St Jeromes Festival Melbourne February 8, 2020 – Review

by the partae

WORDS: Kirsty Argento


Laneway is a festival you always leave deeply satisfied with because you take away a collection of new artists to binge through on Spotify afterwards. Your own interests expand in a day as unique acts flout genre boundaries and open you up to new ideas musically.   Reading Melbourne right, the 2020 line-up was peppered with new and underground talent from home and abroad – allowing the festival to hold true to it’s identity amidst it’s massive expansion from it’s dirty humble 2004 block party.

UK’s Col3trane and America’s Omar Apollo started the sunny day right with their pleasurey soulful voices followed by confident Benee, the 20yr old NZ superstar who’s upbeat vibe brought everyone to their feet stomping happy place.  

Tones and I’s set was all voice and left of centre sounds. Of course captivating the crowd with Dance Monkey makes you appreciate her creativity but more so you’re hit hard by the depth of her vocal talent.  Australian group DMA’s induced the crowd with their can’t hate Britpop rock adding to the days diversity. 

Sultry RnB singer songwriter Mahalia couldn’t have been a better soundtrack to the pink sky sunset. Representing the global rise of new wave female soul-pop-RnB artists, UK’s Mahalia has garnered international fame since her 2017 hit ‘Sober’. She carried and moved the crowd with her lyrical honestly that made you feel like she was an old friend. Melbourne has championed her sound since her debut performance here in January 2019 and it showed in stage turnout.  

Charlie XCX’s performance was on another level. Pulling all the pop treats she awakened the audience with a crafted set that only experience can bring to the table. Her intense vocal expression blew her synth pop tracks up in this stunning live performance.   

Honouring Laneway’s essence is difficult with their transition to huge staging and lowering the age to 16+. Performances were solid but crowds are young and swarming, sets less intimate. Lucky for spaces like the Russel Athletic Lockeroom, that showcased the likes of emerging local artist Jordan Dennis out on the grass with a small crowd working his MC talent. Maybe Laneway’s still got. 

WORDS: Kirsty Argento


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