Organizers made some important changes this time around to correct the only real problem of Laneway Sydney – the layout of the stages. Instead of crowding everyone into the main area of the school (Sydney College of the Arts in Rozelle) where you could hear the echo of one stage at the other, they spread them out, utilizing the massive lawn and steep hills to the right of the entrance. Not only did this allow for better sound quality, it also meant that the crowd could spread out and up and just chill out.
Highlights of the day were plenty: Norwegian duo Kings of Convenience, dressed in long underwear and beanies, came a little over prepared for the miserable weather but played acoustically and sang in perfect harmonies for the first half of the set, and later introduced their (very excitable) band.
Erland Oye, also a member of Whitest Boy Alive, danced his way into the crowd for their last song and found out it wasn’t so easy to get back out. Girls yelled “Oh my God touch him!” as they pushed past me, while one very creepy looking girl locked her arms around his neck as he dragged himself (and her) through the crowd back to the stage for a final bow.
Alt-J delivered as usual with a great sound and lovely manners. After shooting into stardom last year, the boys are now playing tighter-than-ever sets as they adjust to facing larger crowds and bigger (sold out) venues.
Yeasayer are consistently impressive and did not let a soul down for their second appearance on the Laneway lineup. Front-man Chris Keating has no inhibitions up on that stage and tends to jump and bend around like a musical savant. But I had to cut it short and run off to see Japandroids who drew in a different kind of crowd this year. The kind that have never heard of Bat for Lashes and probably weren’t going to stick around for Divine Fits, but had bought their tickets with the sole intention of seeing Japandroids tear it up…and that they did. Just two guys, a guitar and a drum kit later and the entire crowd were losing their shit. I didn’t really get into their latest album,Celebration Rock, but after hearing it live, outdoors and in that kind of crowd, it finally clicked with me and I understood why they had such die-hard fans.
Last but by far least was Bat For Lashes and all I can really say is, be still, my beating heart. Lets put her music aside for a spilt second here – the woman is stunning. She is soft and sweet and kinda’ little which makes you think you could easily hatch a plan to steal her and keep her forever. My insanity aside, the entire crowd melted for her and when you take into account her music as well, she was like a heavenly pitch perfect gift from the Laneway gods.
Laneway continues onto Adelaide and Perth this coming weekend. If you haven’t already got tickets then you better start getting creative because they’re sold out, sucker.
To see Monster Children’s photo coverage of the Sydney event head to aboutlstnight.com. While you’re at it, get on your Gram, your Insta if you will, and add the boys at@aboutlstnight_, then make sure you’re following us at @monsterchildren and lastly if you’re really bored, follow me @crazal so that my friends think I’m popular. Cheers.