Day 2, Roskilde Festival.
The spiritual festival which the locals refer to as “Roskilde” seems to be growing in size and amount of urine-infused dust. I continue to wander the grounds, unsure what ritualistic act will be performed next. Will it be peeing against a wall of graffiti? Eating a burger? Wearing a bucket hat? Only time will tell. I fear I may not make it until tomorrow to find out. The beer tents run dry and soon the people will riot.
Look, I could keep writing like this but I’d rather you stick around to read the rest, so I’ll stop. Roskilde Festival is a bit of an anthropological excavation for me, but it’s also a helluva lot of fun, so let’s go with that vibe.
My plan for yesterday was to get to Ryan Adams first, but we ended just walking past as he sang “When the Stars Go Blue.” I haven’t kept up with what Adams has been doing lately, but Gold is a special album for me. Just hearing that twang-y voice gave me happy-shivers.
The reason we were walking past so quickly (ugh, blisters) is so we could make it to Istid’s “Ice Ice Baby” event, which was sold out by the time we got there. I was then craving ice cream with such intensity that I walked across the festival to the Hansen’s Is truck near Apollo Stage. Never tell me I’m not dedicated to my craft.
While I was eating ice cream, Creative Director Freya was over at Father John Misty. She says, “He’s a great entertainer. He’s one of those performers who is able to recreate his studio sound really well. Mainly, he’s sexy. Sexy sexy sexy.”
Because we consider two times worthy of comment, we’d like to note the trend of creepily talking about Danish genetics. Day 1, Pharrell Williams opened his show by complimenting the “the women with that beautiful Danish blood.” Day 2, Father John Mistry drawled, “May I congratulate you on your gene pool. [Long pause] Very beautiful.” If you hear any more of these kinds of comments, let us know about them! They’re weird. Is the Dansk Folkeparti guerilla-sponsoring Roskilde or something? Discuss.
Freya and I both made it to St. Vincent at Arena. I’m a huge St. Vincent fan but the only other time I’ve seen her live was when she opened for Grizzly Bear at Vega in 2009, right after Actor came out.
I’d like to take a break from my sardonic tone to gush: St. Vincent! St. Vincent! This woman can slay. Not only is she a witty song writer with a strong, ethereal voice, but she can also melt your effing face with her guitar. As can her keyboardist/bass guitarist/guitarist Toko Yasuda. I was absolutely in love during this show and feel so lucky that I got to see it.
Proving that there are many ways to be entertained, Freya headed to Foxygen next. “They really put on a show. It was like a marathon; they were drinking lots of water, sweating, dancing. Sam France is like Mick Jagger on steroids. At one point he sucked on the mic, then they all left the stage and came back in different clothes. It was the full experience.”
There’s nothing like a band that takes the responsibly of putting on a show seriously; their antics did not go unappreciated and Freya left fully energised for Florence + The Machine at Orange Stage, where we met up.
I said this about Orange Stage yesterday and it remains true: areas that big and open are where music goes to die. Lead singer Florence Welch has an absolutely bananas-level voice. Her control, her projection – she’s amazing. But I couldn’t hear her clearly. This may also be due to the fact that I’ve been standing fairly close to large sub-woofers recently, but who’s to say, really? Seriously, who said it? I can’t hear you.
Florence + The Machine are not lacking in catchy tunes, so when they busted out “Shake it Out, “You’ve Got the Love,” and “What Kind of Man” I was fully into it. Nobody does opera-whimsy-rock like these guys.
Towards the end of the set, Freya and I parted again. She was on the picture-prowl (a new compound verb for photographers I just invented) and I made my way to Perfume Genius at Pavillion Stage. Though I wasn’t sure what to expect – I had heard that Perfume Genius can be an introverted performer – I was completely blown away.
What an incredible voice and stage-presence. It was an emotionally-charged, intimate performance and I left feeling excited to hear more from him. I was also impressed with the crowd; every time I moved to get a better shot, someone would pull my arm to me into a better position. People were moving out of the way (while continuing to dance, of course) to allow me to capture what was happening. It was a really special atmosphere. So, thank you, audience at Perfume Genius.
After spending a bit of time recharging at the Press Centre, we picked ourselves up and wandered over to Muse at Orange Stage (why do I insist on punishing myself?). I know the chorus to a few Muse songs but that’s the extent of my knowledge, so I was expecting to bop my head a bit and nothing more.
Little did I know that Muse was a huge deal in Australia and so Freya was there to get down. She was also keen to make up for her previous Muse experience at Roskilde in 2007, which was the wettest Roskilde on record. Luckily, the sun has been shining this year so what resulted was a joyous two hours of head-banging. Muse is a Rock Band (capital letters) and they know how to put on a fabulous show with their fans in mind. The light show was great as well, with confetti and streamers towards the end that made us feel like we were at Disney Word.
The night could have continued. We were planning to see Die Antewoord, Hot Chip and Fat White Family but we were just wiped out and didn’t want to bring the rest of you down with our bad attitudes. You’re welcome.
Day 2: check. We’ll be back tomorrow with Day 3 performances by Kwabs, Run the Jewels, Disclosure, Mew, and…(drum roll) Kendrick Lamar! Until then, party pants on, people.
Find out what went down on Day 1
Continue to dance your ass off with our Roskilde Playlist.
Photos credit: Freya McOmish
St Vincent: Sheila Lam; Perfume Genius: Rebecca Thandi Norman