Laneway Festival 2014

Laneway Festival 2014


With a line-up as stellar as the one that Laneway Festival managed to curate for 2014, it is no surprise that the day was an excellent series of highly professional performances one after the other.

Starting my day off was King Krule, who managed to pull a large crowd to the smaller Alexandria St Stage. His presence was dominating and his performance impressive; demonstrating this when he slammed the microphone stand down onto the ground after the first song. Not to mention the musicianship of the band who were every bit as important as Krule himself.

Autre Nu Veut were easily the most passionate musicians on the day (excluding Estelle Haim’s mouth…). Their interesting blend of power pop and R n B was a force to be reckoned with, and the band physically blew the audience away right from the word go.

Vance Joy was underwhelming and disappointing, especially for one who topped the Hottest 100. Pitchy singing and an overall lack of quality live production resulted in a lacklustre performance. Even ‘Riptide’, the closing song of the set, lost its appeal in a live production setting.

Following Vance was XXYYXX, an electronic producer from Orlando, who played mostly tracks off his self-titled album, but also some remixes in his classic and distinguishable sound. It was a shame I had to leave early in order to secure a spot at the main stage to see CHVRCHES.

The Scottish trio did not disappoint. In fact, CHVRCHES’ live performance was one of the strongest of the day. Their sound was as strong as their studio recordings and their modesty and humility was testament to their music – they let it speak for itself. Coming out in shorts and t-shirts, the band played hit after hit off their smash debut The Bones Of What You Believe.

Haim followed right after CHVRCHES and really showed Brisbane what they were about. Their music translated into rock perfection live on the Carpark Stage, with the three sisters giving everything they had to their hits, which cascaded in one after the other, giving the audience the chance to dance and scream along at every opportunity. They brought in the evening half of the festival with an impressive live moment when they each grabbed drumsticks and went all out on a 3-piece drum spectacular. In terms of live performance and presence on stage, Haim were easily the best on the day.

That was until Lorde took the stage. Her grace and understated nature was every bit as beautiful as one would expect when listening to her songs. Opening with ‘Bravado’ off her Love Club EP, Lorde captured the audience and swallowed them whole. For the whole set, everyone at the Carpark stage was absolutely entranced by her brilliant singing and incredible dancing (if you can call it dancing). She had the audience singing along to classics like ‘Royals’ and ‘Tennis Court’, and her cover of Son Lux’s ‘Easy’ surpassed the minimalist beauty of the original. Seeing this 17 year old live was as impressive as seeing acts that have had decades in the business.

Danny Brown followed Lorde on the Zoo Stage, and his entire set was a hyperactive experience. He bounced from one trap backed track to the other, the crowd bouncing and screaming along the entire time. The closing track,
‘Dip’, was an experience like no other, with Danny giving everything he had during it.

At the same time on the Red Bull Stage, Jamie xx played a sublime DJ set. Free from the typical builds and drops so typical of electronic music these days, Jamie xx’s set was a unique collection of sounds, ranging from jungle beats to 1950s jazz sounds. His music was the perfect way to wind down from the insanity that was Danny Brown.

That was until Earl Sweatshirt took the Zoo Stage after Danny. Earl, Taco (his DJ), and Domo Genesis got the Odd Future diehards whipped into a frenzy at the end of a very long day, playing mainly tracks from his latest release Doris. Unfortunately, the live production let Earl down a bit, and most of what he and Domo were rapping was lost in a blur of bass.
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