If you have been following my posts thus far you will probably realise that I am not the most patriotic person and will often criticise the people of New Zealand and the things they tend to celebrate as a country. When the All Blacks played in the Rugby World Cup Grand Final in 2011 I was kind of hoping that France would beat them, during London Olympics I would follow the medal count of Team GB rather than the boys and girls from Aotearoa and if Dave Dobbyn would ever come on the radio I would dry retch before desperately looking for the tune button. However, despite these strong feelings I am actually ok with admitting that something has finally come out of New Zealand that, for the first time has made me proud of the country I so apprehensively call home.
At the age of 17 Lorde has taken over the world and achieved records that no other New Zealand Musician has even come close to. Even though I have heard ‘Royals’ play a million times in various countries from the United Arab Emirates to France I can simply not get enough of it. So when it was announced that Lorde would be the Headlining act of the 2014 Laneway Festival I was hasty to ensure my ticket was confirmed.
Upon arrival to the venue in Footscray I was quick to realise that this festival would be a lot more packed than last weekend’s Big Day Out with long lines at the entrance and narrow lanes inside connecting the stages. The punters were definitely of the hipster kind and sporting ironic outfits that included t-shirts featuring Justin Bieber, beanies (despite the fact it was close to 40 degrees) and nose rings in various colours and sizes. I was probably one of the most mainstream kids at the party with my list of bands to see being ones that even your mother may have heard of.
After pre drinks at my house which I have now dubbed ’The Crovenor Castle’ we finally arrived in Footscray and made our way to a shady spot on the grass to see the end of Cloud Control’s set before navigating our way through the maze like venue to see Chvrches from a distance. This was my third time seeing Chvrches so I wasn’t really too phased about my view point as long as I could hear the music.
After Chvrches finished with ‘The Mother we Share’ I left behind the friends I had arrived at the festival with in order to make my way forward and save myself a good spot for Lorde. I found the best way to push my way to the front was by tapping on anyone’s shoulder and telling them my cousin was just up ahead and I was trying to meet her so most people would just part and let me through. I made it about ten meters out from the barrier when Haim began to play. Last time I saw Haim play at T in the Park in Scotland I was disappointed at how short their set was and for the fact that they didn’t play the songs I wanted to hear. Well the girls turned it up a notch this time with an extended set which included every track I could have asked for and some rather hilarious banter with the crowd.
After the Haim girls skipped off the stage I managed to place myself just behind the barrier and make friends with all the proud New Zealanders around me who were just as eager to see their ‘Queen Bea’ as I was. Finally Lorde took to the stage and exceeded all expectations. Tennis Court was early in the set and Royals came soon after turning the crowd into a choir of slurred voices reciting every lyric: ‘Gold teeth, Grey Goose, tripping in the bathroom, bloodstains, ball gowns trashing the hotel room.’ The crowd became a little more agro as the drum beat from ‘Team’ kicked in and I received a few more bruises to add to my collection. As Lorde announced her final song I waited just a minute before calling to security to pull me out so I could make my way back to meet my friends without having to wait for the crowds to thin. The security guards even took pity on my and gave me a bottle of water which would retail at the closest food van for $5.00.
Well that’s it. My last festival for the summer which has stretched from May to February. Time to knuckle down and save for my pennies Glastonbury.