Laneway Festival 2012 – Part 2

(continued from Part 1)

Twin Shadow kickstarted the night, after quite some time of waiting, possibly due to some technical faults and issues. Joe, one half of the couple I just sorta friended, was keen and interested on the performance as he had said that there are some great songs from him. I had heard two – “Slow” and “Castles In The Snow”, so I was happy to find the familiar sounds of “Slow” being played. The below clip is not from the final Singapore leg, but from Sydney’s (thus the brightness in time):


With a tall hat looking smart, and a very sexy appeal to him, Twin Shadow even got to a point in giving a member of the audience one of his guitars – very generous move of his indeed. Either he was really feeling the performance and the audience fully (unlikely), or he was just glad the Laneway tour was finally coming to an exhausting finish. Or maybe he does that on most of his tours, though that really seems unlikely and financially insane to be doing so. The receiving person, though, must be on cloud 9, and may be sleeping with the guitar for the next few days, or…

One of my highlights to watch is Laura Marling, and she didn’t fail to disappoint. Unlike the rest of the acts that night, she was more contemporary and folk styled, so seeing how the crowd reacted to that would have thought to be an eye-opening experience. But for the most part it all went well, and for some of her more successful hits, like “Rambling Man”, “I Speak Because I Can” and the I-completely-belted-out-to-this song, “Ghosts”, the response was far more than just saying and leaving it as positive. I was completely blown away with her talent, her perfect, mature and intelligent written lyrics. Her live delivery took several of my breaths away, but I could be completely biased here.

And for “Ghosts”, I thought I almost could have teared to that heartbreaker of a song! Thankfully, the night had fallen by then, and I was alone in the sea of crowd, and no one could physically see this act of cowardliness. The power of music moves, if not previously mentioned before.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart has one of the sexiest keyboardists around, and Asian too – by her name of Peggy Wang. And she was smiling brightly so throughout the set at the audience, that at various points, I thought that her friends were amongst the audience. Then again, it could possibly be so. Someone random and idiotic and standing someplace in front of me decided to throw a cup of soft drink onstage, for no particular reason, and some of its contents splashed onto both Peggy and lead singer Kip Berman, but they did not let that affect their rocking performance. Not so much, anyway. Kip was into the rocking mood, and was gliding about onstage, at various points almost slipping and falling upon the slippery floors of the newly littered stage against the soles of his shoes.

A cool, chic geek. Sorry, Toro Y Moi, but that was what I portrayed you to be, and please take it as a compliment. And I was strangely affected by him setting up for his set, no concrete reason why so. Right now, I am pointing that I may have a man crush on him, on people who are completely passionate about music (it came about for M83, too, that one’s a sure fire cutie). And his baggy orange-y tee shirt. Maybe I am still quite a sucker for everything orange in colour, like I used to be when I was younger. Or maybe he’s just plainly geeky cute. Or maybe it’s the spectacles and how it was falling on his nose due to perspiration (spectacles-wearing folks would completely understand this on a full scale).

The set was definitely awarded the most dance-able, with familiar sounds like “Still Sound”, “New Beat”, “All Alone” and “Saturday Love”. But I couldn’t enjoy entirely the full of his set, not at his fault anyway, but because some girls surrounding me decided to take their seats on the ground, and I was very affected and annoyed by it. I did my best to shake my shorts in their body’s directions, but I guessed I wasn’t annoying enough. Damn!

(no video available, unfortunately)

Feist could be everyone’s most wanted last night. She’s the most commercially successful of the pack, and this was afterall the first time she was in this part of the world, so most would have came down just to see her, I won’t be surprised to admit this fact. Opening with one of my favourites, “My Moon My Man”, then “A Commotion”, she delivered hit after hit, with an amusing dancing backing vocal group of three ladies, one of them strangely annoyed by the lack of audience participation (far right). She slowed things down with “So Sorry”, sang some favourite new singles like “How Come You Never Go There” and “The Bad In Each Other”, and familiar favourites like “I Feel It All” and closing number “Sealion”. I thought her set was more for the inspiring, inspired and the inspiration.

(the lack of videos for the prior and after acts prompted me to feature two videos here for Feist, nothing biased)

By the time it was The Horrors, some of the audience had moved away or left post-Feist. I got closer to the stage, and danced along to The Horrors, even though they weren’t the typical dance-worthy kind of songs; more so of a rock steady type, but still, nonetheless, I moved along to the beats as much as I could within the constrained space, threw my hands up in the air like I didn’t care (I really didn’t), and danced like there wasn’t a tomorrow (I was hoping so, with the good live music I was witnessing today). I really like and know the song for “I Can See Through You”, so that was nice to watch it being played live. Melissa, a fellow writer at Power Of Pop, was experiencing music high backstage to this set, and there was no reason why not – it was rock on its horror highs. I even high-fived to a hippie stranger couple that was nearby, in the highs of events and moments.

(no video available, unfortunately)

It was that time of the evening when everything was close to a finish, and mixed feelings were definitely felt. On one end, I was starting to feel the thirst quench again, and on the other, I really did not want this night to really end. The crowd was even more squeezed up than ever before, with it being the last act, and everyone was concentrated in front of Stage 2, where M83 would take centrestage as the closing number to an excellent half-day of music.

And what an energized delivery it was. The crowd was fully participating along with the act, as they might be feeling the same nostalgic feeling that I was facing as well – closing act rush-of-emotions, all-this-will-be-over-soon feeling. Or they all could be closeted M83 fans, as I did not really expect the overwhelming responses like what I had experienced last night before. The high of the concert would definitely be at “We Own The Sky” and “Midnight City”, as though we music fans and them music artistes were celebrating entering into another world of a different dimension, one that only we existed, and only love and life persist and exist. What a wonderful place it was, pictured; with many bright tiny stars upon the midnight skies and everyone singing and wearing their hearts on their sleeves. My space was limited, and I didn’t had to put up my hands to spice up the mood, the atmosphere and everyone around stunningly did, involuntarily, and in ways I believed that frontman Anthony Gonzalez was surprised at the response as well. I put my hands up all the same, as and whenever I could, and felt the night air surrounding me, us; and the air of bass moving about the feet beneath my body, creeping up my pants in a not-so-erotic-but-still-sexy-kinda way, and gave myself up to the music like I always knew I would.

It was love; it was good music; it was for everybody, everyone smart enough to be present.

(blame it on the posting high; still not biased here, really.)
(completely love how members of the audience were imitating the sounds to the chorus of “Midnight City” – it was like a wordless common standing ground amongst different individual bodies, a communication bounding without the need for words spoken)


As promised, here are some quintessential tips for attending the Laneway Festival, or maybe even any other outdoor festival, personalized:

  1. Bring own water/food – enough said. The feeling of thirst and/or hunger can be thus distracting, and if that’s not enough, the overpricing of items can be moneysucking, and a hole in the pockets.
  2. Don’t overdress – Singapore weather is either hot or wet. Either way, one gets more drenched and heavy-clothed at that, or sweat drenched and heavy-clothed at that, and sticky too. Remember: it’s the artistes and the music that people are watching, not anyone else in the audience who’s funnily dressed. That said, if you are the stranger with the spectacles and the goofy dangling balls, say hello!
  3. Don’t stand next to indie/hippy talkative – because they chat like no tomorrow about their lives as though everything in it is really that much interesting.
  4. Don’t stand next to stagnant crowds – i.e. queuing lines, because they will have nothing to do in their spare time of waiting and queuing, and if they are not looking at the stage, the high likelihood their eyes will wonder and land upon strangers is there. So I saw this girl, weirdly dancing near the food tent, and it was really bizarre.
  5. When one sees someone whom you don’t wanna see, just move ahead, forward – as to a life’s motto, isn’t it? I saw a couple of people I wasn’t in the please to be wanting to see, with one literally standing in a group of hippies behind me, that I had to pretend that I didn’t see the person, and couldn’t care to. Only moving ahead saved me from losing them in the crowd. Excellent plan!

Thank you, Laneway!


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