I never had intentions of going to Laneway this year as I’ve seen most of the acts if not at home, then overseas but the line-up was every indie kid’s wet dream from three years ago. You’d expect to see and hear it all before but it was the new venue (for me anyway) and the god damn weather that made it that bit more interesting.
First stop was Beach House. Plagued with technical problems early on and hunting for a good viewing spot only proved to be a difficult feat. I retreated further back and into Menomena’s set over at the Clock Tower stage and was completely blown away. Seeing “Muscle’n Flo”, “The Pelican”, “Weird” and “Wet And Rusting” live only reiterated why Friend and Foe was one of the better releases of the past decade – I was getting a little nostalgic. The Portland group threw the challenge down and hard.
We hung around to see Blonde Redhead and caught the opening of their set with “Dr. Strangluv”, “Here Sometimes” and “In Particular” before catching a breather and something to eat. I walked away knowing little could be done to beat their show last weekend at the Sydney Opera House.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffitti was running a bit late at the Inner Sanctum stage but in my head, I knew I had somewhere else to be. Oh yeah…at Les Savy Fav! It only seemed like yesterday I was in the crowd helping Les Savy’s vocalist, Tim Harrington, crowd surf above the masses in Reiby Place. That year was first Laneway Festival here in Sydney and the standard was set very high for subsequent festivals. This year, the performance was no different – Harrington climbed the adjacent shade sail, light-heartedly molested a spectator and was found somewhere in middle (usually very sweaty) of the rough crowd. Playing favourites including “Patty Lee”, “The Sweat Descends” and “The Equestrian”, the crowd was insane and today I have the bruises to show for it. Closing it out with “Who Rocks The Party”, this was the set of the day and something you just had see.
Still on a high and now feeling a little worse of wear, I knew Deerhunter would be the perfect fix. “Cover Me (Slowly)” and “Agoraphobia” were delivered fast but there was a cloud of great anticipation for Deerhunter drifting all the way to the back.
I ended the night with the trippy, instrumental set from Holy Fuck and there is only one word to describe that: epic. “The Pulse” and “Lovely Allen” sounded so good I knew it wasn’t going to get any better. As the temperature cooled, so did the mood with many heading home before the last acts for the night being Cut Copy, Gotye and !!! (Chk Chk Chk). Overall, I had mixed feelings about the second year of (and my first visit since) the relocation of Sydney’s Laneway.