A little over a week ago, I flew over to Singapore to see a music festival. And you probably already know this if you read the thing I posted before this but I just thought to repeat myself anyhow. That last post was sort of about what it was like before any bands started playing so this spread will be about the acts!
I was in line around the block when Cults started playing so I missed that. It’s fine though because right when I entered Fort Canning Park, Yuck was about ready to play and they were part of why I flew to Singapore.
Here’s Daniel Blumberg in denim on denim. I was first introduced to Yuck some time early last year when Carina made me a mix and stuck a Daytrotter version of “Shook Down” in there. I got their album soon after and found myself liking a whole bulk of it. Their songs are catchy and reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr. and some local OPM.
From the beginning, I may have already lost it. Seeing them live in itself was nuts! The Wall! Getaway! Rubber! Shook Down! Georgia! The energy they had on stage was infectious. I think it also helped that I saw this set up close to the front with a lot of people I knew from back home. Everyone was jumping, dancing and singing along. There’s no room for shame when you’ve emptied your pockets for to head to a festival abroad. Props to Mariko Doi, for being so effin cool.
We took a Wendy’s break when that was over and blatantly skipped Chairlift. We had intended to skip Austra too but managed to get there right in the middle of their set. I don’t have photos of this because I could not care less. Girls played after and the set kicked off with Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You in memory of her death earlier that day. My photos of Girls aren’t great so I didn’t bother uploading. Photo credits for this one go to Carina. There were flowers all over the stage when Girls played. I wonder if it’s because Christopher Owens seems to be a huge Whitney fan. They played a good, energetic set as well. I remember the first time I listened to their newest album ‘Father, Son, Holy Ghost’, I thought the bulk of their songs were really cheesy. I’m sure they know it though which is why they have one called Vomit. Pretty cheeky.
The Drums‘ set was right after and I was completely floored! I think more than any other act in the festival, I flew over for this one. I loved everything about this set, it was perfect by far. They kicked it off with “What You Were” which is one of my favorite tracks on Portamento. Jonathan Pierce was adorable, showing off his unique dance moves. There’s nothing cuter than a makembot, gay, blonde boy with a bowl cut.
I think it was during this set that I must’ve been completely obnoxious, singing at the top of my lungs and “dancing” (if you consider jumping, a dance move). It could not be helped. They were just that good. The Drums, to me, sounds kind of like The Smiths but with a bit of surf rock. Seeing them live took my appreciation for their music a whole new level, having been able to feel the different layers and complexities through vibrations.
Their lead guitarist, Connor Hanwick, is obviously my favorite. I have so many photos of him. He’s just really good. All his riffs give their songs this whole new dimension. Hahaha, I’ll be corny and reference Jerry Maguire but Connor’s guitar parts really do complete their songs. Also! I found out that he was Peggy Wang’s boyfriend. Don’t they make the cutest couple?
I was sad when their set ended but like all good things, it just had to. I remember getting misty eyed when they played “Days”, towards the end when you could really hear all the instruments come together. It was beautiful. It was also surprising that they played “Let’s Go Surfing” which apparently, they don’t really get to play live because the band decided that they hated that song. It’s a good thing they did though, that’s probably one of their catchiest songs. It’s a good thing I caught them at this time, right when they were touring Portamento (which I think I may like even more than their S/T which I already love a lot).
When The Drums was over, Anna Calvi was on which meant we could rest for a bit. After sitting on the grass for half her set, we decided that it’d be wise to position ourselves close to the stage in preparation for Twin Shadow, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Feist.
Hands down, the Twin Shadow guy was the best looking guy on stage. Seriously, he is crazy handsome and his voice reminds me of warm, slow-moving chocolate. Fudge, maybe. I never really got to listen to him much before the festival but man, he’s excellent.
Heck, I was fine not being able to sing along because I got to listen to his voice very intently. After their set, Laura Marling was up on the other stage but since we were already tucked in our prime spot, we opted not to leave. I always thought her voice was precious and while I don’t know many of her songs, I managed to sing along to “Ghosts” which is a pretty famous song from her first album. I love how husky she sounds.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart played after and I was introduced to the cuteness that is Peggy Wang. Ah, I am so endeared by her. That right there is a photo of her having a beer, waiting for the technical difficulties on stage to be sorted out. I remember telling Carina that Peggy looked like she could own Opening Ceremony. LOL I still think that could be true.
I must admit, I don’t know very many of their songs but I enjoyed listening when I was there. All their songs are energetic, I’d have to classify them as festival music. Hmm, their sound reminds me of the kinds of songs that’d be used on a teenage television show pilot. Not something too mainstream though, the show would probably have an outcast play the main character or something. Of course, “Belong” is what’s playing in my head for this visualization.
After their set, Toro y Moi played but I was stick in front of Stage 2 so I didn’t take any photographs worth sharing. At this point, my feet were killing me and I learned that I’m really more of a Causers of This type o’ gal. He played mostly tracks from Underneath the Pine. No pressure though, I was going to see him back in Manila that same week.
I must admit, I wasn’t too hot on Metals when it came out but Feist was just bloody brilliant. WHAT A PERFORMANCE! I was in awe the whole time. She made me like songs I didn’t like. I found Metals to be a drag and tough to listen to but when I heard her sing live, that was it.
She put a spin on a lot of her songs in that set. She managed to make Mushaboom sound like it could be from Metals. I felt tears well up in my eyes when she played So Sorry. Feist’s set was the type of experience that, sorry to be a douche, you kind of just wished everyone would shut up so you could listen better. Her voice was absolute beauty. I’ve always adored Leslie Feist and now it’s just, IDK.
I’m not going to write about The Horrors because I’m just not. After Feist’s set a whole lot of people dispersed and I went to go nap on the grass until the final act was about to come out. Carina and I decided to watch from the top of the hill.
M83!!!!!!! Who was the light director for this thing? It was really great, added to my appreciation for the entire experience. I enjoyed this set most when I heard them play We Own The Sky, such a layered track, made me wonder how anyone could ever pull it off online. They were singing on top of layers and layers of sound and themselves and sound again. They are excellent musicians.
I know this post was long overdue, I’ve been at it for over a week but here it is. All I can really say is that I’m so glad I didn’t miss Laneway this year and I’m hoping next year’s festival will be even better.