Laneway festival was only two and a half weeks ago, but it already seems like a long, long time has passed. Funny how some of the most fond memories of events that were once looked forward to so badly can fizzle out into a patch of pleasant-blur. It was a shame that I couldn’t see every act that I was interested in – the boy and I had to cull our choices down and make our own timetable to run by. We had a great day, but I can’t help but feel that it could’ve been better. To be honest, yes, I loved the music, but I was let down by a handful of things and I’m just not sure how great of an idea it is (the festival’s finances aside) to expand the festival by so much. I’ll get pinned for elitism again, but I just felt it was such a shame that majority of the crowd didn’t seem that into the music at all… in fact, most people appeared to be hardly familiar with the music at many of the acts! To clarify, the reason I say it’s a shame is because the bands have come such a long way to this corner of the world, only to be met with largely static and unengaged crowds. It’s also a shame because I think that many people would’ve enjoyed themselves more whilst bearing with the scorching sun and heat, if they were more familiar with the music – rather than just the typical one song that eeeveryone seems to show up to half these sets for! Plus, I always find that being amongst the atmosphere which a very enthusiastic crowd of “fans”-that-are-actually-fans create is one of the most amazing and indescribable feelings in the world. It just kinda sucked that for most of the afternoon, only a handful of other people actually moved, danced and sang along to song after song, to the bands that we’d long-awaited for.
It had been discussed many times between the boy and I as to who would be the “dark horse” band of the day, akin to Blonde Redhead’s set last year, which just blew us both out of the water, and we’ve been even bigger fans since. Whilst the boy had initially vouched for Cults, I’m afraid to say it didn’t take them long to disappoint us. Sometimes I think that perhaps I ought to lower my expectations, but then M83 at the end of the night quashed that thought before Intro was out. Technical issues didn’t help the opening of Cults’ set, but even after that was fixed, it took Madeline a couple of songs to warm up her voice and cease singing flat. I’m sorry, forever a music student’s woes! But I’m happy that I was right and Yuck played an amazing set (at which I was that lone idiotic-looking fan that sang and danced along to everything with my boyfriend), and they played every song that I had hoped to hear.
Nitty gritty details and complaints aside, it was a great day and we had a lot of fun. It’s also obvious that I’m trying to wrap up this blog post because, oh no, it is once again almost dawn and I should sleep… Semi-Laneway-related playlist with more details is at the bottom!
We ferried into the city for the festival, and were lucky to be one of the last people that managed to get on. Being Auckland Anniversary meant that there were a lot of events in town, and the ferry simply wasn’t big enough so lots of people were left behind at the marina.
Hair tie = wild-hair-in-the-wind prevention technique.
And because I’m too lazy to take photos myself, I stole these off web-stores instead. Here is what I wore: lace up boots by B Store with a harness vest by Friend of Mine, worn over a white singlet and white denim cutoffs. My mother reckons that the back of the vest is, in her words, “a bit scary looking”, aka rather BDSM-suggestive – and isn’t it just? I love it though, and I’ve worn it out to random places ever since I got over the fact that I’d constantly get asked about it. These are also the shoes that I wore to the Dan Deacon show, four days after Laneway. I know it seems silly to wear heels to a festival (believe it or not, it was the boy that convinced me to wear them), but it was totally worth it for the extra height. I usually don’t have much trouble seeing at concerts, but I definitely had a better view with these babies on! And I managed to stay upright, even with all the potholes in the grass at one of the stages, so it was fiiine.
1. Hold On – SBTRKT
SBTRKT’s album is forever going to be associated with playing CS for me; I’d gotten into both at around the same time, and it became a bit of a ritual to pair up the two. So imagine how surreal it was to see him live on a patch of uneven grass, with the early evening sun dipping to just above the stage-line and yachts just metres away to one side. Very different to holing up in my room, hours spent cursing at getting kills stolen!
2. Shook Down – Yuck
Oh this song! This heartbreakingly-sweet, sweet song! This band! I love them! Go listen! This is a lot of exclamation marks!
3. Vomit – Girls
Another let down of the day: Girls’ set got cut short because they were running behind schedule (not their fault) and got booted off. I was happy that it happened after they played my top-two songs though – this, and “Lust For Life”. This is a bit of a sombre song, but I just love it. I love the sound, the lyrics, and why/how he wrote them. In Christopher Owens’ own words: “As a dog returns to his vomit, so does a fool return to his folly. You can be very aware of how crazy you’re being sometimes, and be very aware of how you’re not able to help yourself.”
4. How I Know – Toro Y Moi
Underneath his trademark sunshine-evoking sound actually lies a lot of uncertainty and grey space, and I guess that’s why Toro Y Moi stands out to me. The boy’s very into his music, and I don’t know, we’ve never discussed it at length (yet), so I can’t say for sure, but I think we like him for very different reasons. Or at least, I like him for what I think are underrated and often-overlooked reasons. The line “You don’t seem sure/What you want to happen now” puts so many of my life’s moments into a warped nutshell that it freaks me out.
5. Serpents – Sharon Van Etten
This is a song that I fell for the first time I heard it, and then fell out with it upon the second… I guess I’ve been trying to figure out ever since what it was that I heard in it that very first time.
6. Sparkly – Young Magic
This is a poor description of the song, but what came to mind for me was that it sounds like a chilled-out version of the album In Rainbows. I know, I knooow, what a dumb thing to think and to say. But it’s a spacey song that still somehow manages to stay a little intense, just enough for you to still be listening to it, even if you intended it to be background music. And I like what a dead and muted sound the “percussion” is, yet it’s been produced with a little depth to it.
7. Never Heal Myself – Cults
I’m just a sucker for songs that say “[so] fuck you”, especially when its been sonically portrayed in such a deceptively sweet way. The link is to a live video of them performing… if only they played that well at Laneway. Although I was glad that Madeline managed to warm up by that late stage in their set that she didn’t miss the top notes anymore.
8. New Map – M83
M83 are sooo soooooo soooooooooooo good live. The kind of performance that sounds just like the record but somehow manages to outdo it, you know the sort.
9. Snookered – Dan Deacon
This makes me want to cry. Enough said.