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Kiss My Grass - Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne - 12.3.2006

Author: Persia Hill
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Melbournites have been spoiled this summer with a new addition to the Melbourne outdoor dance festival scene. For some Kiss my Grass may have been the Summadayze that never was; for others a way to show their support for the only radio station in Victoria committed to the Australian dance music scene and for many it was a chance to get out in the summer sun with friends and party like there's no tomorrow. Whatever their intentions, most people that attended Kiss My Grass would have to agree the event was a resounding success and a tribute to the strength of the Australian dance music scene.

It was yet another harsh Melbourne summer day, a scorching 36 degrees. The fierce Melbourne sun was piercing and the strong northerly winds offered little relief. It was a great excuse for muscle men and bikini clad bimbos to strut their stuff around the Music Bowl with their flesh exposed in all areas. The event drew in a very diverse crowd. I noticed there was a range of ages and people from all scenes- ravers still holding true to their identity donning their phat pants, house fanatics with crazy 80s clothes and hair styles piled high and even a few dreadlocked hippies.

Many people chose to stay away from the heat until the day cooled down with Myer Music Bowl really starting to fill up around 5pm. Those brave enough to arrive earlier were relieved by plenty of shaded spots with umbrellas scattered on the hill and stages placed near the fences with trees providing ample shade.

I arrived to hear Steve Strangis belting out some great melodic trance. I don't go out to hear this much anymore, but he managed play some great classics that took me back to years gone by. Also later on the same stage, Gavin Keitel gave an 'Electric' performance. One of my favourite tracks was Hug & Pepp's Snabeln. Like always, Keitel delivered a solid set with a greater electro bent compared to his Sunny sets, showing once again he always plays for the crowd and the moment. It's also great to see that he has remained faithful to the vinyl, I didn't see one CD, which is a real rarity these days.

I spent most of the day wandering around deciding who I wanted to see and managing to hear snippets from most DJs. The Motomasher Stage was interesting, consisting of DJ's playing in a little Motorola trailer. These DJs performed the longest sets of the day at 1.5 hours. I was surprised at the 45 minute set times for the rest of the acts but I suppose that was the intention of the organisers - to showcase the Australian electronic music scene, show the massive support the station has from our local artists and also promote their diverse programs. It really gave everyone a broad overview of the diversity of Kiss FM.

J-Red and G-Smooth's entertaining performance was the highlight of my day. J-Red's seamless scratching and funked up beats was mixed with hilarious freestyling from G-Smooth. I heard J-Red chatting to people after his set and he said he had an absolute blast and that it was one the best sets he has played in a while as the crowd was so reactive and supportive.

During what I believe was James Ash's set, Random, the winners of reality TV show X-Factor, came on stage, singing their new songs Are you Ready and Put your Hands Up. This was unexpected but they performed really well. Throwing out copies of their cd's, they had great vocals, harmonies and choreographed dance moves. Even after their performance they wandered the Music Bowl, introducing themselves to people and being really friendly and chatty. Some may complain that they were too commercial to be performing at the event, but hands up to them for coming to support the station.

Mark James' set on the Kiss Mainstage was a crowd favourite. He went back to the old school, playing classics including Groove is in the Heart and It's a Long Way to the Top. He topped it off by finishing with Faithless' epic Insomnia. I returned later to the ma