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This year’s Laneway lineup was flavoursome. Grimes, Shamir, CHVRCHES and Vince Staples selected as the base ingredients, some QT, HEALTH and DIIV to spice things up, a healthy smattering of some of New Zealand’s biggest bands, and it was looking like a tasty dish indeed.
Armed with a coveted media pass, Salient made the long trek up to Auckland to taste-test this smorgasbord. And with the temperature reaching the 30s it was the perfect weather for a barbeque.
Despite a regretful lack of SOPHIE, QT still managed to deliver an absolutely jaw dropping set, mixing the plasticized delights of PC Music with her own brand of performance art—bewildering all.
While Grimes’s Visions was never an album that was meant to be performed to a huge audience, due to its almost whispered vocals and wandering synths, Art Angel’s proved to be a much better fit. Jams like Kill v. Maim and Venus Fly had the whole crowd dancing while they watched the Canadian sensation’s seriously impressive backup dancers.
Vince Staples gave a set which felt as physically imposing as his music. Despite the title, his selection of tracks from Summertime ’06 were incredibly heavy, dealing with situations that most in the crowd would never experience, but that didn’t stop anyone from enjoying the ride.
Shamir delivered the most summery set of anyone there, his album Rachet providing the perfect sauce for a good time. With hits like On The Regular being sent out hot and fast (made only hotter by his impeccable fashion sense) this was one of the more enjoyable experiences of the day.
Indie darlings DIIV gave an uncharacteristically subdued set, thanking the audience regularly for their participation while delivering tracks from their upcoming album Is The Is Are. The angst and depression was palpable through the fairly adorable riffs and jingles, which made for a scrumptious combination.
With CHVRCHES as the last of the nights truly big acts, everyone was getting a bit tuckered out from all the goodness. Thankfully they proved to be the perfect dessert, with a particularly laid-back performance.
All in all, this year’s Laneway was a delicious meal, and with the talent they pulled in this year, one can only hope next year’s is just as enjoyable.
*Though he came close, Robert did not starve to death during the Laneway Festival.