Brisbane Laneway 2011 @ Alexandria Street, 04.02.2011 – Part 4

If Two Door Cinema Club are the type of band that makes you question whether you’re just too old to like popular music, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti are the type of band that makes you question whether you’re still in tune with the more leftfield side of music, the music that’s been critically acclaimed and has rated well in the end of year, best album lists.  To be quite honest, I don’t really care as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti are the worst band I’ve seen in a long while, so whether I’m missing something is largely irrelevant.  It’s like watching a bad band from the worst parts of the 1980s  soundcheck, whilst a prima donna male singer struts around the stage bellowing instructions to the rest of the band.  It’s so bad, it’s embarrassing.  Much more fun is watching Jenny Lewis trying to dance to it as she watches from the VIP section at the side of the stage.

Over on the main stage, Yeasayer manage to make enemies with all the gathered photographers by playing three songs in almost complete darkness.

Then it’s Les Savy Fav time and everything after them becomes second-rate and irrelevant.

Foals are another band I’ve never got, just always found them to be really boring.

Can’t remember much about Holy Fuck, too busy trying to get some photographs in the dark again.

I’m not sure quite what made the organisers have Gotye and Cut Copy as the headliners on Laneway’s two main stages.  Gotye sounds like Peter Gabriel circa 1986 plus he’s pilfered the drums from Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill for his recent Eyes Wide Open single.  I like Peter Gabriel circa 1986 but Gotye is a photocopy of Peter Gabriel and doesn’t add anything.  In addition, his live show is so ill-fitting to the headlining the second largest stage at Laneway that it’s a really flat end to the night on the Car Park stage.  It’s a similar feeling over on the New Alexandria Street Stage where Cut Copy put in a really flat performance and one that focuses on their new album, which has only been released today and so is unfamiliar to most of the audience.  It’s a set that has the crowd leaving in droves through the gates just to the side of the stage.

There is one band left for the day, !!!, on the Inner Sanctum Stage.  Singer Nick Offer takes on from where Les Savy Fav’s Tim Harrington left off, spending most of his time in the midst of the crowd when he’s not pulling crazy dance moves on the stage.  Although they’re a great party band to end the day on, their standing would have been even higher if they hadn’t been one of the bands that had to follow in the shadow of Les Savy Fav’s incredible performance earlier in the evening.

One festival and twenty three bands photographed. It’s been an exhausting day, with energy levels not helped in the slightest by the heat.  Even a healthy dose of Factor 30 hasn’t stopped me from catching the sun.  Even though Laneway has out-grown its boutique festival status, even though the location of the Brisbane leg leaves a lot to be desired, and even though there were a number of questionable acts in prime positions on the bill, and too many of the same old, same old Australian bands playing every festival this year, there has been enough quality to make Laneway a festival to really look forward to next year.

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