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LIVE COVERAGE: Laneway Festival Kicks Off In Brisbane

Feb 1st 2013 | 2:28pm | Scott Fitzsimons
This year's Laneway Festival has kicked off in Brisbane today with the first stop at Alexandria St, RNA Showgrounds.

Naturally, are on the ground and will be bringing you updates from the event until our batteries die or we start enjoying ourselves too much – whichever comes first.

Norway's Kings Of Convenience say they only agreed to play Laneway on the condition they played first, so that only people who truly wanted to see them would show. Given the silence across the crowd during My Ship Isn't Pretty, it seems to have worked. Their first ever Australian show has drawn a dedicated crowd and the duo don't let us down; perfect harmonies and tasteful guitar interplay means these songs feel so much more than the sun of their parts.

They play songs from right across their catalogue; Cayman Islands, I Don't Know What I Can Save You From, Mrs. Cold and Me In You are early highlights, but with a set so effortlessly gorgeous it just feels rude to play favorites.

They bring another guitarist, a drummer and bassist onstage to back them up for a few songs, starting with Misread – clearly a crowd favourite – and the shuffling, infectious Boat Behind. If you've been hanging out to see them, do not miss your chance – they won't disappoint.

Given the minuscule amount of material they've released, there's a fairly healthy crowd for Californians The Neighbourhood in the blistering 1pm sun. They air a heap of material from their debut album, which will be released in April, and it all sounds pretty good upon first listen.

There are a number of familiar material tunes aired, Wires is a highlight from their EP, A Little Death sounds massive and the very popular Sweater Weather is just an incredible song, executed with class this afternoon.

It's a year ago today that they put their very first song on the internet, so they're over the moon to be on the other side of the world. If they keep this up, they'll be back very soon, playing to many, many more people.

After having one's ears pummeled by The Men, it takes a while to adjust to the far more restrained dreamy pop of High Highs. While the three piece play their ethereal indie fare with undisputed accuracy, the plaintive arrangements only grab a handful of the throng assembled, thus meaning the chatter of hundreds reverberates through the hall of The Zoo Stage is distractingly louder than the band for much of the set. 

When singer Jack Milas straps on the acoustic guitar for Open Season there's an almost immediate change in the crowd, a cheer goes up and when the chorus hits, people even sing and dance!

But, for all the bands best efforts, it's an ultimately pretty unsatisfying set.

With just two keyboards and a drummer, Perfume Genius' lilting pop still packs a punch; almost entirely thanks to the incredible versatile voice of Mike Hadreas. His falsetto is arresting, somehow gritty a beautiful at the same time.

One song is utterly fucked, through no fault of the artist – a mic isn't turned up to begin, and when it finally is it can't be made loud enough without shrill feedback cutting through. Learning makes it all better though, a short but powerful song that has us forgetting any technical issues. Hood elicits a passionate response from a few up the front and it doesn't lose its power when performed live. 

These songs work do well with such little embellishment, one hopes that Hadreas doesn't look to add too much to his live ensemble as they stand up perfectly as they are.

Our reception is dropping out now, so we'll catch you soon with the full review from the day!

Reviews by Dan Condon


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