We trekked down early to catch The Basics. I love them. If you don’t love The Basics you are wrong. They were as catchy as ever…I just can’t get enough of them. They even busted out a few new ones for the early risers. Fun times.
Setlist: Yeah, Yeah / Memory Lane / Hey There / Just Hold On / Girl Give Me Something (new song, guessing the title) / Hey Rain / Looking Over My Shoulder / With This Ship(new song, guessing the title again) / What Do You See In Me (new song) / Rattle My Chain
The next band on my hitlist for the day were Devastations. After the praise heaped on them by Polaroids I had very high expectations…perhaps too high. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed but I don’t think a sunny 2pm is the best time to get the best Devastations experience. I look forward to exploring more of their icy doom when it’s dark and I’m terrified of the world.
Next up were one of my favourite live Aussie acts, The Vasco Era. Opening with a throaty rendition of Dylan’s Girl From The North Country the band then proceeded to blast through a solid set of their blues-punk-whatever. I always enjoy these guys live and yesterday was no exception.
We then moved back into the (ever growing) Reiby Place lane stage for Okkervil River’s excellent set. I didn’t catch their sideshow so I was pleased to catch them at the festival. I wouldn’t call myself a massive fan, I enjoyed Black Sheep Boy, but other than that I’m pretty unfamiliar with the band. Despite this they had me pretty much enthralled with their set.
Setlist: The President’s Dead / Black / A Hand To Take Hold Of The Scene / The Latest Toughs / A Girl In Port / Plus Ones / Our Live Is Not A Movie Or Maybe / For Real / Unless It’s Kicks / Westfall (via)
We then saw…
After Feist’s wonderful performance Gotye closed the show. Now I’m a big fan of Gotye and Wally’s a lovely guy, so it pains me to say I wasn’t that thrilled with his set. It’s a big ask to turn a sample-based record into a proper live performance under any circumstances (and he’s done it well in the past with his band & orchestra) but attempting it in solo mode is damn near impossible. While their were definite highlights (The Only Thing I Know kicked ass) I found myself just a bit letdown by the performance. And the U Can’t Touch This bit just confused me.
All in all, however, I had a great day. The festival brought out great international acts for which I am so grateful.
I got the feeling this year that the festival is starting to grow a wee bit too much. What has made Laneway such a wonderful festival in the past is that it’s laid back, there’s room to move, lines are tolerable…pretty much the antithesis to every other music festival. But this year it seemed to me that there were FAR more people there. The stage in the lane was much further back than in previous years to, presumably, accommodate more ticket sales. But would anyone in the back of that lane have really enjoyed Okkervil River’s set? The band would have looked like ants. And that’s fine for a U2 show, but not an “indie” festival.
In the past this festival has been described as a “boutique” festival. I really hope it can retain that vibe because the last thing we all need is another “walmart” festival. Please don’t Jump the Shark Laneway.
Photos from the day are here. Pretty happy with some of by BSS ones!