REVIEW: Laneway Festival, Adelaide 2018

Three years down the track and Port Adelaide has done it again. Laneway has truly settled into its home in one of the coolest parts of Adelaide.

Three years down the track and Port Adelaide has done it again. Laneway has truly settled into its home in one of the coolest parts of Adelaide. The industrial splendour of Harts Mill, contrasted with the sounds of some of the best cutting-edge music that Australia and the world has to offer.
Laneway brought out the fun – and I’m not just talking music, the fashion of fun was everywhere. From an array of mermaid tights, sour worm earrings, Mac Demarco masks and of course, copious amounts of festival glitter – we really saw it all. The buzz and vibrancy of this year’s crowd really blended with the character of the vicinity.
Aussie four piece, City Calm down were early on in the day, but this didn’t hinder crowd numbers at all – instead they managed to chill out and delight the audience in the hot midday sun. The melancholy Melbournites’ guitar-synth sounds proved a winner with new single, In the Modern Land, a fine example of their Joy Division meets the National sound. And I thought that Son couldn’t get any more perfect…until I heard it live.
Talking about great live performers, Wolf Alice was an absolute powerhouse. Lead singer, Ellie Rowsell’s, grungy, raw sound was perfectly executed and she brought her high-octane energy to the stage. The set leant heavily on their popular and critically acclaimed latest album, Visions of a Life.
But, let’s talk about Mac Demarco. What a man. He received so much adoration from the crowd, with this love coupled with love from fellow countrymen, Anderson Paak and his band, The Free Nationals. Anderson and co, seated side of stage, acted as faux talent show judges, giving high scores after each song. Mac even gave Adelaide a little something extra – and played For the First Time to us, for the first time in the Laneway tour.  
While Mac brought a laid-back kind of cool, Client Liason brought in something else, something unlike any other band at this year’s festival. They brought in a groovy sound track to the mercifully setting sun. Audiences were energised by their 80’s disco vibes; they fulfilled all expectations with their Staying Alive sound and elaborate, technicolour outfits. Their cover of INXS’, Need You Tonight was a set highlight.
The biggest drawcard of this year’s festival, Anderson Paak nailed it. Hailing from Los Angeles and visiting Adelaide for the first time, he drew the biggest crowd by far. He played his collaboration with Katrynada, Glowed Up, early on in the set, and from there, things went wild. The crowd was completely into every song and punters were even asking for an encore before his set had finished. Hands down, Anderson’s set was a highlight of the day – the hype was all worth it.
As the sunset over Laneway, Bonobo’s dreamy electronic sounds provided a warm embrace for the Laneway crowd. The British electronic mastermind drew in the wandering souls with his beautiful hypnotic orchestral sounds, massive bass and complementing light projections. The War on Drugs closed the show. After recently winning a Grammy for the Best Rock Album, they provided a steady guitar, rock finish to the night.  

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention those night owls with the stamina to crank it up all night. They got a special surprise at the after party held at Fat Controller – their party was crashed by Anderson Paak and Mac Demarco. What a way to end the night.

Review by Kvitka Becker
Photo by Matt Kroker

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