The second year of the Laneway festival coming to New Zealand saw them try something they’ll never do again – create a mini-version the following night in Wellington. It was at the Town Hall and saw half a dozen bands, starting straight after work, around 6ish, and on until the closer.
It was a disaster. A terrible turnout. And Deerhunter, one of the better acts – at least on paper – spat the dummy big time. Over shitty sound, or tricky change-outs, it seemed like trying conditions. The whole thing seemed doomed really when Aerial Pink Haunted Graffiti jerked the curtain. Holy shit, what a fucking joke. I thought Harmony Korine had a band…I mean, he probably does, or at one point did, but I mean I thought this was it.
There were some nice moments – it was a treat to see Blonde Redhead and I reckon they delivered. Beach House was kinda nice too. But Ladyhawke? Big fucking deal. And by the time of closer, Yeasayer, if all felt distinctly underwhelming. Not least because they had been incredible barely a year earlier, one album to their name – small stage, hypnotic performance, the feeling of a very special gig and now they were back and touting some ‘cartoon’ version of “World Music” influences. Sad.
It was also the first time – and only time, I hope – where I had more than one person lining up to speak to me, to get my opinion as the show was happening (or, as it was, not quite happening) or to ask questions or whatever. Katy was laughing, sitting next to me. She delighting in telling friends the next day, “He had a queue!”
Stubs is an occasional feature here at Off The Tracks – looking back through the ticket-stub box and remembering how the show went down.