2019's Laneway boasted an eclectic and international line-up. With so much juicy action packed into a single day, it was difficult to cover all the excitement this festival had to offer. Here are a few of our highlights.
Setting the Laneway experience in motion was a show-stopping appearance from neo-soul queen, Ravyn Lenae. She graced the stage with angelic poise, her voice brighter than the afternoon sun beating down above. Ravyn was accompanied by a four-piece band, each more than proficient on their chosen instruments.
Ravyn was no different. She was clearly classically trained and nailed every difficult riff. She owned the stage, especially during hits ‘Sticky’, ‘Spice’ and a song written about the friend zone that hit a little close to home, ‘4 Leaf Clover’. This beautiful lady delivered a stunning performance. It was the perfect start to our day.
Next up was one of our favourites for the day, Smino. This man oozed with superstar confidence. Smino has a unique hip-hop sound that is distinctly his own. Despite the heat beating down upon him, Smino burst onto the stage with an energy that was contagious, it seeped into the crowd who couldn’t stop dancing. Sweet, jazz-infused chords swept us up while Smino delivered his tongue-tying raps in an aloof and intoxicating way. He had the adoring audience hooked on his every word.
As the blistering Queensland sun set over the RNA showgrounds, New York’s Parquet Courts launched their set like a bull at a rodeo, which consequently had the audience kicking up a dust storm. Their performance was a perfect concoction of their fresh and funkier hits mixed with the punkier, grimier classics to ensure every fan in the audience was really satisfied. And satisfied they were! It takes a truly unique and talented group to have festival goers boogieing down with moves that would put Donna Summer to shame as pits and circles violent enough to bust noses were also happening all the while.
Rex Orange County (Alex O’Connor) travelled all the way from hometown of Surrey England to inject his Laneway crowd with a whole lot of love. As sweet, sweet songs like ‘Loving is Easy’, ‘Best Friend’ and ‘Corduroy Dreams’ played out the adoring crowd was quick to take over (or more so, drown out) Alex’s voice to sing along. It’s hard not to fall hard into your feelings with thousands of loved up strangers singing “What about me and you together? Something that could really last forever!” Valentine’s Day came early this year. We personally couldn’t keep the smiles off of our faces. The whole set can be summed up in one word: WHOLESOME.
Courtney Barnett has become that of a household name amongst Australian music lovers. After catching her set, it is not hard to understand why. With a unique voice and never-too-far-from-wistful lyrics, Courtney captured the hearts of the Laneway crowd. Serenading us with the help of her band, she played a mix of songs from all of her albums to ensure no one was disappointed. Perfectly placed at 9pm on the event’s main stage, it was the perfect set to sit down to sit on the cool grass, grab a beer, and recharge from the long day too.
Sydney five-piece, Gang of Youths provided exactly what the empathy doctor ordered: A hot dose of emotional lyrics fused with powering rock ballads. As always, frontman Dave Le’aupepe delivered a mighty sermon upon his adoring followers. Dave’s commandment from this particular show commanded us to “Be kind to one another.” You don’t have to be perfect, but you can try. We recommend bringing a few tissues and waterproof mascara if you plan on catching Gang of Youths in future.
Laneway brought with it everything you can expect from a good festival. In addition to the music. there were fashionistas that would put Carrie Bradshaw to shame, food vendors for as far as the eye can see, and plenty of stores to ensure you can get your retail fix. Big props to Laneway Festival for keeping us cool with water misters and refillable water stations, a service not too many festivals provide, especially in the sweltering Queensland heat. See you next year!
Words by Anna Leathem and Maddy Mitchell.