Laneway Festival @ RNA Showground, Brisbane, 28.01.12
I have seen only one Australian flag being worn as clothing today. On the other hand I have lost count of the number of beards I’ve seen. Horizontal stripes are out in force, as are coloured stockings and coloured hair. I’m wearing skinny jeans, so if you think I’m building up to a complaint about hipsters you’re dead wrong.
Rave Magazine and The Vine rejoin me for The Horrors. I like The Horrors, but hate most of the reviews of their last two albums. Their second album, the proggy one, got a lot of glowing reviews from people who were surprised that this band for people who were slavish NME followers had done something good. Their third album, the gothy ’80s one, got the exact same reviews again. [Except for this one – Ed]
I am the person who liked their early stuff. I like their later stuff too, but I don’t feel like disowning their bratty punk stage just because they learned to play their instruments later on. I may be the only person disappointed that they don’t play ‘Sheena Is A Parasite’ tonight, but I still enjoy this performance even though their lead singer sounds a lot more like David Bowie than he does on the albums.
Reviewing a festival is like reviewing a massively multiplayer online game, you know, like World Of Warcraft or something. You can review the game and point out that it does a lot of things badly that single-player games do better, which is what part of the audience is interested in reading, but then there’s the other people, for whom the social side of things more than makes up for that. But how do you review people?
The people at Laneway are more polite than people on the internet. I don’t hear anybody being called a noobfag all day.
It’s properly dark now and we’re waiting for M83. We’ve made our decision, this is the headliner we want to see.
We’re still waiting.
This is how you review the people at Laneway: even though M83 are almost an hour late the inevitable chanting of “Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit” is half-hearted. The people here are too nice to get really ugly, although I do see a lot of angry Tweeting going on.
Meanwhile, nobody is saying anything to the crowd. Technicians are scurrying back and forth and it doesn’t seem like the lead mic is working at all. Both of the side ones are working, but instead of hearing an explanation or apology through them all we hear is, “Check, uh huh, hey”.
The official Laneway Twitter updates with this: “Please be patient. There are technical difficulties beyond our and M83’s control. We are working as fast as we can to get this started.”
If you’re feeling a sense of déjà vu, it’s because something very similar – rain, technical difficulties, delayed headliner, lack of communication – happened at the Gold Coast Big Day Out. Laneway aren’t handling it any better than they did.
At 9.50, minutes before the curfew kicks in and the amps turn back into pumpkins or whatever, M83 start playing. For the next 45 minutes they’re amazing, even with a sound guy rushing on stage to fix something in the middle of a song. I wasn’t a big fan of theirs before tonight, but seeing them so lively and joyous and energetic, I’m converted.
Then it ends, another set cut short and we all go home.