Laneway Festival 2018 – Albert Park January 29, 2018

Well it was another scorcher at Laneway this year. Not only was the weather hot, but bands like Wolf Alice, POND and Slowdive generated plenty of heat.

If there was any doubts, I think they have dissipated….Laneway Festival seems completely at home at Albert Park.

The mood was celebratory as I strolled through the crowd for the first time at about 3pm after spending the earlier part of the day in the media room conducting interviews.

On stage were POND, and they sounded splendid, their psychedelic sounds creating the perfect vibe in the hot afternoon sun.

I was keen to check out Moses Sumney next, after giving his album plenty of spins, but it seemed his intimate take on r&b didn’t really fit in with the festival atmosphere…this was an artist who should be savoured in a small, quiet club.

So, I retreated back to the Princes Street Stage where I was thoroughly thrilled by Wolf Alice’s rockin’ show. Their Sabbath-like riffs and charismatic stage presence really got the crowd moving.

Next on the list was Aldous Harding. My admiration for Aldous is well documented so, let’s just say she did not disappoint. This show, taking place in the bright afternoon sun, felt even more like a homecoming event than her show at The Civic last month. Harding was able to see family and friends in the crowd and there was much waving and pointing. Musically, it was exquisite.

Everyone had been talking about Anderson .Paak, so I swung by The Rotunda Stage to see what all the fuss was about. Apparently everyone else had the same idea, as the area around the stage was jammed with people. I stayed for a few songs, but was really too far away to get fully immersed in what looked to be a raucous performance.

Again, I returned to the main stage and caught a few minutes of Father John Misty before toodling over to the Fountain Stage to catch Slowdive. Fortunately, there was plenty of room to find a good spot and the band was superlative. It was one of those transcendent performances…I actually saw tears in some fans’ eyes when it was over.

After that, War On Drugs was a bit of a comedown…but not much. The band was clearly firing on all cylinders and they sent the crowd home smiling.

In all, another magnificent Anniversary Day in Albert Park.

Marty Duda

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