It’s no secret that Alison Wonderland has become one of the most exciting names in Australia over the past 12 months, and her reach has begun to extend overseas as well. From her first single Get Ready, to the explosive 2014 hit I Want U, she has continued to go from strength to strength and has developed an almost cult like following on her home soil.
After performing at Coachella, as well as a string of US club shows, she dropped her debut album to mixed reviews. Suddenly, her cult was divided, and the attraction and initial hype that got her so far had a split down the middle. Some thought she’d done it. She’d dropped an album of straight fire bangerz and she was here to stay. Others thought it had become almost a gimmick, over done and under executed. I have to admit I began to fall into the latter category. She did save mine and my friends New Year’s Eve, after an underwhelming performance by Salt n Pepa at Falls in Byron Bay. Bass heavy, hip hop oriented, she was playing straight up jams and we were loving it. But when the album came, I was left searching for more.
So, when I went along to her Wonderland Warehouse Party 2.0, I was really hoping she’d re-convince me of what so many others still believed she was. Having gone along to the first round last year (literally on crutches from a mountain climbing incident that morning), perhaps I put too much pressure on reliving that night. Regardless of what I did, I felt I was left just as underwhelmed as I had been from her album.
Bringing along a star studded cast of Australia’s hottest up and coming beatsmiths, it was a case of “how the hell could this be anything BUT incredible? Awe, Slumberjack, Motez and Cosmo’s Midnight all jumped on board for the ride, but as we arrived for the remainder of Slumberjack’s set, immediately I was left slightly disappointed. What should have been an almighty monster of trap beats and epic drops that comprise Slumberjack’s catalogue of releasing was actually a trickle of beats lost in a shed too big for the crowd that was present. Lacklustre sound quality is my pet hate at any event, but for a party as hyped up as this one – it was more perplexing than disappointing. How could this be happening? The all star supports rotated through, Motez and Cosmo’s Midnight both stepping up to deliver their tracks which – please don’t get me wrong here – I really do love. These are two of my favourite Australian acts, but the environmental factors again had me straining to get the quality that should have been there, and leaving others easily distracted as the music was lost in the space.
Excessively long lines, a crowd hell bent on hedonism and an over the top police presence also took away from the night. I fancy myself as a very seasoned gig-goer, so I am used to a lot of these factors. But for some reason it was more noticeable this time. There was just something missing, and as the night progressed, more and more punters agreed with me.
Finally, she was ready. “Alison’s about to start!” Someone shrieked in the overcrowded smokers area (another sign that inside was just not cutting it – I don’t even smoke!) People quickly scrambled to their feet and made the trek inside (literally having to walk to the front entrance and re-enter again), anticipation quickly building. “This is it!” Someone said, grabbing my arm and grinning in a way only possible from a little chemical enhancement. Walking into a totally dark stage, Alison was greeted with a roar of applause before launching into her set. Now, I have to be fair and say there were definitely highlights. Of course there were, her singles Get Ready, I Want U and the Wayne Coyne featuring U Don’t Know sparked sing alongs and some pretty insane dancing, but the issues that were popping up for the 4 acts before her were still there, taking away from the clearly advanced set from when I last saw her only 5 months before. If you weren’t in the front row, most of the sound was lost. The crowd had also reached a point past hedonism, and now just resembled a PSA of why not to take pingers. I tried so. hard. to get into it, I really did. But for me, and the swarms of punters leaving early. There was just something missing.
Sometimes you just miss the mark, and I sincerely hope the other cities had better quality nights than Brisbane. Had just one of the above problems been happening, no wuckin’ furries – it would have been great. But all together? Underwhelming.