Festival Review: Splendour in the Grass 2023 – Day Two (22.07.23)

Day two of Splendour in the Grass kicked off under sunny skies and solid vibes all round. My lower back has pulled up reasonably well after realising yesterday I am now about 400 in festival years. While I loved my camping days of Splendours past, nothing can heat a warm and dry bed, insulated walls and the guarantee of a shower without having to line up. Spritely for the first set of the day, the crowd were in early and keen for Mia Wray over in the GW McLennan tent. Playing her first SITG, Mia was great from her first song to last, providing the crowd with a look behind the curtain into the theme and history of her songs. Mia was great, with a toned down “Monster Brain” an obvious highlight, while her cover of DMAs’ “Delete” was a subtle but nice addition. Do yourself a favour and check her out next time she’s touring.

Big Wett got the big, wet party times going over at the Mix Up tent, with a dance party set filled with sexed up and generally ridiculous (read: fantastic) tunes. Again, it’s all fun and probably in jest, but Big Wett is worth a visit and listen next time they’re on a festival line up. Teenage Dads got the young parents moving over in the amphitheatre with their brand of indie rock. Their cover of “Video Killed the Radio Star” was received well, while “Hey, Diego” and “Teddy” were set peaks (other than when they rightfully turned down a shoey. Great choices were made).

Big Wett

Choosing to stay in the amphitheatre, sitting in the afternoon sun did great things for the sleep deprivation experienced over the past two nights, as Meg Mac took to the stage to showcase the best from her back catalogue. Playing her first show as a red head, I don’t know if the red dye provided her with super powers, but her performance was elevated and immaculate from opening song “Every Lie” through to closer “Roll Up Your Sleeves”. (as a red head I can confirm for the most part we’re all superpowered and immaculate).

New Zealand’s Benee flowed through her set as the sun began to set, with “Green Honda” an erratic but unreal highlight before bringing out Mallrat to perform the Women’s Women Cup anthem “Do It Again” (go the Tillies), while over at the Mix Up tent Peach PRC brought her TikTok roots to life, playing to a packed tent that were treated to all corners of her discography, from “God is a Freak”, “Josh” and “Blondes”, while also putting in a cover of Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag” and the real MVP moment of the set, the absolute classic “What Dreams Are Made Of” from the Lizzie McGuire movie. It was most definitely what dreams are made of.


Deciding to settle in for the night on the amphitheatre hill, the evening session was well and truly into full swing by now, as King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard did King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard things, with “The Dripping Tap” a personal and set highlight. Next up was Sam Fender and his band of merry men. Splitting his set evenly between both his albums, he vocalised how insane it was to have so many turn out to a show of his on the other side of the world. With a set including the hits “Getting Started” “The Borders”, “Seventeen Going Under”, “Hypersonic Missiles” and a solemn and solo cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark”, Sam Fender has come a long way for an act who struggled to fill half the GW McLennan tent at Splendour 2019.

Sam Fender

Returning to the country for the first time in nearly a decade, Yeah Yeah Yeahs were electric in the amphitheatre as they picked and chose their way through their 20 year back catalogue. Karen O commanded the stage and will surely go down as one of the great front persons of all time. With “Maps” and “Heads Will Roll” going back to back, I couldn’t have asked for a better pairing at the back end of the set. Deciding to end my night with a little bit of Arlo Parks back at the GW McLennan, Day Two felt like a real success for all in attendance. It felt like a coming of age for a few bands, while others did what they do best and continued putting their best foot forward. Tune in tomorrow for Day Three, as I decide whether or not I should finally put a red line through my festival going licence.

All photos from Bruce Baker – check out more of Bruce’s photos from the day HERE