Here is my round up of Laneways 2012 - Auckland edition 2012.
Chronological order, of course.
EMA ★★★ 1/2
Lead Erika M Anderson (whoa that’s why they are called EMA! yeah I didn’t know that either!) was a great combo of weird/diva: gesturing to her crotch more than once and a choreographed gun dance during that song that says gun a lot. I also enjoyed the dork-punk aesthetic of the band’s getup. Oh so refreshing.
Flanked by magical faeries, lead Katie Stelmanis was almost out-charismaed. Even keys fella had robocop+chain shades plus short shorts and chest baring floppy waistcoat thingie. Sound was great, but it was the theatrical performance that earned Austra that extra star.
Cults ★★ 1/2
Kicking off their set with terrible sound and a mic not even turned on for an entire verse, it was a pretty disappointing start for NYC’s answer to the Brunettes (bet it’s never been compared THAT way before). I have seen them four times in the last year so this show held no surprises. They haven’t really changed or grown in any tangible way (unlike Austra whose show was 100% better than the last time we saw them in Montreal). I am always quite distracted but the singer’s tendency to look like she is gonna burst into tears when she is singing, charming though she is otherwise!
Girls ★★★★ 1/2
Love that Girlfriend song! Best dancing of the day thus far, charming and funny band members, great great set. I am crazy for this band! Here is a not great quality pic:
Long wait but oh so worth it.
Pains of Being Pure at Heart ★★★1/2
Played at the small stage, almost didn’t go as their last album felt a bit dry to my ears, but man, they were great! Lots of energy and quite charming.
Nice Block ★★
When the heat was going strong I knew it was popsicle time. The charming and trendy Nice Blocks have been getting pretty popular but when I went to try my first one, only orange was left (they have waaaay better flavours than that). And the juice had separated while freezing so the first 1/4 was just ice! Pfft. Pat got a strawberry and lemon one later which was way nicer.
Pajama Club ★
I wanted to like this band (ex Split Enz/Crowded House-er Neil Finn, his wife Sharon Finn + friends) but they were a total yawnfest. Bill Bailey lookalike was abusing the spacey sound machine. Neil Finn said fuck. No me gusta. On the plus side, a pretty great cover of a Bowie song - we think it was Moonage Daydream but comment if you know better. Hot female aussie drummer.
Washed Out ★★★1/2
I do love a swelling synth so Washed Out satisfied me on that count. A shame about the odd Ernest Greene: ‘Get those hands UP!!!’ Oh well he gave us the laughs.
Twin Shadow ★★★1/2
Winner: best personal style. Toughest keyboard player of the day. Ha she should get in a fight with the Horror’s keys prepster. I’d pay to watch that. George Lewis Jr. had his classic marvelous swagger.
Sassy as hell and for sure the best engagement with the crowd, our dear friend Feist managed the complete tech failure of her guitar and mic with aplomb. When we were back on track she threw out loads from the new album, Metals, but also a wonderfully rearranged Mushaboom, with a finale of the hyperactive Feel It All. Interesting were her dowdy back up nymphs - costumes in a sort of woodland creature sack, Feist herself as a sexy version. A wee bit paranoid bride, if you catch my drift.
The Horrors ★★★
Tight, just like their jeans, the Horrors were a just a little disappointing. They have sure toned down the gothy creeper attitude, but is that for the better? Style notes: Circa first album the band wore the all black plus hairspray and eyeliner uniform. They are now allowed to dress themselves and so we had a delightful mix of the aforementioned keyboard playing preppy, bass player a sort of Jarvis Cocker meets Suede, guitarist looks like the teenage boy at the comic book store, and singer had a certian Vincent Noir going on. Sorry drummer, can’t remember your steez.
I will let my notebook speak for itself:
I wish I could say that was the end of the fest, but unfortunately there was…
The animations were pretty great (that was the one full star), and ok, I’ll admit it, I really really like that song he does with Kimbra. He made the crowd sing her part cos she wasn’t there and lordie the crowd knew it. Otherwise, this is NOT a good band. Do not see live. I used this set as an opportunity to scratch my nail polish off. Yes. It was that bad.
There was space to dance! A great sized (read: small) festival with almost everything good in one place and very few clashes (sorry Sbtrkt, I missed you). People were good and nice to each other! Also- how come it seems like all of a sudden everyone in Auckland has great style and cute haircuts. Do they live in Papatoetoe and just come to town once a year?
Show companions Pat, Gemma, Anna and Tim all contributed to this being one of the best festivals I’ve been to. Aces!