirty Aussie rock as well as some top-notch hip hop acts and of course the international headliners whose names graced every punters playing schedules. This is nothing new for one of our favourite festivals, known for its diversity in its featured acts, which makes the task of picking a top five somewhat challenging.
After careful consideration and deliberation – Forte’s top five acts from Groovin’ The Moo 2019 are as follows:
Early in the day, soul powerhouse Thelma Plum took to the groovin stage for a number of festival ready singalongs.
With a set list which danced back and forth between intimate and emotional jewels such as ‘Young In Love’ and ‘How Much Does Your Love Cost’ from 2014’s EP Monsters, and tracks which feature more quirky and euphoric elements, such as the pop-folk, triple j favourite ‘Clumsy Love’, and upbeat, cathartic track ‘Not Angry Anymore’, the performance was the perfect lead into the mid-afternoon.
Plum left the audience basking in the good vibes and energy needed to kick on into the remainder of the groove.
Channelling some serious mythical, jungle vibes with her set, Aurora was one of the more calming and chilled out acts of the day. With a crowd all swaying together, groovers were mesmerised by the 22-year-old singer, songwriter and producer from Norway.
Weaving through songs like ‘Animal’, ‘All Soft Inside’ and ‘The Seed’, it wasn’t only Aurora’s voice that was captivating, but they way she would use her body on stage, charged with pure emotion, that added to her powerful expressive delivery of her songs.
If you ever have the chance to see Aurora live, just do it.
Coolio is an act I wasn’t aware I had to see, but boy am I glad I did.
Heading into Coolio’s set, I have to admit I didn’t know a single song, bar one of course. However I quickly discovered that song knowledge was not a pre-requisite for having a seriously good time.
With the old school warm-up tunes getting us pumped, as soon as Coolio hit the stage all eyes were on him – and his famous, little pigtails sticking out in all directions.
Tearing up the stage reppin’ his own merch (not totally sure how I feel about that), it was his last song, Gangsta’s Paradise, which had everyone swarming like bees to the stage to hear this world-renowned rap classic. Well played Coolio, well played.
No matter where you were within the confines of Bendigo showgrounds, Hilltop Hoods demanded to be heard.
As one of the alumni on the bill, Hilltop Hoods started strong with tracks like ‘Leave Me Lonely’, ‘The Nosebleed Section’, ‘1955’, ‘I Love It’, which had everyone singing the same song at the top of their lungs and jumping around to the music. We were behind the fence in the 18+ area and it felt like we were in the centre of the moshpit.
As they progressed through their highly energetic set, it was like each song was bigger than the last. It was like a game – ‘which song could possibly be next, surely that was their biggest hit?’ It makes you realise how many hits they actually have – absolute fucking legends.
Highlights definitely included tracks from their most recent album, The Great Expanse, in ‘Clark Griswold’ and ‘Exit Sign’ which even featured a guest appearance from Melbourne rapper Illy. Capping an electric performance off with the unfortunately named ‘Cosby Sweater’, we also experienced our first cannon drop of wondrous confetti for the night.
Safe to say, Hilltop Hoods absolutely owned GTM 2019. Love them or hate them, these guys are absolute performers and they can put on one hell of a show.
As the closing act for GTM 2019, USA’s Flosstradamus’ set was the definition of sending it.
While it was clear many punters had bailed after Billie Eilish’s set (which I didn’t love so it didn’t make the cut, sorry not sorry), Flosstradamus managed to draw in the music lovers still hyped from Hermitude’s set with his set of absolute, nameless bangers and an incredible lighting show.
Ending on a mash-up of M83’s ‘Midnight City’ and Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’, Flosstradamus nailed a set which punters wished would never end (until our feet began to give out, of course).
Check out the photos below for more GTM goodness.
Thanks Groovin, until next time.
Bendigo, Saturday May 4 2019.
Photos by Zoe Stavris