It was possibly the hottest day on earth when thousands of young punters trudged into the Sydney College of the Arts campus for the Sydney leg of St Jerome’s Laneway Festival. This reviewer was blinded by the amount of glitter covering sweaty bodies, who had indulged in a ‘Glitoris’ spray, service charging $15 bucks a pop.
With two vodkas in hand, I took to the highest point of the natural amphitheatre to judge the shit out of everyone’s outfits. To my surprise there were no fedoras (well done Sydney! Keepin’ it new), they were instead replaced by clashing patterns (yes), mesh tops (ok) and tie dye (*shudders*).
The festival has managed to maintain the chilliest of vibes, somehow untarnished by the drink sponsor activations that loom in every corner. Even through the heat, every stage was packed out, with circle pits popping up for much-loved rockers King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard which were one of the first larger acts for the day.
Leaving the rowdy mosh after jamming to their 2014 hit Cellophane, I made way to Sampa The Great. I was greeted by her bold female stage presence which had everyone grooving to all-too-relevant themes masked by her soulful hip hop. She played favourites Blue Boss and FEMALE before empowering the crowd with their own capes – a take home gift that I ‘m still bitter about not receiving.
I made my way to catch Gang of Youths as people were crowd surfing and singing along to Magnolia as if it was the theme song for the day. They served an energetic set, despite the heat, to a packed crowd.
Burdened with a vagina, I was trapped in the never-ending toilet line while men ‘watered the grass’ around me and Tash Sultana started her set in the distance. Thoroughly pissed in every way, I caught the last few songs which were pure bliss. She’s a barefoot fairy who plays passionate guitar and pan pipes like it’s nobody’s business, that’s all you need to know. One to see if you ever get the chance, one of the best sets of the day.
British sweethearts Glass Animals kept it energetic through their usually placid tunes while Norwegian goddess AURORA was possibly sweeter. Thanking everyone for just liking her music, she performed her ethereal act doused in blue light.
Nick Murphy (FKA Chet Faker) was turning up the party and masterfully worked the stage while swinging a microphone – noted possible OH&S issues here. He not surprisingly played majority new music, which while expected, was a bit of a disappointment for the punters too sore to stand on their feet.
Headlining the festival and closing the night was Australian psych-rock legends Tame Impala who started their epic set with a confetti-filled Let It Happen. Keeping in mind last time they were in Sydney they played in the iconic Sydney Opera House, everyone felt pretty buzzed just to be in their presence. They played nearly every song from their 2015 Currents album, with the crowd belting out The Less I Know The Better, The Moment and their 2012 favourite Feels Like We Only Go Backwards. It was beautiful, they were beautiful, I feel beautiful.