The beards! The silos! The bands! The dancing bananas! Chris Schulz, Rachel Bache and Amy Shanks take in the last Laneway Festival at Silo Park.

Three cloak-clad hipsters are bent over keyboards, playing glitchy electronica.

Watching them is a man dressed as caveman Fred Flintstone, a woman dancing in barely there sequined underwear, and two friends sweltering in gigantic banana costumes.

Welcome to the mad, loud, hot and heaving world of Auckland's Laneway Festival, with a near sellout crowd gracing Silo Park on Auckland's Waterfront for what's rumoured to be the last time.

If Laneway's physical borders need to expand for its next event, this year's eclectic line-up showed its musical ones already are, with an explosion of micro-genres across the site's four stages.

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They included Wellington trio Groeni, who looked like monks as they opened up the main stage with hoods high over their heads.

Their techno dreamscapes were followed by the hotly-tipped Leisure, an Auckland disco-pop band so mysterious this was their first New Zealand show.

As temperatures soared to 26 degrees over the afternoon, punters could switch between Health's blitzkrieg post-rock punch, Shamir's colourful pop pastiche, Fidlar's rowdy skate-rock racket, The Internet's sassy soul, Vince Staple's muscular rap attack and Hudson Mohawke's mashed-up mayhem.

Those looking to cool down could take in one of the acts performing in the shaded silo stage called the Thunderdome, but their ears may then have taken a hammering.

Some of the day's loudest sets came from Canadian noise punks Metz and Aussie grunge upstarts Violent Soho in the silo, with both acts doing their best to topple the concrete tower above them.

Fans enjoy Vince Staples at the Laneay Music Festival in Auckland. Photo/Doug Sherring
Fans enjoy Vince Staples at the Laneay Music Festival in Auckland. Photo/Doug Sherring

If that was too much, new festival initiatives included extra shade cloths covering areas around the main stage, expanded food options including pulled pork "Po Boys" and famed Auckland eateries Burger Burger and Bearded Clam, as well as glasses of water being handed out to those trying to stay hydrated in the searing sun.

As the temperatures started dropping, the festival's dance-friendly acts took over, with sets from high-energy acts Grimes, Flume and Chvrches.

But for those that chose to see out the festival with Purity Ring on the smaller Cactus Cat stage, they found plenty to love about the Canadian synth-grind act with a full on light show matching their intense, brooding music.

Laneway's best bits

Leisure, 12.30pm, Mysterex Stage:

Those who arrived at Laneway early were treated to the very first New Zealand show by Leisure, a band tipped to be our next big export. Their funk-pop jams had shades of Jungle and Tame Impala, both previous Laneway performers, but in

Got It Bad

they've got their very own disco anthem you can't help but feel could one day close Laneway, not open it. Groovy, baby.

Health perform at the Laneway Music Festival in Auckland. Photo/Doug Sherring
Health perform at the Laneway Music Festival in Auckland. Photo/Doug Sherring

Health, 2.15pm, Hey Seuss Stage:

They arrived like a punch to the face, with heads banging, hair flailing and guitars being flung around stage. But Health soon settled down, adding more anthemic elements to their industrial-strength racket. They reminded of the days when heavy acts used to test out the sound system early at the the Big Day Out, and their blitzkrieg performance not only raised a sweat, it also inspired some heavy petting, with several couples indulging in some loved-up shenanigans.

Shamir performs at Auckland's Laneway Music Festival. Photo/Doug Sherring
Shamir performs at Auckland's Laneway Music Festival. Photo/Doug Sherring

Shamir, 3.55pm, Hey Seuss Stage:

Shamir was the infectious ear candy Laneway needed to get the late afternoon party started. Hailing from Las Vegas, the uber energetic artist commanded the stage in a pink striped shirt and dad jeans. His sound is totally unique, merging R&B with elements of disco, pop, house and a whole lot of sparkle. His tune

Hot Mess,

which the singer describes as "my autobiography", literally dared you not to move.

Syd tha Kyd performs with The Internet at Auckland's Laneway Music Festival. Photo/Doug Sherring
Syd tha Kyd performs with The Internet at Auckland's Laneway Music Festival. Photo/Doug Sherring

The Internet, 4.40pm, Mysterex Stage:

Someone bought their own plastic palm tree to wave along to The Internet's summery afternoon set, and it was entirely appropriate. Their funked-up soul jams came with plenty of attitude - singer Syd Tha Kyd is from skate-brat rap troupe Odd Future after all - but her six-piece side-project felt like something you should be seeing from the deck chair on a cruise ship heading to Hawaii.

Vince Staples performs on the Cactus Cat Stage at Auckland's Laneway Music Festival. Photo/Doug Sherring
Vince Staples performs on the Cactus Cat Stage at Auckland's Laneway Music Festival. Photo/Doug Sherring

Vince Staples, Cactus Cat Stage, 5.35pm:

The Long Beach rapper's first New Zealand performance was highly anticipated, and the 22-year-old's crime laden rap tales didn't disappoint. Hitting the stage like a flailing octopus, Staples hit hard with the brutally heavy sonics of

Senorita

and

Blue Suede.

Repeated chewing out of police officers felt unnecessary, but his set even had Lorde dancing down the back.

Grimes, Mysterex Stage, 8pm: Shoddy sound meant the Canadian alt-pop titan got off on the wrong neon-painted foot. But by the halfway point, Claire Boucher was in fine form, bouncing around the colourful stage like an internet pixie on an energy drink high. She really does have some tunes: Go and Oblivion were late set highs, even if the latter was marred by some messed up lyrics and a hushed apology. But that just made her more likeable.

Purity Ring, Cactus Cat Stage, 9.35pm: Bewitching and bewildering in equal measures, the Canadian duo brought the festival to a much darker close than Flume's uplifting anthems on the main stage. Performing while dressed like an astronaut at a wedding on the moon, Megan James ghosted around the stage, performing between strings of lights and wailing over the group's brooding grind. It was an absolutely hypnotic end, and the perfect finale for Laneway's swansong at Silo Park.

- nzherald.co.nz