Hanging at the forefront of my brain for most of this year’s Laneway was a single thought, it was there in the first five minutes after entering, it was there as I wandered between sets, it was there on my way out.

Why hasn’t Laneway ALWAYS been in Albert Park?

Because holy shit, that was the perfect venue for a festival like Laneway. Shade everywhere, stages rising in front of a picturesque backdrop of trees and cityscape, SPACE oh man so much s p a c e. My only complaint is that Princes street was too crowded and seemed like it could’ve been solved by spreading things out a little bit more but that’s a tiny thing that was pretty easily avoidable. Besides there was the stunning beer garden / always pretty empty portaloos / food vendors up the other end of the park anyway so it wasn’t like you HAD to go down Princes all that much

It was a beautiful day in a beautiful setting with a tonne of beautiful music. I didn’t see everything I had planned on seeing but everything I did see was fantastic. I’m not going to write about everything I saw, but I’ve picked some highlights and surprises and written about them through here:Best reason to get there early: Fazerdaze

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I finally made it to a Fazerdaze show and dang if it wasn’t the perfect way to start the day. The shimmery dream pop-ish goodness was an amazing welcome to the new venue, with the band confidently revelling in the enthusiasm from the sizeable crowd


Best day time stage: Thunderdome

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Damn this was such a huge improvement over the Silo Park Thunderdome. Easily the most shaded stage, it was super dope to be able to groove along to Yukon Era (who killed it) and Cut Off Your Hands (also killed it) and not melt away entirely. Super dope to see both local bands bringing their absolute A-game and be so well received by such decent crowds

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Best singalongs: Car Seat Headrest

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I never could’ve foreseen just how much fun it would be to sing along to Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales and Fill In The Blank. I knew it was going to be something special, and that I would be there yelling along to every single word but damn that was something else. One of my only festival regrets is passing the band later on in the day and not thanking Will Toledo for everything


Best band I didn’t see: Refused

“After a 26 year career – give or take a decade long break – Refused brought their extreme left, anti-capitalist hardcore punk to New Zealand for the first time. And it was fucking LIT” – Adam Warin


Best surprise: Julia Jacklin

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Like I said back in the pre-Laneway post, I didn’t do a lot of research going into this year’s Laneway as I already had a pretty solid core set of sets to check out and wanted to remain pretty open to being carried along to stages by mere flights of fancy. This strategy served me well, I found a bunch of performances I’m not sure I would’ve gone to and best of all these on-the-day discoveries was Julia Jacklin. Her set on the Rotunda stage was the perfect early afternoon sway sesh, with her pleasantly captivating country-esque jams quickly drawing me out from the shade and in as close as I could get


Best soundtrack to a sit-down-and-rest-yr-ankles: Floating Points

I keep fucking up and wearing Vans to festivals and I doubt I’ll ever learn my lesson. It was late in the day and a couple of my fest squad and I sat up near the fountain stage to listen to Floating Points and rest up before Mr Carmack / Tame Impala and damn if it didn’t sound good. The part of their backdrop/visuals I could see looked real dope too, bet it was a real treat up close


Best last two songs of a set I managed to catch completely accidentally: Tycho

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I missed most of Tycho’s set due to well I don’t remember what exactly but it was in part due to the Princes Street delays but I think there was also something else on at the same time but whatever it was, I didn’t see all of Tycho’s set. I wandered up towards the end of the set and what I did hear was enough to make me feel gutted I hadn’t been around the whole time. The Veils were a very close runner up for this one cos damn they were tight too


Best food: that real dope hot dog I got from that real dope hot dog place

Spicy hogs forever


Best closer who I was seeing for the fourth time: Tame Impala

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Believe it or not all my other photos of Tame Impala were worse than this one

Added that qualifier in there because honestly I have no idea whether or not they were the best closer but shit they were good. Like always, their extended jams / expanded versions of their songs were groovy as all fuck, their visuals were stunning and the confetti / lights combo looked absolutely magnificent. Their set was a sick psych dance party and felt like the perfect way to end the night. I hope I never have to spend an Auckland Anniversary Day anywhere other than at Laneway


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3 thoughts on “Laneway 2017

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