Looking Back on Laneway 2011

St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival (otherwise known as Hipsterfest 2011) happened a little over 3 months ago, and I’m sure we miss our indie baptism, so here’s a quick recap! More under the cut!

We arrived at 12.30pm at Fort Canning as dark clouds loomed above us. This was not going to be a clean day. But of course, us and the 6000-strong crowd were more than psyched to rock out at Singapore’s inaugural indie fest!

First act of the day was Warpaint! The L.A. based experimental art rock girl band hit the stage. It was humid, muddy and above all, wet. But that definitely did not stop the crowd from welcoming the girls with bouts of screams and chants. Warpaint kicked it off with “Bees” from their debut album, The Fool. As much as I loved the girls style and look, I was not loving their stage presence. The girls didn’t interact with the crowd at all, and seemed more like dolls with instruments. Stage presence aside, I do not doubt their talent at all! The girls swapped instruments between sets, taking turns on lead vocals, and damn, they sure do have great voices.

Next, was the enchanting Ladyhawke! The blonde came up on stage looking all grunge-y, and I have to admit, she was looking hot as Hell! The bashful New Zealander hardly spoke between songs but we forgive her, because she came to rock out, and rock out she did! She got the crowd grooving to her hits “Paris Is Burning” and “My Delirium”. No one cared about the light drizzle that was setting in, it was all about Ladyhawke.

The third act for Laneway was Beach House! Victoria Legrand came up on stage in a pale green coat and looked FINE! Sadly, their entire act was just fine as well. Sure, their vocals were off the top, but their entire act failed to grasp our attention. The dream-pop band almost made us fall asleep. Let’s just say that Beach House isn’t exactly a band you would love to see live.

Deerhunter came on! The “ambient punk” band certainly did not live up to their reputation. Among the indie music scene, they’ve garnered a reputation for “intense” shows, sadly, their performance at Laneway was far from it. Midway through the festival, we were already starting to get bored. Thankfully, their set lasted for only 45 minutes.

As the sun began to set, Holy Fuck came on. Yes, their set really did make us go “Holy fuck!”. The Canadian band was amazing! Who knew you could make music from a 35mm film synchronizer?! As they played on, we felt like we were on an acid trip! Their fully-improvised electronic rock sent the festival back on track!

The best band of the night came on next. !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk)’s front man Nic Offer was great! He was even decked out in a “I Love Singapore” shirt. Just what was that man on?! He bounced, danced, and sang from the first song to last! Props to him for having great stage presence! The crowd went wild when he stage-dived, with a microphone IN his mouth! Besides the fact that he was risking electrocution, he was an excellent performer! Pelvic-thrusting, bra-flinging, crowd-surfing, et al.

Yeasayer was up next, and they looked like they just came out of bed! They all had matching tank tops and pyjama pants! “Ambling Alp” and “O.N.E.” from their second album “Odd Blood” simply sent the crowd nuts. They certainly impressed the crowd with their ear-gasmic vocals!

As midnight drew closer, Foals came on. The ever-so-sexy Yannis Philippakis came up on stage with a bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand, and his guitar in another. Such a badass! They played crowd favorites such as “Total Life Forever”, “Two Steps, Twice” and “Cassius”. Everyone could care less about the heavy downpour and embraced the rain! The crowd was mud sliding, dancing and having the time of their lives!

Finally, the lead act, The Temper Trap came on past midnight. Everyone was tired, drenched, and muddy, but that did not stop us! Lead vocalist Dougy Mandagi’s falsetto sent the crowd wild! “Fader”, “Sweet Disposition” and “Science Of Fear” were certainly crowd favorites which made everyone dance the night away.

By 1 a.m., the crowd slowly dispersed. It was exhausting, sweaty, muddy and wet, but I’m sure everyone who went to Laneway had the time of their lives. A Saturday well-spent, I would say! We even managed to snag Deerhunter’s set list, and a couple of The Temper Trap’s drum sticks. Pretty deck, right?

Word on the street is that a local band would be featured in Laneway Festival 2012! Awesome! Also who would you like to see at Laneway Rainway? If Two Door Cinema Club, Passion Pit and Yo La Tengo came, it would be off the hook!

Sources: http://unpopular-music.blogspot.com/2011/01/laneway-festival-photos.html, http://blog.mtvasia.com/2011/02/08/laneway-festival/


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