From the very moment that St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2012 ended, to November 01 when the organizers announced the “quintessential Indie Rock Festival – St Jerome’s Laneway will return to Singapore for a third successive year“, all we could do was wait in hope and expectation for one of the biggest music festivals that has ever graced Singapore shores to happen. It has been 5 days now and we are all still in a state of shock, unable to accept the fact that it is indeed over.
Laneway came, Laneway blew us away and Laneway went. On 26th January, Singapore experienced a probable uprising and a glimpse of the future. No longer held at legendary Fort Canning Park, this year’s Laneway saw a massive 10,000 packed into Gardens By The Bay. Picture festival-goers, all decked out in the most uncanny and festival-esque fashion basking under the blazing hot sun to outstanding music and you get this year’s Laneway. In the light of the upcoming Grammy awards, we decided to have some fun with Laneway Singapore 2013 and bring to you our very own set of awards. This is the very first of three parts so, enjoy!
Here are the nominees:
Biggest “Is this really happening?! moment”
One of the biggest surprises that the organizers sprung when they released the 14-strong band list would probably have been Tame Impala. The psychedelic rock group from Down Under has gained much acclaim, winning awards and developing a huge fan-base at the same time. Indie kids all around Singapore had their tongues wagging when it was announced that EXCLUSIVELY in Singapore, Tame Impala would be joining the Laneway fun. So it is no surprise that one of our nominees for the “Is this really happening?!” moment award is when they played award-winning(Best Song at EG Music Awards 2012) single ‘Elephant’.
They weren’t the only award-winners on show however. British Mercury Prize 2012 winners and one of the biggest bands to look out for in the future, Alt-J ∆, gathered so much hype in the build-up to festival day. Making waves with debut album An Awesome Wave, many were particularly looking forward to the boys from Leeds, England and with hits like ‘Tesselate’ and ‘Breezeblocks’, the band gave a resounding performance that was all too surreal.
One of the more favored bands in this year’s line-up had got to be Of Monsters And Men, with the Icelandic indie-folk churning out hit single after hit single from their debut album My Head Is An Animal. One particular song that got them to where they are now would undoubtedly be Little Talks, hitting number one in music charts and radios all around the world. When they unleashed that very hit single on stage, Laneway Singapore went into a frenzy. It was a case of ‘hearing that song being played on radio over and over again and now hearing and watching it live’ for many and possibly a huge contender to be the biggest “is this really happening” moment of Laneway Singapore 2013.
It had to take a seismic effort to top Of Monsters And Men and a seismic moment we did get when closing-act Gotye performed his international hit ‘Somebody that I used to know’ with Kimbra. Over the past year, Gotye earned much popularity and success with that one song, even making it to the US Billboard Hot 100 #1 song of 2012. This was the one act, and without a doubt, the one song that brought the bulk of the 10,000 festival-goers. In our opinion, when the duo took to stage to that infamous song, it was the biggest “Is this really happening?!” moment of Laneway Singapore 2013.
You would probably have to give this to all 14 artistes that played throughout the day because of the level of performances that they displayed but we have to give this one to two particular bands that stood out with the “biggest hearts”.
At Laneway Singapore 2012, one band suffered the wrath of the crowd when it was their time to perform. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart were ready to rock their evening slot away, up till technicalities had to screw things for them. Unluckily though, the crowd took their disappointment out on the band themselves and it was an unsightly thing to see. Sadly enough, there was a sense of deja vu at this year’s festival when suspiciously, the same side of the stage had technical difficulties.
Divine Fits, the American/Canadian supergroup, was the first to suffer from unforeseen circumstances. To put things simply, Alex Fischel’s keyboards malfunctioned and this stalled the band’s performance. Watching the whole scenario unveil, we were practically enlightened to see all four members get in a group huddle. You could read frontman Dan Boeckner’s lips going, “We’re gonna do this. We’re going to go on with this, for them.” Cliche as it may seem, Britt Daniel got on the mic soon enough, as Alex made do with another set of keyboards, and told the crowd the very same thing. Big ups to these guys and they deservedly did have the biggest hearts.
Another band that had to pull through despite suffering setbacks of their own was Alt-J ∆. As we mentioned before, many were dying to catch these guys in action and you could only imagine the disappointment they suffered when technicalities had to mess up when they were playing their first song Tesselate. Frontman Joe Newman walked off in obvious displeasure but was warmly roared on by the crowd and reciprocated with a flawless set afterwards. Having been cut off just like that in the midst of one of their more renowned songs must have been hard to take but they came back with “the best show they ever played in their lives”.
That just about wraps up our first of the 3 Laneway awards articles. Do keep a look out for the next two as we try to relive the fun that was Laneway.
Check out our photos here!