It’s the evening of the Asian Cup Final and the VIP bar is a lot more full then it should be as Laneway reaches the pointy end of the day and the festival’s big names start to make their appearances.
What’s interesting is that I can spot a number of reviewers preferring to watch the football over the bands. Although I’m in-and-out cover the evening, taking time to have a quick sit down and something to drink between photographing bands, many of the people I see in there seem to be watching the match for the duration, the full 90 minutes plus the additional extra time. I don’t quite know how they manage to turn in reviews over the course of the next few days. I guess they just throw some standard words together, use the Singapore and NZ Laneway shows from the previous week and Twitter to get some setlist information and write the usual non-committal street press review. I do see this sort of thing on a regular basis in and around Brisbane’s music venues and wonder how on earth reviewers manage to review bands when spent the evening stood at the bar outside of the main room, talking to people.
Highlights of the third part of the day are St Vincent and Future Islands. St Vincent is the act of the day by a large margin and, as ever, it’s irritating that Brisbane doesn’t get any sideshows and instead we’re meant to feel worthy that we get a 45 minute set of highlights rather than the option of a full show, twice the length.
I didn’t get the Letterman hype about Future Islands but seeing them in the flesh, it all makes perfect sense.
The jury is out on Banks and FKA Twigs. We actually get instructions for photographing Banks, which limits us to one side of the stage, and is something you don’t see a lot of from singers who have only just released their debut album.
Both Banks and FKA Twigs play with a lot of smoke machine action, which my camera hates and which causes it to consistently struggle to focus. Afterwards, the FKA Twigs lightshow looks good from back in the crowd, but just a nightmare to try and photograph from up close. It also reinforces the difficulties when the stage is really high and you’re photographing directly into the lights. It’s a shame as it’s the performance is very photogenic.
The lowlights from the third part of the day are Jungle and Mac DeMarco. I got a review promo of that last Mac DeMarco album, endured it just the once and swiftly concluded that it was an awful album. I can’t quite grasp his meteoric rise. Jungle are like some sort of band you get in to play your wedding if that’s your thing.
Although at the start of the day, I have every intention of being there until the bitter end (or at least until the last photo pit opportunity has finished), I don’t stay for the last couple of acts I had originally planned on photographing. I’m sure photographing Flight Facilities and Flying Lotus would have been fun, but, as experienced by many of the photographers on the day, you just reach that point where going home is the most appealing option and the lure of photographing another couple bands, mostly for the sake of photographing another couple of bands, isn’t a strong enough incentive.
It never helps that when spend a day running around photographing a music festival, you still have the joys of the editing process starting as soon as you get home. For all the fun involved, photographing music festivals has a definite next-day downside.