St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival returned to Singapore for its 7th year on the 21st of January in The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay. With the infamous Marina Bay Sands illustrating the background, Indonesia’s Stars And Rabbit kicked off the event on the Garden Stage.
As people slowly started to trickle in, they explored the four stages and the several tents around the venue. From henna, face-painting, and hair braiding sponsored by H&M, to a virtual reality tent, and Oo La Lab, where concertgoers could create their own perfume—there was plenty to do between music sets. The food selection was extensive, and even offered vegan and gluten free options. The vendors ranged from Sidecar Sausages to Ramen Keisuke’s Tonkotsu Ramen to keep everyone warm amidst the rain.
While most people came to see the big and established international acts, there were many prominent performances featured throughout the day. Tash Sultana, a multi instrumental, one woman powerhouse captivated her audience with just her loop pedal, electric guitar—oh, and about eight other instruments, including but not limited to: the saxophone, the Arabic oud, and the mandolin. Her performance of “Synergy” astonished many, as she beatboxed into a Native American pan pipe.
Other notable acts include: Mick Jenkins, who roused the crowd to his heart-pumping single, “Jazz”, Wednesday Campanella, who was entrancing with her quirky personality and her eccentric tunes, and Gang of Youths, whose lead singer, David Le’aupepe, lept into the audience to dance.
The line-up featured regional talents, such as Froya from Malaysia, Sam Rui from Singapore, and Bottlesmoker from Indonesia. International acts included Aurora from Norway, Bob Moses from Canada, Whitney from the US, and featured many artists from Australia, such as Sampa the Great, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Jagwar Ma, and Luca Brasi.
This year Laneway was plagued with a slight drizzle, earning its name, “Rainway”, but that did not dampen anyone’s spirits. Donned with plastic ponchos, the festival powered through until the final acts on the main stage. Glass Animals opened their set on the Garden Stage with a riveting performance of “Life Itself”, a single from their sophomore album, How to be a Human Being. The energy of the crowd was at an all-time high, as the lead singer, Dave Bayley came to the crowd to sing “Gooey”, the song that had earned much of the band’s success.
The set was succeeded by Nick Murphy, formerly known as Chet Faker, on the Bay Stage. While Murphy performed the Chet Faker songs he is known for, such as “1998” and “Gold”, his set featured his new songs, such as “Fear Less”. All doubts about the change in his persona, and its effects on his artistry were laid to rest with his enthralling rendition of his new single, “Stop Me, Stop You”, which closed the show, and Laneway 2017.
After 13 hours of dancing, music, food, and beverages, it was time for Laneway Singapore 2017 to officially close. As the crowd dispersed, there were already talks of excitement for what would be in store for St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2018.