A new wave of festivals is turning up the volume on the New Zealand music scene. St Jerome’s Laneway Festival is one of the highlights and will be celebrating its 5th year in Auckland on January 26. To get you in the mood for the festival season, The Red Bulletin spoke to co-promoter Mark Kneebone to find out his top 5 Laneway performances.
5. Lorde (Laneway 2014 make-up show)
For so many reasons – it was going to happen, then it wasn’t going to happen, and we had about 20 different meetings trying to come up with a plan to pull it off. In the end it came together because Lorde didn’t want to let her fans down. She made the call to fly back after the Grammys and play the show. Personally it was awesome because all my family came and she played a great set which everyone loved, and it took such a huge team of people to pull it off. Everyone worked their arses off because they knew it was going to be a special night, and she didn’t disappoint. That show aged me 10 years though.
4. Bailterspace (Laneway 2013)
We had been trying to get them to reform and play for three years. It finally looked like it was going to happen and then suddenly it was going to fall over, so my business partner, Ben Howe, got on a plane to New York [where frontman Alister Parker is based] and got them to sign the final contract. I watched from the side of stage with Ben and gave him a hug for being the most determined festival booker I have ever met.
3. Danny Brown (Laneway 2014)
This was probably the craziest set I’ve ever seen at Laneway – people just went mental and lost their sh*t. Girls were trying to climb on the stage for the whole gig and everyone kept screaming the lyrics back at him; when he played Dump the whole place just exploded. I was standing next to [Run the Jewel’s] Killer Mike and he just kept laughing whenever a girl got thrown back into the crowd by security.
2. The Dirty Three (Laneway 2010)
I just remember watching Warren Ellis going crazy on stage and thinking to myself that it was so surreal to see one of my all-time favourite musical heroes lying on stage exhausted with nothing left to give. I went up to Warren afterwards and said thanks for playing the show and he just said (in a very thick Australian accent), “No worries, kid” and walked off. From then on he became one of my favourite all-time humans.
1. Phelps & Munro (Laneway 2013)
Gerald Phillips (aka Phelps & Munro) delivered one of my favourite records of all time in Slowpoke, and to get him to play was a total coup. This is probably the only set at Laneway I have ever watched from start to finish (as you can imagine, it is a very busy day for me). When Phelps & Munro closed the Thunderdome stage, I had a grin on my face from start to finish.