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Laneway Festival Adelaide 2014



St Jerome’s Laneway Festival visited Harts Mill in Port Adelaide on Friday 7 February, the second last stop of the tour.

Sweltering hot temperatures set in early as the festival kicked off for the first time at the new home at the historic site. Surrounded by the waterfront of the Port River, the unique industrial site was an ideal location with a great layout, however lacked a lush green locale and was quite isolated from the CBD.

Dream-pop quartet Scenic opened up the Red Bull Music Academy Future Classic Stage and got the crowds dancing to their electronic feel good sounds of summer.

American Singer-songwriter Cass McCombs graced the Dolphin View Stage early on with his country, rhythm and blues vibe rich in sincere storytelling, conveyed through heartfelt emotion and an array of different instruments.

Youth lagoon was certainly one of the most intriguing acts of the day with a unique creation of psychedelic electronic pop filled with dark atmospheric undertones of eerie instrumental loops, supporting his lyrics that deal with issues of psychological dysphoria and psychic distress.

The festival had something for everyone, not only to just be appreciated by music lovers but also had lots more to offer and explore in Hart's Mill with a diverse range of market and food stalls from the local community. Many took refuge in the indoor Vitals Stage presented by Format that even had some karaoke between sets.

The mid afternoon saw a back to back stellar line up at the two main stages – Harts Mill and Lion Flour, as one finished the next was set up and ready to go just in time. The light breeze across the port and the three single propeller fans by the Dolphin Stage seemed to be the only reprieve from the heat.

The fiery red King Krule aka Archy Marshall unleashed his deep raw growl upon the audience in the hot sun as he belted out gritty rock music mixed with a punk, grunge, jazz and hip-hop influence that was almost angry and abrupt at times. His unexpected and startling voice unlike anything you’ve heard before, definitely attracted attention, with dark and poetic lyrics about life experience taken from his debut LP 6 Feet Beneath the Moon and also sampled a new track called Lalula from his next record.

Melbourne Singer-songwriter Vance Joy attracted huge crowds waiting in anticipation to hear the number 1 voted song in the 2013 Triple J Hottest 100 ‘Riptide’. In the lead up the humble free spirit played songs from his debut EP God Loves You When You’re Dancing, showcasing his warm folk-rock flavour with effortless raspy tones and uplifting catchy choruses all while he battled on-stage sunscreen sweat issues.

Adalita rocked out at the Dolphin View Stage with well-crafted light and shade throughout her performance from heavy, upbeat, almost danceable tunes to a calming presence that evoked a beautiful stillness in the air. There was no messing with this tough chick though as she pointed out the rowdy crowd members and sorted them out immediately.

The festival was dominated by girl power in the evening with a powerhouse of lead female vocalists delivering the most memorable performances.

British trio Daughter led by Elena Tonra on vocals, instantly captivated the audience with their spellbindingly beautiful arrangements. filled with haunting melodies with melancholic atmospherics. The band’s mid to slow tempo pace conveyed a deeply emotional sense that drew you in and left you hanging on every breathy hook. Candles was the highlight of the set that elevated each layer of the song to build up to a brilliant climax in the final chorus. The guitarist impressively strummed the bass like strings on a violin.

Californian sisters Haim exploded onto the Harts Mill stage for their first ever Adelaide performance and instantly had everyone head over heels in love from the moment they begun playing their hit song Falling. These girls proved they are born performers with incredible musical talents as they seamlessly played their instruments and delivered a solid vocal performance that was also wildly entertaining with Este Haim’s added bass face expessions. They played a mix of up beat catchy pop songs from their debut Days Are Gone including Don’t Save Me, The Wire, Forever and even stopped for a fun jam while beating the drum with a pair of maracas.

The heat seemed to be a bit too much for Scottish synthpop band Chvrches who were sadly faced with technical problems as their equipment literally fried in the heat. In efforts to save their set after over half-an-hour of silence, front woman Lauren Mayerry took to the stage for an accapella version of their track ‘Mother We Share’ before they were able to finally get the equipment working for a second attempt but were then forced to abandon the stage prematurely and leaving fans very disappointed. Meanwhile as the main stage arena stood and waited patiently for Chrvches, Sydney trio Jagwar Ma partied on at the Future Classic Stage with an energetic and uplifting vibe bursting with contagious hooks and electronic effects.

Lorde took the thrown at the Harts Mill stage and gave the standout performance of the festival. Ella Yelich-O'Connor - the youngest and yet most captivating artist to take to the stage she drew everyone in from the first note of her opening track Bravado. The 17-year-old gave an edgy hard-hitting performance as she wore black from head to toe and threw her body to and fro as she flipped her wild locks over her head. The backing tracks filled with deep ominous sound effects complimented her flawless mature vocals perfectly. She performed songs off her debut album including hits Tennis Court, Royals, Team and an impressive cover of Son Lux’s track Easy filled with haunting sound effects and jazzy trumpets. Performing her Laneway inspired track Ribs was a very special moment and she explained she felt very privileged to sing in front of her very own audience on the main stage, a dream she had always had.

Cloud Control closed the Lion Flour stage keeping energy levels at a high with feel good tracks and infectious harmonies on tracks Moonrabbit, Scar and Happy Birthday. Over at the Dolphin View stage all girl indie-rock group Warpaint from California, closed with a blend of hypnotic and ethereal blend of dream pop and showcasing some of their brand new material off their new self titled release.

The Jezabels closed the Harts Mill stage and ended the festival on a high note with one of their fist live shows to tour with their new album The Brink. Their Indie-Pop dark alt-rock performance was filled with sonic drama and matched with Hayley Mary’s powerful and fearless low register vocals. It was the perfect way to finish a hot festival that really did feel like an endless summer.
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