In The City


Goodbye Friday night, hello sunny Sunday

I felt a little unprepared after walking through the crowd and seeing everyone armed with cooler boxes full of food. After talking to few fans at the festival, some people were excited about the venue change and some, not so much.  Some felt the name of the event did not relate to the new venue and that is was not really in the city.

I feel this year was more of a success than the previous In The City festivals, because more people could attend the event. Having a bigger venue and great bar service as well as feeling safer than in the city. Compared to last year’s event some of the cars were broken into and people were mugged after the show. The fans felt that they could enjoy themselves this year being parked closer to the event and having security all around.

The attendees were ready for the heat, scattering towards the trees and shade, bringing their umbrellas and picnic-blankets,-whilst having their faces painted white with layers of sunscreen. In my opinion, the event felt more like an event such as Park Acoustics than In The City, reason being I missed the night life and urban area around me.

I saw this year’s Open The City winner Grassy Spark live at Boosh a few weeks ago. I was charmed by how this bunch of dudes from Cape Town can create music like this. They blend ska with rock, funk, reggae and Latin together to form a unique style. I enjoyed how they interacted with the crowd and how everyone around me was either smiling or singing along to some of their songs.

This was Al Bairre’s second striking In The City event that they have played. They are a Cape Town based symphonic indie rock band that use various instruments. Smooth Mike from P.H.Fat joined them on stage, performing their 5fm Xperia mash lab collaboration “Caviar Dreams” for the first time.

P.H.fat are in line with their own brand of rap music. Although they were on stage for only a short amount of time, these electronic rap hip-hop hellions sure as hell brought their smooth, dirty rhymes to the stage. Even though they played during the heat of the day, people still stood up and watched their show.

The Cat Empire is a jazz, reggae, funk, Latin, gypsy and hip hop Australian band. They delivered incredible musicality and entertainment. They blew my mind! The way their stage performance made the whole crowd jump, dance and sing along was an amazing experience. They were so energetic on stage I would’ve never thought that I would see them live, believe me when I say they were the best act of the day.

Milky Chance became a viral online sensation after they released their self-produced single “Stolen Dance”. They mix elegant electronic production with acoustic guitars, lush vocals and mastered an original music style. As for the performance itself, Clemens has got quite a presence on stage, though I felt he subdued himself at times. I think he will gradually feel more comfortable on stage as he performs more shows, eliminating those rare moments of awkwardness I saw.

If Clemens said the word “yeah” and nothing else during the show, he’d be fine. Philipp did a fine job on the bass and pretty much stole the show with the harmonica work he did. During the song “Loveland” Philipp supported Clemens with the harmonica and absolutely crushed it.

The crowd was a bit irritated at this stage of the day; some people were rude and not letting other fans through or just pushing you out of the way to get to the front. Although this happens at nearly any festival, Milky Chance was still a phenomenal experience, except for the lack of not interacting with the crowd; the demeanour of the group on stage paralleled their music in a way that can only make you smile.

British indie rockers, The Kooks were the last international act of the day. At least most of the venue was covered in shade so the fans could dance around anywhere they liked. The band first visited South African shores in 2013 as part of an exclusive brand campaign, 5gum.

I had the privilege of seeing them live in 2013 and two years later I feel that they were even better than their previous show. The fans just wanted to sing along to their favourites, which would not arrive until the encore. The Kooks ended their show with its (arguably) biggest hit “Naive“. The whole crowd were brought to attention, dancing and singing along to the catchy song, which sounded better than ever before.

There is something spectacular about the way people come out on a Sunday, experiencing some vitamin D and watching bands together. Although a Friday night is better than a Sunday afternoon, because having a hangover on a Monday sucks. Vodacom and Seed Experience have outdone themselves yet again. We can only hope that the future will bring more artist of the same high calibre. I feel like I can speak for the whole Joburg when I say that I cannot wait for the next In The City.


Read our Selfies Of In The City feature here


About Author

I’ve always thought being popular online is as useless as being rich in monopoly | The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources | Founder of dis_ek_lize