St Jerome's Laneway Festival kicked off in Australia yesterday (26 Jan) at Brisbane Showgrounds showcasing a solid mixture of Australian and international artists.
The day started early and was off to a good start with the likes of Camp Cope, Jess Kent and Julia Jacklin kicking us off.
Another female to take the stage earlier in the day was Tash Sultana. As one person up on a big stage in front of a big crowd she really brought the house down. I was enthralled by her skill as she effortlessly looped layer upon layer to create a full sound. If anything, I'd say perhaps there was too much noise and too many things happening without enough structure, but all this was forgotten when she started beatboxing. Yup, beatboxing. Just when I didn't think the Melbourne-based, natural-born singer-songwriter could get any cooler, she started beat boxing.
D.D Dumbo (aka Oliver Perry) got me moving during his set as he played through much-loved tracks from his recent album 'Utopia Defeated'. I wasn't totally satisfied with the pre-recorded bass but was impressed with the two skilled percussionists. It was a funky and fun set.
US MC Mick Jenkins took the stage in the late afternoon to perform in front of a rather difficult crowd who either didn't know him or were too out of it to remember if they did. It was that awkward time of day where the people who peaked too early were nearing their end and the people who had been prepping elsewhere all day were turning up to the festival off their faces. The poor guy had food and drinks thrown on stage but not out of hate, the crowd were just too loose. His set was quite structured with Mick chanting "spread love" and "drink more" (titles of two tracks included in his set) between songs in an attempt to calm the crowd and spread positivity. Because of this, it was a little too repetitive and overdone but was effective in spreading some good vibes in the audience.
It was a momentous occasion to have A.B. Original not only performing at 2017 Laneway, but to also have them MC the event on this day, Australia Day. Their set started with traditional Indigenous dancers performing songs and dances close to their hearts and people. They wowed the crowd creating fire on stage that glowed in their hands before being clapped away. A.B. Original played through a collection of their most-loved tracks including '2 Black 2 Strong' and a cover of Paul Kelly's 'Dumb Things'. They welcomed Caiti Baker to the stage to perform 'Dead In A Minute' and Dan Sultan for their powerful performance of 'January 26'. Their passion poured off the stage and filled the hearts of the audience.
As the sun faded away, Tycho brought us into the evening with an atmospheric, techno-rock performance. It was an instrumental performance with no vocal line which, although a little too guitar heavy, was the perfect soundtrack to ease into the summer festival afternoon. The San Francisco-based visual artist had a wonderful visual display happening behind the band that entranced the audience.
Chet Faker performed as Nick Murphy in his first Australian show since forgoing his alias. He played a set with a combination of new and old material including 'Stop Me, Stop You' and 'Talk Is Cheap'. His voice was absolutely flawless and totally impressive as he hit unimaginable high notes with ease. He also had a notably cool laser light show as well.
One of the biggest bands in the country, Tame Impala made a return visit to Laneway this year attracting a massive audience. The tent was packed to all edges with fans eager to experience their expansive repertoire including hits like 'The Less I Know The Better' and 'Feels Like We Only Go Backwards'. They kicked things off with a short instrumental piece and then got the party started with 'Let It Happen' before the heavens opened up and the rain poured on down.
Before we knew it, it is was all over for another year. I can tell you, however, there were far less glow sticks on show this year and glitter has made a massive resurgence. Although glitter has always been a prerequisite to any music festival it was definitely in over drive at Laneway this year.