A humid and sticky summer’s day in welcomed punters to the Adelaide installment of the nationwide Laneway festival. Cloud cover kept the sun away and the cool breeze off the Port river helped keep revelers cool as the music played on.
Split over four stages, festival goers were treated to a fine selection of local Australian and international talent. The aptly named Girl’s Rock! stage presented some of the best homegrown female led groups and solo performers, including the band with the best name on the bill: Stabitha and the Knifey Wifeys whose aggressive sound lives up to their name. The Girl’s Rock stage was the only stage indoors, in the old Waterside Worker’s Hall, its grand tall ceiling and theatre stage now turned into a temple for the empowerment of female musicians.
Pist Idiots showed that they can bring all the passion and energy they exude in the pubs of Australia to the festival stage, bringing the noise to the early parts of proceedings on the Hart’s Mill Stage. (Click here to read our interview with Pist Idiots frontman, Jack Sniff, True Believers!).
Down on the Friends and Freedom stage, Col3trane brought the beats and swagger, with his small but passionate fanbase hanging off every hook and groove. For grooves of the smoother variety, Kaiit’s Hiatus Kaiyote-like sound had the mosh pit swaying and singing, while Benee’s three tracks in Triple J’s hottest 100 meant she had the crowd fully behind her during her set.
All artists seemed to be excited and motivated by the passion and turn out of the crowd, none more so than Tones and I. Her big hits Dance Monkey, Never Seen the Rain and Johnny Ran Away, where sung, nay screamed back at her by a crowd who were fully up for a party.
Away from the main attractions, festival goers were treated to some quality eats from Adelaide’s food truck scene, with trucks scattered throughout the festival, making it easy to find something to munch. The space around Hart’s Mill was really well utilised, with enough space between stages to allow for easy movement of people and no sound pollution between acts.
The Psychedelic Porn Crumpets proggy psychedelia down on the Friends and Freedom stage had the crowd coming from all directions, quite literally. The balcony of the pub outside of the venue was full throughout their set, and some kayakers and paddle-boarders pulled up for a listen on the Port River.
There are some sounds that have the ability to unite a crowd – the DMA’s modern take on Britpop had the mosh pit swaying and up on shoulders, singing along with their big hit, Delete. Complete with a Liam Gallagher style percussion stick, lead singer Thomas O’Dell was in complete control of the crowd.
But the band who brought the greatest atmosphere was King Gizzard the Lizard Wizard. Opening with tracks from their latest album, Infest the Rat’s Nest (where they took on a more metal sound), the heavens opened up and the rain added to the deep, demonic sound. ‘Is it going to thunder down?’ asked Stu Mackenzie the frontman, ‘That’d be sick!’
Charlie XCX’s energy when she burst on the stage was infectious – as she launched into ‘I Don’t Care’, the crowd was bouncing enough to make earth tremors, and put holes in the carpark pavement. The 1975 completed the day on a high, ending their set with ‘The Sound’, an appropriate track to send fans home singing and dancing.
With the weather playing ball and all performers bringing the noise, there wasn’t one festival goer who left the event without a smile on their face or laughing with friends – a satisfying end to a summer’s day.