Review: Laneway Festival – Melbourne (13/02/2016)

LANEWAY FESTIVAL
Saturday 13th of February 2016, Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC) and The Rivers Edge, VIC

Laneway Festival prides itself on delivering the best indie acts in the summer time within Melbourne’s West. When the line-up is announced in September you can be scratching your head on half of the names, but when February rolls around most of these unknowns have broken onto the airwaves of Triple J and beyond, making the festival the hottest ticket in town.

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For the 2016 edition of Melbourne’s Laneway Festival it was certainly the hottest ticket in town, selling out but it was more-so the hot ticket due to the warm temperatures reaching to  30+, and with the limited shade around the festival it was definitely felt.

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If the acts weren’t enough for you o the day, Laneway delivered a slam dunk this year with their food and beverages on the day. Temple Brewery and West City Brewery brought the local touch to the thirsty punters and gave a better alternative to that terrible Budweiser who were the official sponsors of the event. Foodies would be happy with Mr Miyagi, Beatbox Kitchen, Burn City Smokers and Gelato Messina were among the food vendors. Messina as usual created flavours just for the festival including ‘Take me to the Chvrches’, ‘Vince’s Staples’, ‘Beach House and Chill’ and ‘Come on baby light my Flume’. We opted the Flume, which by no surprise was yum filled with meringue, white chocolate cookies and fudge. Additional to the food, the markets even offered a bit of everything from vinyl to Melbourne designer Lenko. Now enough about the food and more about the tunes…

Banofee: 12:20-1:00 (Future Classic Stage)
Watched: 12:20-12:45

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A nice chilled performance from the Melbourne  songstress, nothing too much to rave about, but a good start to the festival.
Rating: 6.5/10

Methyl Ethel: 12:15-1:40 (The Very West Stage)
Watched: ALL
Setlist featured:
Idee Fixe
Shadowboxing
Obscura
Rogues
Sweet Waste
Twilight Driving

Since hearing Twilight Driving I was intrigued by the Perth indie rockers, but for me the set didn’t build much on the base of what I heard of the band previously.
Rating: 6.5/10

Majical Cloudz: 2:10-2:55 (Mistletone Stage)
Watched: ALL

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Two-piece Majical Cloudz were one of the first of many acts on the Mistletone stage to declare the weather “too hot”. But it remains to be seen if it was the hot weather that turned frontman Devon Welsh a little “interesting”. His mid-perfromance banter was strange, but did keep things interesting while producer Matthew Otto blended into the background. Are You Alone? and my personal favourite Silver Car Crash were played early on the set and were the highlights.
Rating: 6.5/10

East India Youth: 3:15-4:00 (The Very West Stage)
Watched: ALL

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The one man show William Doyle, aka East India Youth provided the highlight set of Laneway. At only 24 he is so mature in his live performance. He begins behind a handful of keyboards, but as the show progresses he comes out from the control panel and strums away on his guitar surrounding with smoke. Initially the crowd is tiny, but as the show goes on the crowd builds. He has a good laugh at the stage almost tearing down with the hectic winds throughout the set. The set comprises of songs from his first two critically acclaimed albums, opening with The Juddering but it is Beaming White and Turn Away that really pump the crowd.
Rating: 8.5/10

Shamir has a big crowd gathered around the Future Classic stage but doesn’t convince us to stay around.

DIIV: 4:40-5:25 (Mistletone Stage)
Watched: Most of set

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Undecided what to see next, the Mistletone Stage is always encouraging to visit, as it is on a hill and gives a relaxing and chillout vibe.  We check out DIIV (pronounced Dive), which keeps us entertained with their refreshing dream-pop rock in the late arvo.
Rating: 7/10

We take a short break away from the music to try out Messina’s Laneway flavours! Yum!

Sophie/QT: 6:00-7:00 (Future Classic Stage)
Watched: 6:00-6:30

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Keen to see QT, it is instead Sophie who opens the set – our patience turns thin as we opt to check out the Dean Turner stage.
Rating: 4.5/10

The Internet: 6:40-7:25 (Dean Turner Stage)
Watched: ALL
I hoped that The Internet would be the band that saved the day, but LA R&B band could not. It wasn’t too memorable for me unfortunately.
Rating: 6.5/10

Grimes: 8:05-8:55 (The Very West Stage)
Watched: ALL

Setlist:
Flesh without Blood
REALiTi
Genesis
Butterfly
Scream
Venus Fly
Be a Body
Go
Oblivion
Kill v. Maim

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The crowd packed around The Very West Stage and it was extremely tight.

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There was a very technical issues at the beginning of the set which led to the vocals quite soft during Flesh Without Blood, but things redeemed as the set went on. A great playful set which saw Grimes prancing around the stage. A very solid set, with Go which being the stand out for me.
Rating: 8.5/10

The initial idea to finish the night with Flume not looking like the best option, as the main stage just had too many people. We caught a handful of songs from CHRVCHES set including We Sink, but we thought we’d try to end the night with Purity Ring among a smaller crowd.

Purity Ring: 9:30-10:40 (Mistletone Stage)
Watched: ALL

Setlist:
Stranger Than Earth
Repetition
Obedear
Lofticries
Push Pull
Belispeak
Crawlersout
Bodyache
Heartsigh
Dust Hymn
Flood on the Floor
Fineshrine
Begin Again

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Purity Ring was a great choice to end with, it was chilled, relaxing but fun at the same time with plenty of room to dance. The set-design was fantastic with strings of lights looking ever so beautiful. Begin Again was the closing song of the festival and a good note to finish the night on.
Rating: 8.5/10

The festival lacked with the acts this year, it could not compare those of last year; Banks, FKA Twigs, Future Islands, SOHN and others. The biggest disappointment of this year was that there were no surprising acts that made me an instant fan. Maybe next year a couple of sideshows may be the go?

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