A Day of EPIC Music | Laneway Festival 2012
Photo courtesy of Aloysius Lim c/o Chugg Entertainment
Tickets for this year’s Laneway Festival were selling like hotcakes much faster than you could say, “Echo & The Bunnymen are still together?” If you were not at Fort Canning Park last Sunday, you might have just missed the most musically life-changing experience to say the least. You there with that orange hair and Dr. Martens boots, you know what I’m talking about. Whether you were front-and-center at the main stage, beating the heat in the middle of the field, or sitting pretty underneath the shade of that old ancient tree, we know this for sure: It is the most EPIC music festival to have hit our sunny little shores (to date) and you definitely couldn’t ignore the insane festival fashion at Laneway Festival 2012.
The weather was alternating between sweltering heat and pitter-patters of rain. And although the heavy clouds threatened to pour, the Gods of Indie Music went easy on us with some light showers. Otherwise, it was sunshine central all afternoon. With the sun right above our heads, people spread out all over the field at Fort Canning Park, the Cults kicked off the festival with a dreamy introduction (rumoured to be parts of the songs for the new record). Lead singer, Madeline Follin then graced us all with her sweet melodic vocals with Abducted. Then when the Cults broke into the tinkles of the infamous song ‘Go Outside’, it was definitely an innocent call to not only play in the sunshine but to get the crowd started on their feet.
By this time, we were all ready for Chairlift to come on and boy would we have tried to do handstands for them! The synth-pop duo was not originally on the festival’s line-up but they were most definitely deserving of a slot with their impressive electronic tunes and singer Caroline Polachek’s immaculate vocals (yodels included). There was something thrilling about the way their voices collide, how everything appears to be permanently on the verge of total chaos without ever actually falling apart.
Just as the wind starts to blow ever so softly, Christopher Owens from Girls surprised many with his rendition of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ – don’t be shy to admit, everyone wailed in unison for the chorus, myself included. With the stage beautifully decorated with sunflowers, his acoustic performance was most fitting and thoughtful seeing that it was a tribute to the legend herself, after her death earlier that morning. Twin Shadow then took stage looking all dapper and perfect crooning the girls with his new wave tracks, At My Heels and Tyrant Destroyed (fan girls, we feel you!).
Immediately after, The Drums came on with lead singer Jonathan Pierce jumping and dancing on stage with his high energy. It’s evident he has a presence and addictive command on stage. During the press conference Pierce described his experience at Laneway akin to “a summer camp”, Singapore being the last leg of the festival this year.
As night sets in, the elusive Laneway moment of collective transcendence doesn’t just happen. It keeps happening, over and over again: a majestic, charged Toro y Moi, the mothership of chillwave music tore down Fort Canning Park shaking the grounds with the sound of automatic filters of synthesizers and the unmoderated and strong vocals of Chazwick Bundick.
Undeniable crowd favourite Feist performed current tracks that were seemingly darker and unsettling, stayed away from performing goodies like Gatekeeper and Let It Die. Of course when you’re already a crowd favourite and you heighten our excitement even more by saying “You’re raising the bar… You’re shaming Australia!”, all was forgiven.
It was only right that M83 sealed the festival. That they did with a glorious finish. The psychedelic display of tracks like Midnight City and Couleurs drew on what was left of the crowd’s energy to dance and move along their dancefloor anthems. There was something inevitable about the finale, but what you can’t prepare for is the sheer emotional force, one that knocks you sideways, and leaves a tear as the festival came to a close.
We spoke to some of our friends from Singapore and also those who flew all the way from Indonesia and Malaysia (double hurrah to Ikram Jalil and his friends for having made their way to the festival despite several problems with immigration and transportation on their way) and here’s what they have to say about Laneway Festival 2012 – “The atmosphere of this festival makes up for the heat and the rain, but I’ll definitely be more prepared next year!” exclaimed Nabilah Said, “It was hot as hell but it’s awesome”, said Yugie Kartaatmaja and “The most happening and awesome festival ever, I missed it last year and I didn’t want to miss it this year. I will definitely be back next year!”, exclaimed Ikram Jalil.
We don’t know about you, but we’re still on a high from Laneway Festival 2012. Now that the festival is finally done and dusted, all we have left is a sunburn to show for and awesome memories to take us through the year. Till the next Laneway kiddos!
– Liyana Meer
*Images are courtesy of Aloysius Lim, Ryan Chang and Glenn Yong of Chugg Entertainment.
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