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Good Vibes Festival 2018: The Good, the Bad and the Surprising

Published on 27 July 2018|
2 min read

There was much anticipation leading up to the Good Vibes Festival last weekend but did the lineup live up to expectations?

by Emily Mary Chin, Carrybeans



Lorde is magic.  Let me preface this by saying that.  Even now, as I write and rewatch her closing performance of Green Light from that weekend, I still have goosebumps.  She has both inspired and resonated with me since she first came to fame with her debut album, Pure Heroine, at the tender age of 16.  I can only ever dream to write as beautifully as she does.

But seeing her perform live was a completely new and elevated experience of its own.  Not only did she make extra effort to interact with the crowd, she also spoke to us on a very human level.  In that one hour, she made us feel loved, supported, and like all our problems could be danced away.  If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

alt-J (Δ)

I don’t know if it’s my familiarity to their music or their sick stage setup, but alt-J’s set for me was a completely rousing hour of good times (and vibes?).  Though they made very little effort to interact with the crowd, it felt almost unnecessary as the music spoke for itself.  Their music is lively and upbeat, and each song ending just made me impatient for the next song to start.

But then again, maybe I am just biased.  Because for some reason, I didn’t have the same reaction to..


Nick Murphy (FKA Chet Faker)

With Chet Faker—and no, I am still not used to calling him Nick Murphy—it wasn’t so much that his performance was bad, as it was just that there was zero interaction with the crowd.  His songwriting and compositions have always had a way of hitting me in the feels and I was excited for his set leading up to the weekend.

But sadly, his lack of crowd engagement made his performance less engaging as well.  And though alt-J were similar and made pretty much just as little effort, Chet Faker’s music has always been more emotionally driven.  Because of this, his lack of interaction felt like a far bigger disconnect and letdown.  It felt exactly like what it was, really: that he was paid to be there and that was it.

The Neighbourhood

Listening to The Neighbourhood live was the first time a band sounded worse live for me than in studio.  The band was solid and played their roles well.  But I mean, is it just me or does Jesse Rutherford sound nothing like he does on the Sweater Weather studio track?  Listening to the performance again, it wasn’t necessarily a bad performance.  It just wasn’t what I expected and wanted to hear.

Which leads us to our next category..



Maybe I’m just oblivious, but I did not expect there to be so many HONNE fans out in the crowd that weekend at Good Vibes.  I am a casual listener of one or two of their songs, thanks to my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify.  But I guess I underestimated the power of Spotify and HONNE as a whole, as their set garnered more enthusiasm than even some of the bigger headliners that night.

Don’t believe me?  There are multiple clips of HONNE’s set from that weekend already up on YouTube.  Try finding one of Vince Staples, What So Not, or Louis the Child.


It was only about a week to Good Vibes when it was announced that SZA would be joining the lineup.  But despite that, it’s hard to imagine the weekend without her.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that there were multiple girls crying in the crowd during her set that night.

SZA speaks to girls—and some boys—of our generation in a way that is raw, honest, and genuine.  And these characteristics carried through in how she interacted with the crowd that night as well.  I may have not been a SZA fan before, but after watching her live at Good Vibes, I definitely am one now.


So yes, there were some definite ups and downs that weekend, some definite curve balls.  There were moments of complete immersion and moments of genuine boredom.  But despite the mixed feelings, I would still go back just to witness it all again.  Because as is always the case at Good Vibes Festival, the good vibes always outweigh the bad.

It’s not just international stars, our own Sabahan talents draw a pretty impressive crowd of their own!  Velvet & Marsha Live in KK in April managaed to draw quite the crowd, despite the rain.

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