Photos by Lincoln Jubb
When it comes to Australian music festivals, you’d be hard-pressed to find a one-day affair that’s more enjoyable than Laneway.
The nation-wide tour finally made its way to our hometown of Sydney and we were on the front line to capture just a crumb of the musical bread basket that was Laneway ’18. To be fair, Laneway’s always got a solid lineup to pull the masses in, but this year was just showing off. The stellar lineup meant that anxiety-inducing set times clashes were inevitable, but this year we decided to change up the game slightly. Tempting as it was to commit to an entire day of seeing our tried and tested favourites, we opted to seek out some acts we hadn’t yet had the pleasure of seeing, and it paid off.
We started the day watching UK punk rockers Shame tear the stage up, had our minds blown by 17-year-old Billie Eilish (where’d you get those pipes?), and were present as Melbourne electro duo Kilo brought solid vibes to kick off what was shaping up to be a perfect summer day.
We sacrificed the soulful grooves of The Internet to catch Loyle Carner, and we couldn’t have been more chuffed with our decision. Loyle Carner himself seemed pretty chuffed, the modest lad from South London telling the crowd he thought no one would show up. His brutally honest and eloquent brand of hip-hop had punters fully immersed in his show, as he absolutely dominated his time slot with trademark football jersey in hand and best mate alongside.
There was an undisputed Lord of the Laneway this year, and that title goes to none other than Mr. Anderson Paak himself. Expecting an engaging frontman, but instead getting a frontman/weapon on a drum kit/hype man, he and his band The Free Nationals were like puppeteers playing with the crowd, not stopping until they knew for sure that every person in front of them was dancing. If you ever want to go to a house party with Anderson Paak present, head to one of his shows and have the most fun you’ve probably had in years.
Other highlights of the day were the mesmerising vocals of NZ artist Aldous Harding, Mac DeMarco bringing his signature cheek (and even a sneaky, outlawed Kirin J?) to the stage, English producer Bonobo proving a compelling electronic act is not only possible, but pretty damn magical with a live band and ethereal lead vocalist, Father John Misty crooning his way into a good deal of ladies’ hearts, and ODESZA visually stimulating a massive turnout with an insane drumline/light show. Honourable mention to the gozlemes, cold beers, and crowd largely devoid of shit-heads—it was a good ‘un. See you next year.