Laneway Festival was the first music festival we started making playlists for. It's one of my favourite New Zealand festivals and always an absolute joy to sort through the lineup and select our top picks.
Our top picks:
Wax Chattels 12:00-12:40 (Thunderdome)
Auckland guitarless three piece, consisting of singer/bassist Amanda Cheng, singer/organ player Peter Ruddell and drummer Tom Leggett. While they might seem fairly new on the block, with only two released singles to their name, these guys are spewing with live and touring experience. I can’t say I know a great deal of what to expect, but what I can say for sure, is that these guys will put on one interesting show.
Mellowdownz 12:50-1:35 (Rotunda Stage)
Hailing from Avondale, West Auckland, Mellowdownz is carving his hometown a place of its own on the Hip-Hop map. His debut EP ‘Avontales’ dropped mid last year to critical acclaim, he’s become a household name in the New Zealand Hip-Hop scene. Definitely one to watch.
D.D Dumbo 1:10-1:55 (Thunderdome)
If hip-hop’s not your thing, we’d strongly recommend checking out D.D Dumbo. Having received Triple J’s Album of the Year for his 2016 debut ‘Utopia Defeated’, this could be one artist you may regret missing in a few years’ time… I challenge you to find an instrument that this man can’t play. This multi-instrumentalist and his band are sure to put on one hell of a show.
Amy Shark 1:45-2:30 (Princes Street Stage)
Her song ‘Adore’ sits high up in my list of favourite tracks of 2017, and I doubt it’s play count on my phone will slow anytime soon. While she may seem a new kid on the block, this is by no means her first rodeo, she’s been grinding for well over seven years, proving that hard work does eventually pay off. This will be her third time playing Auckland in a year, if you’re yet to have seen her, now’s not a bad time.
Billie Eilish 2:25-3:10 (Rotunda Stage)
If I had to put money on a Laneway artist most likely to hit the big time in the next few years, I’d put it all on Billie Eilish. This 16 year old has talent and swagger in abundance, she puts my 16 year old self to absolute shame (and I’m sure yours too). Prior to her breakthrough debut album ‘dont smile at me’ she worked her way through the ranks on Soundcloud, her tracks ‘Ocean Eyes’ and ‘Six Feet Under’ as well as their respective remixes from the likes of Astronomyy, Blackbear, Hazey Eyes and Blu J became staples on many Soundclouder’s playlists. It may explain why some of my favourite tracks are Astronomyy’s remix of ‘Ocean Eyes’ and Marion Hill’s take on ‘Bellyache’.
In September 2017, she was named Apple’s UpNext Artist on Apple Music – If you get on this, you’re going to be huge.
I was fortunate enough to catch her show at Spark Arena’s ‘Tuning Fork’ last year, and holy shit, did she and her brother blow me away. Her Auckland sideshow sold out in just 5 minutes! Trust me, if you don’t see her now, you’re going to wish you did. Do not sleep on this!
Die! Die! Die! 2:25-3:10 (Thunderdome)
If you’re still not sold on Billie Eilish, or have seen her before – Go check out Dunedin noise-punk/rock legends Die! Die! Die! These guys and bad shows just don’t go together.
Pond 3:00-3:45 (Princes Street Stage)
All but one of the members of Tame Impala’s members have played in Pond at one time or another, all their music is produced by Tame’s frontman Kevin Parker. But don’t come expecting to hear ‘The Less I Know The Better’. This band is very much different and its own entity. They’ve a much more progressive, and experimental feel about them. I was lucky enough to catch these guys supporting Arctic Monkeys on their AM tour, which is why I will instead be watching Sylvan Esso.
Sylvan Esso 3:15-4:00 (Fountain Stage)
An electronic pop duo from North Carolina. Having already played Coachella, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits among others, this duo have paved their way with a live show like no other. This is no ordinary EDM group. Come with an open mind, and ready to get loose. I’m very much looking forward checking these guys out.
Wolf Alice 4:15-5:00 (Princes Street Stage)
You may have heard Charli XCX’s remix of ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’, but don’t let that shape your opinion of them just yet. Their song ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance in 2016. Protect Ya Neck (sorry), coz these guys aint no pop band.
Connan Mockasin 4:50-5:40 (Fountain Stage)
Connan Mockasin can’t really be compared to anyone else. I am honestly still so unsure of what I think of his music, but feel like I can’t truly form an opinion until I see it live. He’s a master of what he does, having performed with the likes of James Blake and Norman Cook of Fatboy Slim. He’s a Laneway regular for a very good reason.
The Internet 5:45-6:35 (Rotunda Stage)
From here on out, the evening is going to get very frantic. So many bands, so many clashes, so little time!
Fronted by Syd, of the legendary hop-hop group Odd Future, The Internet have a much more mellow and laid back tone to OFWGKTA, certainly not in a bad way. Their third album ‘Ego Death’ was nominated for a Grammy which incudes tracks like ‘Girl’, produced by Kaytranada and ‘Special Affair’. The Internet have become a force of their own following and prior to the disbandment of the Odd Future, and continue to rise and smash expectations. I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for The Internet.
Noah Slee 6:10-6:55 (Thunderdome)
I have been a huge fan of Noah Slee ever since I first heard his song DGAF on Majestic Casual. My love for him grew even more when I realised he was one of our very own. The New Zealand born, Berlin-based singer and producer has become a staple on my iPod playlists. He recently signed to Majestic Casual records, a sure sign that this is only the beginning for Noah Slee. I don’t know how I’m going to fit him in, but there is no way I’m missing his show.
BadBadNotGood 6:35-7:25 (Fountain Stage)
A four piece instrumental group who reached notoriety online for their live band interpretations of classic hip hop songs. ‘Odd Future Sessions Part 1’ caught the attention of Tyler the Creator, who later went on to record a live session with the band, launching the group into prominence. BadBadNotGood have since collaborated with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, on ‘Lust’, a track off his most recient album ‘Damn’. As well as Denzel Curry, Danny Brown, Kaytranada and Ghostface Killah.
Mac Demarco 6:45-7:35 (Princes Street Stage)
As much as I wish I could say otherwise, I’ve just never really been able to truly get into this endearing man’s music. But in saying that, I have only heard good and better things about him and his live show. I love him as a person, and doubt I’ll be disappointed in checking this guy out. I doubt you will be either.
Anderson .Paak 7:30-8:20 (Rotunda Stage)
Anderson .Paak… Man. What do I even need to say about this guy. He’s the reason I bought a ticket. I love him and so will you.
I’m a drummer, and whenever I’m told of a singer “who’s also really good at drums!” I pre-emptively roll my eyes… *cough* Justin Bieber *cough*. That was, until I heard Anderson .Paak. Oh my lord. This man can get around a kit. He’s one of the coolest frontmen out there, and those tracks, those tracks are just so damn funky.
If you haven’t seen it, check out his Tiny Desk set on YouTube. Do it. Right now.
Tokimonsta 8:40-9:30 (Thunderdome)
The LA based psychedelic beats producer was diagnosed with a rare, progressive cerebrovascular disorder known as Moyamoya in 2015. After multiple high-risk brain surgeries, not only did she lose the ability to walk, but also the ability to make or even hear music. Incredibly, she has since regained the ability comprehend and produce music, and wrote the entirety of her third album ‘Lune Rouge’ after her recovery. She is a true inspiration, and can’t wait to see this incredible human being in the flesh.
Bonobo 9:15-10:15 (Rotunda Stage)
One of my biggest regrets of 2017 was missing Bonobo’s show at the Auckland Town Hall. I’ve only heard good things about his live show, and can’t say I’m surprised. If you’re a fan of Jamie XX he’ll be right up your alley. He plays electronic music, and plays it live. I love electronic music, but I’m often left longing for something more raw. Coming from a musical background, growing up on rock and metal music, there’s something so special about seeing an artist perform the songs you know and love right before your very eyes. It’s part of the magic of live shows, and sadly something that’s often lost in electronic music.
Baynk 9:45-10:30 (Thunderdome)
Another electronic artist who nailed the live thing - up and coming Kiwi producer Baynk. This will be his second Laneway Festival, and I couldn’t be more stoked to have him close the night. He’s one of Spotify’s most streamed NZ artists, and with songs like ‘What you Need’ and ‘Come Home’, it’s no wonder why. Last year’s release ‘Someone’s EP’ is a one of my favourite releases of the year. This man has the Midas touch… Everything he touches, turns to gold.