The 1975 and Charli XCX capped a Laneway Festival that overcame late line-up changes to deliver on a blisteringly hot Anniversary Day at Albert Park.

Much of the talk in the run-up to Auckland's biggest single-day festival was of late withdrawals by Headliner Rufus du Sol, Irish post-punks Fontaines DC and rapper J.I.D.

Revellers used every way possible to stave off the heat on a blisteringly hot Anniversary Day. Photo / Dean Purcell, New Zealand Herald
Revellers used every way possible to stave off the heat on a blisteringly hot Anniversary Day. Photo / Dean Purcell, New Zealand Herald

But there was still a lot left for a decent-sized and typically up-for-it crowd to love, much of it Kiwi.

With the thermometer nudging 26 degrees, homegrown acts Soaked Acts and Mermaidens kicked things off at lunchtime before London RnB act Col3trane offered a touching tribute to basketball legend Kobe Bryant during a well-received set.

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Staff sprayed water into the crowd to keep them cool. Photo / Dean Purcell, New Zealand Herald
Staff sprayed water into the crowd to keep them cool. Photo / Dean Purcell, New Zealand Herald

Dressed in a bright red leotard, pink tights and bright blue socks, Aussie singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly livened up the Rangers stage by busting out a recorder for a Dido cover between tracks from album Beware of The Dogs.

Tongue-in-cheek Aussies The Chats - punk's Goldie Lookin Chain, one wag suggested - produced the day's first moshpit moment at the main Princes St stage. They delivered a typically raucous set of songs about the likes of pub lunches and bus fares after strolling on to the theme from Rocky.

The Chats inspired the day's first moshpit moment. Photo / Dean Purcell, New Zealand Herald
The Chats inspired the day's first moshpit moment. Photo / Dean Purcell, New Zealand Herald

On the Rotunda stage, Canadian frat-hopper BBNO$ held court to a lively audience. About 10 minutes in, the big question was, is he taking the mickey? The answer, possibly, was yes. He has described his music as "oxymoronical rap" that is "ignorant but melodic".

Sample lyric "Hey Alexa, hey Alexa / How many bitches can we fit in the Tesla?" could, unfortunately, have been the most 2020 couplet of the day.

The Chats inspired fan-demonium at Laneway. Photo / Dean Purcell, New Zealand Herald
The Chats inspired fan-demonium at Laneway. Photo / Dean Purcell, New Zealand Herald

In the leafy tunnel of the Blockparty Stage, Allysha Joy draped her husky voice over her live electric piano playing and the whisper of shuffling beats. Bewitching and engaging.

Following The Chats, Auckland's Beths delivered musical sunshine in their only domestic festival performance of the summer. Powered by some muscular guitar and a symbiotic rhythm section, the band tore through much of debut album Future Me Hates Me, dropped a little new material and laid an early(ish) claim for one of the sets of the days.

Elizabeth Stokes from The Beths. Photo / Dean Purcell, New Zealand Herald
Elizabeth Stokes from The Beths. Photo / Dean Purcell, New Zealand Herald

Onehunga hip-hop collective Swidt, the eleventh-hour replacement for J.I.D, saw their often politically motivated messages positively received.

Back at the Blockparty, Kiwi rapper Jess B overcame early technical difficulties to showcase her effortless flow.

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Rapper JessB showcased her effortless flow at the Blockparty Stage. Photo / Dean Purcell, New Zealand Herald
Rapper JessB showcased her effortless flow at the Blockparty Stage. Photo / Dean Purcell, New Zealand Herald

And Benee, the dominant force at last year's New Zealand Music Awards showed how far she's come since her early showing at last year's event. The crowd for her late afternoon main stage set was shoulder-to-shoulder as she belted out Wishful Thinkin, Supalonely and still zingy breakthrough hit Soaked.

Across the site, Holly Herndon was the sound of glitch techno invading Evensong and, back at the Blockparty, CC:Disco kicked off her set with some old school house and boogie goodness.

Benee was a big drawcard. Photo / Dean Purcell, New Zealand Herald
Benee was a big drawcard. Photo / Dean Purcell, New Zealand Herald

As the sun set, the biggest acts of the festival were just getting warmed up.

An electric performance from Charli XCX saw a monster light show complement her hits. Charli blended her experimental pop with dashes of EDM to the delight of a chunky crowd at the Rotunda stage.

She seemed almost like a supernatural force in her sparkly outfit and sleek long ponytail, commanding audiences to dance with every beat. Her cover of the Spice Girls' Wannabe went down a treat, as did her smash hit and closing track 1999.

Bringing the day to an epic conclusion were pop-rockers The 1975, with the expectation of their passionate fans heightening the sense of occasion.

Frontman Matty Healy conducted the crowd through a whirlwind of genres and tempos.

The band are known for political stances and proved it by playing Greta Thunberg's climate change speech in its entirety. It served as the intro to Love It If We Made It - a song about hoping to make it through tumultuous times. It was one of the best songs in their set.

The atmosphere was wonderful, as festival-goers danced and twirled as far down Princes St as the eye could see.

Ending the night with the triple whammy of Chocolate, Sex, and The Sound, The 1975 concluded Laneway with a bang.