When I was called up to cover this year's St Jerome's Laneway Festival, I did not know what to expect.
Yes, I had been a Laneway virgin, up until a few days ago. Despite the stormy weather, the first time felt absolutely magical.
I was weary of the festival's reputation for being dominantly 'hipster'. However, I was surprised by the massive line-up, which covered a range of genres that appeals to just about anyone.
Here are five of my favourite performances from Laneway Festival 2017.
1. Tash Sultana
I had listened to a few songs off her self-titled EP, but nothing could prepare me for her unique, awe-striking performance.
THE TATTOOED SINGER WAS ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING.
The Australian songstress hit the stage as her own one-woman band. Switching from shredding her guitar to looping percussion beats on an MPC, the woman even beatboxed into a pan flute, showcasing her many talents on the Bay Stage.
The 21-year-old showcased her raw and emotional energy as she danced, jumped and went on her knees to showcase her virtuosic guitar skills, driving the small afternoon crowd wild.
2. Sampa the Great
The Zambian-born, Botswana-raised rapper wasn't on my radar, but I was lucky enough to have stumbled into the White Room to escape the afternoon heat.
Boy, was I in for a treat.
WHEN SAMPA THE GREAT CALLED OUT FOR #QUEENS IN THE AUDIENCE,
I WAS SCREAMING MY HEAD OFF.
Sampa the Great had no problem telling everyone she was the greatest, and no one in the crowd seemed to disagree.
The audience grooved, danced and yelled as she spat her rhymes, lighting the room on fire. Her politically and spiritually charged lyrics also had the White Room yearning for more.
I thought I was prepared for this British sultry songstress, but I wasn't. Nothing could prepare me for this.
Nao was absolutely breathtaking. Belting hits off her debut album (aka my favourite album of 2016), For All We Know, she conquered the Cloud Stage.
NAO SERVED US SPINE-CHILLING VOCALS, RAISING THE CLOUD STAGE TO NEW HEIGHTS.
With stunning, better-than-the-studio-recording vocals, the soul singer got the audience grooving with her as we sang (or screamed) along to her hits, such as 'Bad Blood' and 'Girlfriend' as the rain poured down on us.
She definitely deserved a bigger stage, thanks to her larger-than-life performance.
4. Mick Jenkins
"Drink more water!" the crowd screamed in unison, referencing a line from Mick Jenkin's popular concept mixtape, The Waters.
The White Room was #lit when the first beat of his hit song 'Jazz' dropped. We raised our hands in unison, and rapped along to his enlightening lyrics.
The Chi-Town rapper clearly had the audience wrapped around his fingers, who happily bounced along to his requests, such as putting their hands up in the air, waving them up and down, just like a hip hop cypher. Even I was absolutely hypnotised by his charisma.
MICK JENKINS REMINDED US TO 'SPREAD LOVE', CHANTING THE PHRASE
WITH THE CROWD AT VARIOUS POINTS OF THE SET.
Needless to say, I was fan-girling right in the middle of the crowd at how awesome this dude is.
5. Nick Murphy (formerly known as Chet Faker)
As expected, Laneway veteran Nick Murphy delivered with his soulful vocals and catchy hits.
Moments before his the stage was set up, hordes of people were already standing right in front of the Bay Stage, anticipating the bearded singer's set.
When he finally appeared on stage, the loudest roar of the entire day was heard, welcoming Nick Murphy to the festival once again.
HIS VOICE, COUPLED WITH HIS STAGE PRESENCE AND THE LIGHTS MADE
NICK MURPHY SEEM LIKE AN ACTUAL ANGEL.
PHOTO CREDITS: YOUTH.SG/AARON KAI
He had the crowd singing along to his hit 'Talk is Cheap' from his first debut studio album, Built on Glass. I was absolutely exhausted, but still managed to stand for another hour to experience the magic that is Nick Murphy.
2017's Laneway was honestly one of the best music festivals I have been to, because aside from the list above, the line-up was absolutely amazing. I am truly looking forward to rocking out at next year’s edition of St Jerome's Laneway Festival.
BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/AARON KAI