ONE venue, one weekend, two very different music festivals. The contrast between Saturday's youth-orientated This That and Sunday's nostalgic Scene & Heard at Wickham Park couldn't have been more stark.
While This That resembled more of a bizarre fashion parade for ready-made Instagram posts, the second Scene & Heard was a quintessential music festival. The music, and it's appreciation, were at the front and centre.
The fact that Scene & Heard only drew a quarter of This That's crowd also guaranteed a far more comfortable experience. Some punters relaxed in camping chairs, while others stretched out on picnic rugs.
The inaugural Scene & Heard last year focused on the mid to late-90s with bands like Spiderbait, The Living End and Something For Kate, but for the second addition the nostalgia was pushed forward to circa 2003-2006.
To a time when listening to music online meant downloading tracks off Napster or using MySpace.
It had been more than eight years since Magic Dirt had performed in Newcastle, but the love affair between the Geelong alt-rockers and our city remained strong.
The set included the popular Pace It, Plastic Loveless Letter and a rare live rendition of Supagloo. Frontwoman Adalita honoured late Magic Dirt bassist Dean Turner by asking the audience to raise his favourite drink of Jack Daniels and Coke, and to finish, she called up members of the audience to dance along to Dirty Jeans.
Sneaky Sound System's second straight performance at Scene & Heard got the mostly 30 to 40-something crowd shaking their hips to their hits like UFO and I Love It.
However, with just Black Angus (DJ) joining Miss Connie (vocals) on stage, it felt like the charismatic frontwoman was merely singing along to a backing track.
Jebediah were one of the most beloved Australian bands of the late '90s and early 2000s because they always wrote catchy pop-punk songs. And that's exactly what they delivered.
Perennial favourite Leaving Home orchestrated one of the biggest singalongs of the day, but for pure energy Fall Down was difficult to top.
Indie singer-songwriter Alex Lloyd created a more mellow tone in the late afternoon. Lloyd's voice remains emotionally rich and tender, especially on his signature tune Amazing and Lucky Star.
Scene & Heard's real dark horse was Eskimo Joe. The Fremantle lads produced a powerful greatest hits set to mark their first Newcastle show since 2013.
They were all there - Older Than You, Foreign Land, Wake Up, From The Sea and Black Fingernails, Red Wine. Frontman Kav Temperley has developed into a far more charismatic frontman, undoubtedly helped by his solo work in recent years.
Several punters had expressed surprise earlier that US psych-rock legends The Dandy Warhols weren't headlining over Wolfmother, but it quickly became apparent why.
A power outage before the first song hampered the Portland band from the beginning and they only half recovered. The first four tracks were a self-indulgent blast of drone rock that failed to ignite the crowd and many lost interest.
Hits like We Used To Be Friends, Get Off and their classic Bohemian Like You wrestled some momentum back, but the Dandys never reached the heights they promised and left them well short of their Australian peers.
With that Wolfmother entered the stage with a crunching set of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath-inspired riffs. These were songs written for festival stages.
Andrew Stockdale with his afro and denim jacket looked unchanged from 2006 and his renditions of Woman and White Unicorn breathed with similar energy.
New song Chase The Feeling even got the crowd grooving, but it didn't come close to matching excitement generated by Joker and The Thief.
Despite the obvious generational differences in music tastes between This That and Scene & Heard fans, the fact that about 22,000 people passed through the gates of Wickham Park on the weekend rather than watch Netflix has gotta be a positive.
It was a sentiment best summed up by Jebediah frontman Kevin Mitchell.
"Thank you for choosing live music," he said. "Some people say it's dying, but it doesn't look like it is today." Hallelujah to that.
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here.
IN THE NEWS
- Bushfires burning south of Taree: Traffic conditions and latest updates
- Park fire bans issued to reduce bushfire risk in Hunter Central Coast
- Hunter female bricklayer recognised on national stage
- Peking Duk, Wolfmother, The Dandy Warhols and all these photos from This That in Newcastle
- Fears for Kurri Kurri Hospital's future after anonymous letter, but Hunter New England Health denies claims that an ED closure is planned
- 'Not a simple lift and shift': Wickham power pole to remain for another month, Ausgrid confirms
- The Knights' stalwart who is still going strong, after 30 seasons
- Newcastle Police issue warning to This That and Scene & Heard punters to behave
- Fatal Somersby plane crash: runway conditions 'increased risk', regular finds