Coming up for air


17 Jul 2008, 22:10

Made a last minute decision to attend Oxegen and scored some discount tickets on Toutless. I was a bit wary 1) because the weather looked as if it could be a disaster 2) I hadn't heard good things about the crowd 3) I was taking my 13-yr. old son. Needless to say, the weather was bearable, Green Camping was the most civilized by far and we had a fab weekend. (I'd still prefer the Electric Picnic, but can't go this year.)

You can see my selection of pics on Flickr.

Friday Highlights

I was really excited to get to see Battles and they didn't disappoint. The crowd was anticipating Atlas the whole time. (I was the dope who got lifted up on the shoulders of some giant guy to take a few pics. Sorry.)

The biggest surprise of the whole festival was Friendly Fires. When they took the stage there must have been ten people in the tent but the place was packed by the time they finished the set. The lead singer was like a hyperactive Mick Jagger shuffling around the stage and I wouldn't be shocked to see them headlining in a few years. I ran home and downloaded their Cross The Line EP, but it doesn't live up to the live performance.

Saturday Highlights

Either R.E.M. still have it or never lost it. The last time I saw them was 1990 and I thoroughly enjoyed the set. I didn't expect them to dive too deeply into the catalog but enjoyed hearing Fall on Me and my son's favourite has always been Orange Crush. Gabe wasn't particularly interested in going to see them, but in retrospect agreed they were one of the best performers of the weekend.

I wish I had seen more of The National set, because the two songs I did see were amazing. From what I heard, the time I spent at The Verve and especially The Prodigy was a total waste of time.

I admit to never hearing Vampire Weekend, but had been told they were a "do not miss act", and now I'm hooked, currently playing their release to death. "Who gives a fuck about an Oxford Comma? I've seen those English dramas too-yoo-hoo ..."

Holy Fuck are much better live then they are recorded. Loved it.

Though not my scene at all, I will admit that Mindless Self Indulgence know how to work their audience. Ultimately it's all a bit of a silly punk cartoon.

(Am I the only person who thinks Seasick Steve's reputation is a bit inflated? I kept hearing him referred to as a "legend" and a "God." Really?)

Sunday Highlights

Well, the whole thing was building up to Rage Against the Machine wasn't it? I had been waiting over a decade to finally see these guys and we jockeyed for position along the second barrier during The Kooks, The Fratellis and The Kaiser Chiefs. (The Kaiser Chiefs certainly know how to get the crowd going. I Predict A Riot was an appropriate preface to RATM.)

Whether the performance was spectacular or not, the energy was certainly epic. (It sure was a shame the sound cut out during a few of Tom's solos.) It was one of those "I was there" moments when they kicked into Killing in the Name and the crowd chanted away. Why no version of Wake Up?!

(No chance to get a good pic because the crowd was a heaving mass.)

We'd go back next year ...


  • Rosti_LFC

    Rage were fantastic. The solo in Bullet In The Head was amazing. I was also pretty disappointed that they didn't play Wake Up - I was expecting it to be either the penultimate or final song. I went to see Battles, having heard of them but never actually listened to any of their songs, and found they were a little boring. I'm fine with instrumental music (I thought God Is An Astronaut were superb) but to me it just seemed like their songs were building up to an epic heavy bit that never seemed to come. Guess they're just not to my tastes, because plenty of other people seemed to be enjoying it :P

    18 Jul 2008, 2:22
  • verticalbones

    Yeah, it was really a bit odd to leave out Wake Up, as they could have dropped a number of other songs for it. I enjoyed God Is An Astronaut as well. Hadn't heard them before. Cheers.

    18 Jul 2008, 9:58
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