Form Guide: don’t miss these acts at Sydney City Limits
The inaugural Sydney City Limits festival takes place in the city’s Centennial Park this Saturday and it’s a veritable feast of music for people of any number of different proclivities.
There’s jazz, indie-folk, electro, reggae, hip hop and good old fashioned rock’n’roll on offer in spades. In fact, it’s such a big and broad line up that it can be hard to figure out exactly who to see.
So here’s a very brief helping hand to try make some of those decisions a little easier.
Must see headliners:
Beck: triple j House, 7.40pm
Beck has a list of amazing songs that is so damn long that you’re best off not thinking about it. Why? Because he simply can’t play them all, and he’s gonna miss some gems. But let’s not think about what we’ll miss and focus on what we’ll get; an hour of one of the most magnetic performers in indie music history. It’s be sad, it’ll be funky, it’ll kick arse.
“Beck tears through lively versions of both classics (‘Devils Haircut’) and deep cuts (‘Soul of a Man’, a grungy blues-rock rave-up off Modern Guilt) with youthful enthusiasm, occasionally looking and sounding just like the skinny kid whose folk-rap fusions and pretty-fly-for-a-white-guy dance moves made him an alt-rock icon in the '90s.
“Even tracks off Sea Change and Morning Phase – especially ‘Paper Tiger’, – take on new life, as a seemingly reinvigorated Beck strings together a career-spanning set that, for all his many detours into disparate sounds and styles, feels surprisingly cohesive.” – Andy Hermann, L.A. Weekly
Grace Jones: Park Stage, 7.30pm
On a bill of highly esteemed artists sits one bona-fide legend, Ms. Grace Jones. If this is your first time seeing her, rest assured you’ve never seen a performance quite like this. She will hold you in the palm of her hand and she will destroy you. You will love every second of it. The only bad thing about seeing Grace Jones is that it’ll mean you’re missing Beck. Your call.
“While her songs make good party fodder – they compellingly stir up reggae, new wave and funk with anthemic choruses – Jones outshines them all.
“A lifelong provocateur, she has an unfailing ability to perform and retains the kind of energy that allows her to hula-hoop for 20 minutes straight while singing Slave to the Rhythm and introducing her eight-piece band.” – Alice Vincent, The Telegraph
Justice: triple j Harbour, 8.40pm
There’s not a heap of electronic music at Sydney City Limits, but with The Avalanches and Justice on board, the quality more than makes up for that scarcity. This French duo play loud and intense dance music that has a timeless feel to it. Save a bit of energy for one last dance!
“The blasé duo, clad in bomber jackets and with cigarettes hanging from lips, dropped a relentless hour of hard, dark, and fastidiously slick electro that had the crowd loose, squeezing the last drops of dancing from tired legs.” – Jemayel Khawaja, The Guardian
Stella Donnelly is not just a brilliant songwriter, she’s a consummate performer as well. If you’ve seen her play, you know the ease with which she captures the crowd and holds them through her songs and the gaps in between. Her style is intimate and seeing her on a festival stage will either make you realise how unstoppable she is, or make you wish you’d seen her in a small club. Regardless, you should try and do that anyway. – Big Top, 1pm
Car Seat Headrest will give you faith in modern indie rock. Will Toledo was only a young fella when he started this project, but his music tastes reflect a deep love of 90s indie rock and a brilliant lo-fi sensibility. – Big Top, 3pm
Thundercat is a formidable presence on the live stage. He slams out deep, slinky, boundary pushing funk on his mammoth six-string bass, and leads his band with utter precision. His album of last year, Drunk, stands as one of the best things he’s ever been involved with. That’s a really big call, but it’s true. Can’t wait to hear those jams live – Park Stage, 3.35pm