REVIEW: Let Them Eat Cake Has Never Been Tastier
So Was Let Them Eat Cake 2019 a Success? Marli Grosskopf makes a strong case that it might just be the best one yet…
If you are like me, you are probably clinging to the euphoric remnants of your Let Them Eat Cake 2019 experience by living vicariously through sketchy videos on your phone which features more than one track you definitely need to ID. You are also probably utilising the group chat with your mates to connect the dots about parts of the day you perhaps weren’t all there for. Well, I feel your nostalgic pain, and my heart goes out to each and every one of you.
Yes, Let Them Eat Cake was that special. Yes, you did have the most fun you’ve ever had in your life, and like the feeling of falling in love for the first time, your post-session comedown is now feeling a little like your first heartbreak – and it’s the pits. But alas, the key to healing all good heartbreaks undoubtedly comes with two vital ingredients: time, and overthinking every single last detail of each moment before the impending end. I mean, you have to try and find sanity and comfort in those fragments of your memory.
So come on, let’s lick our wounds together and reminisce
This was Let Them Eat Cake 2019
With the sun high in the sky, and that familiar sense of elation the last 5 years at Let Them Eat Cake had brought me, I entered the beautiful Werribee Mansion grounds, pushing my way confidently past the queue of punters who crowded enthusiastically around the portable toilets at the entrance (I guess they went a little rogue on their party bus road beers? Rookie mistake).
Yes, it was Let Them Eat Cake and my fifth anniversary together, and rather than gifting me something made of wood as tradition demanded, I was gifted the union of all my favourite artists at the most picturesque location in Victoria. Bliss.
MOTOR CITY DRUM ENSEMBLE IS THE PERFECT START TO ANY DAY
After a swift team huddle where we confirmed we weren’t here to fuck spiders, we made quick work of our first beer before heading to the main stage to see one of the festival’s main draw-cards: Motor City Drum Ensemble. Perched high upon the incredibly designed Bastille Stage (IT HAD SO MANY LAYERS), the German asserted his talent across a glorious 2.5-hour set that kick-started the festival. A definite set highlight were his 2011 DJ Kicks-released banger ‘L.O.V.E’. Hearing that familiar melodic bassline and filtered vocal sample soar across the eagerly receptive crowd, resulted in a whole lot of high fiving inside the mosh pit. Let me get real with ya’ll: The magic never ceased across his set and I am happy to report that with this delightful set of funk, fun and sunshine, the dance music auteur was the perfect start to our day. Oh, and the people’s vote were unanimous: This guy is a legend. (For reference of maximum good vibe please refer to this video from his set.)
ALL HAIL THE KING OF COOL
With a quick pit stop to grab some Asian street food nibbles and various fruity cocktails – hey why not, it’s the New Year baby and 2019 is all about living our best lives - we made our way through a sea of sequinned bodysuits and Carhartt bumbags to see the one and only Joe Kay.
Co-founder of Soulection and the radio host of Apple Music’s Beats 1 podcast, Joe Kay is the ultimate king of cool. I’m talking authentically West Coast cool; multifaceted cool; would-rather-play-lesser-known-music-then-a-classic-dance-floor-banger cool. The Los Angeles-based artist used his peak afternoon slot to bequeath onto punters a variety of slower genres; a refreshing break from what was happening at all the other stages.
For fans who like to trainspot a remix or two, Joe Kay’s set would’ve been a massive highlight, and his set peaked when the American dropped back-to-back remixes from Canadian artist Kaytranada: Teedra Moses’ ‘Be Your Girl’ and Janet Jackson’s delightful ‘If’. Well, I should say for me it definitely peaked and I fangirled hard: Shout out to my mates who literally had to calm me down when those tunes came on. I do apologise for squealing. Then again I don’t apologise, it was a moment and one I’ll cherish 4EVA and EVA.
LTEC IS MORE THAN JUST ITS MUSICAL MENU
In search of a little afternoon intermission, the team decided it would be the perfect time to go for a stroll, get a little culture, and soak in the abundance of beauty that the Werribee Mansion gardens encapsulate. Year in and year out the team behind this soiree manage to make this almost make-believe terrain feel even more like a wonderland. Just like Alice, around every corner you could find some kind of visual spectacle, whether it be dancing inside a stage fashioned to look like an airplane that’s crash landed, or simply lying underneath a canopy watching on at the gargantuan main stage that looked like wings in flight, the environment itself was surreal. After a bit of time spent sitting in the grass with friends, and taking a shameless selfie or two, we kicked onwards and headed to a heavier sonic landscape, Midland.
MIDLAND IS A WIZARD
Midland was the perfect intersection between the easy listening and the dark and brooding part of the day. The UK artist adorned a smile throughout his set, and he exuded a relaxed air onto the main stage. His sets are so smooth that it creates the illusion that his performances are meticulously pre-planned - which it's not, of course, he is just a DJ wizard who knows his music inside and out. And rest assured, Midland got every single person in that festival moving, his familiar way of mixing the emotion with the funk a cut above the rest: Case in point, Boris Dlugosch and Cassara’s ‘Traveller’ which has never sounded better placed in a DJ set. EVER. With the familiar bass face appearing throughout the crowd and ladies beginning to climb up on available shoulders in their vicinity, the ‘Final Credits’ rolled (no, he didn’t play it - and pardon the pun) on Midland’s set.
IS PEGGY GOU CURRENTLY THE BIGGEST DJ IN THE WOrlD?
As the sun began to set, it seemed every single man, woman and their dog headed to The Guillotine stage to see arguably the most anticipated artist of the day, Peggy Gou. 2018 was undoubtedly the year of Gou, whether it was with the release of her award-winning EP ‘Once’, or her anticipated sets at Coachella, Dekmantel, or Tomorrowland. Wherever you looked last year, you couldn’t escape Peggy Gou. Peeking over the heads of punters repping DIY ‘Have A Gou Time’ t-shirts, or Toy Giraffe’s ready to be gifted to the Korean songstress, we were packed in like sardines. I was keen to catch a glimpse of ‘It Makes You Forget’ , but in my case it was called ‘It Makes You Leave The Guillotine Stage Early After She Began, Because It Was Way Too Crowded TBH And I Couldn’t Even Dance Properly’. But still, mad props Peggy Gou, even though I couldn’t see to much of you, what I did see, you absolutely nailed.
NOBODY FLEXES HARDER THAN BICEP
And now folks, to the main event, arguably the most epic close the Werribee Mansion has ever seen. Hailing from Northern Ireland, Bicep’s Andy Ferguson and Matt McBriar is nothing short of sensational. Claiming the titles of DJ Mag 2012’s 'Best British Breakthrough DJ’, and nominations in 2017 for 'Best Electronic Live Performer', and 'Track Of The Year' with their song ‘Glue’, Bicep can’t be stopped.
With the crowd watching on as the sky grew darker, Bicep's impressive light show and infamous spinning ‘BICEP’ logo hypnotised a sea of punters as everyone swayed with cooked synchronicity. Murmurs across the crowd made note that the only system that could handle the strength of Ireland's finest was the Funktion One Sound System. Sitting beside the stage with intimidating, albeit impressive grandeur, the sound was just sensational, and it was more than just up to the task of hosting Bicep's impressive back catalogue which included ‘Opal’, their collaboration with Hammer ‘Dahlia’, and their huge remix of 'Higher Level' which will never cease to sound amazing.
As the pair closed out their set and the stage darkened, the crowd looked around perplexed… “They didn’t even play Glue”…. Until they did. Just as quickly as it seemed to end, the stage lit up one last time, Bicep put on one hell of an encore to finally finish their set with ‘Glue’. There really can’t be much argument that Bicep is currently untouchable, and as they finished off the 7th edition of Cake, we were under no illusion as to who were biggest live electronic act of 2018…
BEST LET THEM EAT CAKE YET? YOU BETCHA!
With a collective sigh from the crowd and a quick drunk cuddle with the crew, Let Them Eat Cake had come to an end. I seemed to float through the darkness toward the bus pick up, completely unfazed by the munching jawlines and arm chains of people around me trying to not lose their way in the dark. And after many conversations it seems I was not alone in deeming this Let Them Eat Cake the best one yet. The entire spectacle had a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ about it, it just seemed to flow effortlessly and peak so perfectly.
As a whole it all felt a bit like a dream, one I wished I never woke up from.
Words by Marli Grosskopf