This weekend I’ve discovered something that will keep me entertained every Anniversary Weekend from now until the end of eternity - well, my own earth bound version of eternity anyway… that’s not really a thing… so basically, what I’m trying to say is that every Anniversary Weekend until I die I’ll be at Laneway Festival. If my virgin experience with it is anything to go by, it can turn me into a Laneway hussy annually without one blip of anything that remotely resembles an argument from me.
And now I shall tell you, avid reader, why this is the case:
1. Laneway is a small enough festival that even on a stonking hot summers day, as it was yesterday, there’s room to move freely without having to fear being bathed in anyone else’s sweat but your own. There’s room between gyrating bodies so that you too can gyrate beyond what’s usually culturally acceptable.
2. There was ample food, drink and merchandise vendors. And sure the food is over priced and you potentially risk eating the most disgraceful hot dog you’ve ever consumed in your life, but the focus on Laneway is definitely the music. How appropriate is that?! I think there were maybe four clothing / accessories stalls and a few drinks and food places, but what more do you need? I bought a hat. I bought some food and some bevy’s. And then I listened to the music.
3. The timetable was successfully organised in a way that meant there were very few opportunities to actually miss any of the bands. With only three stages, the bands overlapped one another by a few minutes if at all and the organizers seemed more than well aware of who the big draw cards would be and planned accordingly with the major artists next door to one another on stage.
4. The music. Urgh, who chooses these bands? Are they a type of demi-god with skills in reading top notch quality human skill directly after it’s been birthed from their loins?! I imagine this is probably most definitely the case. What I like about the bands is that they’re not necessarily well known in our shores yet - this is probably why they’re there, because they’re still not popular enough to be too expensive. I anticipate that this time next year, for example, Alt J’s quick rise to stardom will be too cemented in their own egos for them to deign to come to NZ again without a supreme payoff - here’s hoping my love and affection is enough.
AND NOW ‘THE BEST’ LIST:
BEST AUDIENCE EXPERIENCE: ’Of Monsters and Men’ - They were a lot of fun and really knew how to get an audience to join in on it. I didn’t know all the words to their songs but they taught me some of them and I appreciate that kind of thing immensely.
BEST SOUND: ’Alt J’ - These guys were tight. Their opening was a little intro instrumental. There were voices but I call it an instrumental because there weren’t lyrics, just some mother flippin’ beautiful harmonies. Also the drummer has a special place in my heart. He’s got some mad skills.
BEST HAPPY SURPRISE: ’Phoenix Foundation’ - I feel like I’m not really a Kiwi when I say that Laneway was really the first I’ve properly heard their music. And they were not what I expected. For some reason in my head I had Shapeshifter, whose reggae soul stuff doesn’t really interest me, but these guys - why haven’t I paid more attention (don’t worry - next pay cheque equals your album in my pocket… or ears as it were)?
BEST OVERALL: ‘Bat For Lashes’ - Now this woman is a performer. She is sweet and I imagine is a total delight in person, but she’s also simultaneously very sexy and knows how to win over her male audience that’s for sure. Despite “something weird” going on in her ears that had her start a song again, she was enthralling. My first impression of her, listening online was a spot indifferent to be honest, but after blogging about her “Laura” ditty (http://haemia.tumblr.com/post/40673490577/bat-for-lashes-laura-2012-as-i-count-down), wiki-ing her (which we can all acknowledge is a sound source of valid information) and seeing her live, I want to hear more. I want to listen more to what she’s singing about. Also, she had on a very cool outfit which I wish I could own and wear in every day life - it made an impression.
Special mention also go to Polica and Yeasayer- good. Good.