Festival Review Part 2: St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Detroit, September 14, Sigur Ros, The National, Savages, etc


Part 1 is here

I shall waste little time continuing on with my Detroit food and beverage based music reviews for the Laneway Festival in Detroit on Saturday. Just like Ne-Yo said, “Let’s go!”


Savages aka Whisky- Powerful, different, great in short bursts and channeling memories of the past, whiskey is a great drink. Similar to whisky is Savages, a four piece band from London who channels all those qualities as well. Their post-punk offerings reminds me of music from the late 70’s and early 80’s, back when I was just a toddler. Jehnny Beth is an electrifying and intense front woman who reminds me of Annie Lennox for some reason. Their set was during the daytime, which I found to be a bit odd. Just like whisky, I think I prefer them in the darkness of the night. Still, the very color coordinated band wasted no effort in delivering the crowd with a fist full of rock including two tracks I enjoy – Husbands and She Will.

Killer Mike and EL-P (Run the Jewels) aka Vodka – Easily the most chatty act of the day, the duo delivered a steady dose of hip hop to the festival. EL-P actually opened up a bottle of Grey Goose on stage and passed it through the crowd before realizing there were probably a lot of minors he was feeding hard liquor to. Instinctively, he got the bottle back. Not bad for effort. The pair were super chatty and slightly hilarious and provided a nice raw hip hop feel to the show.


Sigur Ros aka Brisket – Sigur Ros is basically great brisket – impossible to replicate on your own, looks great and tastes spectacular. Having seen them in March, I was already familiar with their current stage and it still blew my mind. Giant projection screen, blasting strobe lights and little cute light bulbs on pole all add to the visual aspect of a Sigur Ros show. It’s a feast on the eyes, just like brisket is a feast on your stomach, just look at this:


Currently on tour for the album Kveikur, Sigur Ros was one of the two headliners of the night and their show was at the absolutely lovely Pavilion on the Meadowfields ground. Their eighty minute set was a mixture of new and old tracks accompanied by gorgeous videos you want to be your screensaver, and all of them highlighted by Jonsi’s out of the world voice. Seriously, nothing sounds like that guy. The band seemed to have endless members on stage, with percussion, horns, keyboard and others all taking the spotlight at one point or another. The highlight for me is always Untitled #1 and it’s gas masked video set. It’s one of the few songs out there where everyone just shuts the fuck up and appreciates and it always gives me chills. Much like when you are eating a lovely piece of brisket and then you discover theres a bit of fat in the meat and suddenly you have this tasty explosion in your mouth. We should give Iceland the Winter Olympics one of these years just so I can watch an opening ceremony with Bjork and Sigur Ros. Set of the festival, easily.

The National aka Pulled Pork – Whenever you are ordering food from the menu, you can always order pulled pork and you can never go wrong. It’s always good and consistently tasty no matter the time. This is the National in a nut shell. They are just consistently damn good and you are in great hands when you have them as your set closer. One of my favorite things about the Laneway Festival was how easy it was to get to where you want. We arrived at the stage mere minutes before they started and was still able to make our way up to the front. What a festival. Even Matt Berninger had to comment on how great the festival was. He seems like a hard man to please. Starting with the first song off 2013’s Trouble Will Find Me, the track I Should Live in Salt set about a nice reflective “hey yeah this is awesome” homestretch part of the night. The band played songs from their impressive discography and told stories of how they were playing the track Abel to only the janitor not too long ago. Having barely seen them at NXNE in June, I was taken aback by how much more “singing” Matt has on the new album versus the screaming, growling nature of some of the earlier music. Maybe he is chilling out. You would never know it by watching him on stage, as his constant pacing and general body language always reads as someone who is on the verge of exploding. We decided to head out early to beat the crowd, but I guess we forgot that this wasn’t your typical festival where traffic jams dominate the night. We were able to get out right away, a final reminder of just how organized and well operated the Laneway Festival was.

I’ll be back next year.

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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