Laneway Music Festival Makes a Strong North American Debut
September 17, 2013 at 4:28 PM (PT)
By Ashley Zlatopolsky
Selecting the DETROIT area for its North American debut, LANEWAY FESTIVAL brought an array of national and local talent to the table that resulted in one fantastic day of music for the 7,500+ music fans that attended this past SATURDAY.
Other stops have included SINGAPORE and SYDNEY, but this marked the first Western date. Held at the beautiful and woodsy MEADOW BROOK MUSIC FESTIVAL in ROCHESTER HILLS, MI, LANEWAY featured five stages, dozens of artists (including painters), local merchandisers and more.
Playing To A Packed House
HAERTS kicked off the day on the Roscoe Stage, followed by PHOSPHORESCENT and FRIGHTENED RABBIT. Meanwhile on the Pavilion Stage, CHVRCHES (pronounced “churches”) played to a packed house. The Scottish three-piece, consisting of singer LAUREN MAYBERRY and vocalists/keyboardists IAIN COOK and MARTIN DOHERTY, played an electronic-pop set that included tracks off their debut EP, Recover. The trio utilized a Native Instruments Maschine to produce a very distinct synth noise, a sound that fit well with MAYBERRY’s pop and upbeat voice.
CHVRCHES brought boundless energy, and it remained for the Pavilion Stage's next act, ICONA POP. While ICONA POP may be best known for their hit single, “I Love It,” they dropped a few new tracks from their new album, This Is… Icona Pop, which is slated for release Sept. 24th, and the crowd loved it, possibly more than that extremely catchy song itself. The duo knows how to rock an audience and put on a stellar performance. Not only were they singing, but also playing electric guitar and spinning on a Korg mixer. The entire crowd was dancing from start to finish of the set, going especially wild when AINO JAWO jumped into the pit to sing with fans.
Electronic music lovers also got a huge kick out of the Movement/Ghostly International Stage, which put two highly respected and revered names in the techno community together. Fans of MOVEMENT ELECTRONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL had one last chance for an outdoor MOVEMENTevent before the cold weather settled in, and it turned out to be a beautiful day to dance. HEATHERED PEARLS and BEACON were on early, followed by Michigan-born SHIGETO (ZACHARY SHIGETO SAGINAW). SHIGETO, a DETROIT favorite, played a set consisting of mostly trip-hop, ambient and glitchy beats. ADULT. performed next, with MATTHEW DEAR headlining the Movement/Ghostly International Stage.
Born in TEXAS but later relocating to MICHIGAN, DEAR is recognized as one of the pioneering leaders behind the GHOSTLY INTERNATIONAL label. Also a DETROIT favorite, he drew a huge crowd with his hypnotic voice and musical talent. DEAR was backed by a drummer and guitarist as he mixed and played maracas throughout the set.
Going Strong All Night
The Movement/Ghostly International stage may have wrapped up early in the evening, but other stages were still going strong. While ADULT. and MATTHEW DEAR were playing, RUN THE JEWELS was revving up a rowdy crowd across the field. A hip-hop duo consisting of EL-P and KILLER MIKE, RUN THE JEWELS had a party forming in front of the Meadow Stage. KILLER MIKE even paid homage to fallen DETROIT hip-hop legends.
"The city of DETROIT, for hip-hop, is a long overlooked jewel!" he shouted to a roaring crowd, mentioning PROOF and J. DILLA before dedicating the next song to PROOF.
During this time as well, SOLANGE graced the Pavilion Stage with her presence. The little KNOWLES sister is not only beautiful, but also incredibly talented. Reaching vocals that ranged into the frosty pop/diva category, SOLANGE has created her own style and persona that shines through in her music.
Icelandic group SIGUR ROS then finished off the Pavilion Stage, joined by what seemed to be almost an entire orchestra. Although their music might be an acquired taste, the performance was truly breathtaking in terms of production. The show boasted incredible lighting, with lamps set up across the entire stage that provided an eerie glow alongside the endless fog. SIGUR ROS utilized bowed guitar, something not often seen in concert. The concept involves playing an electric guitar with a violin bow instead of a pick.
The last performance of LANEWAY FESTIVAL was THE NATIONAL, who closed the massive Derrick Stage. Playing for 75 minutes, the band also hosted extravagant lighting, making the set visually esthetic as well. It was a great way to end an exciting day at LANEWAY, which the festival's producers have just announced will return to Detroit for its second US installment next year!