Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hove, day 2: What you see is what you get.

I find the festival atmosphere quite charming, with people being slightly inebriated, excited, happy, and generally silly. I think people become who they really want to be when they're a bit tipsy. People like being sociable, happy, merry. It's just that we let sobriety tether these moods usually. But during a festival, these qualities bloom and prosper. A week of fun and frolic, and some quality music. No wonder people pay the frankly ridiculous price for a full week ticket.

Day 2 of the Hove festival started of in a weird way. My friends recommended I come along to see an art performance. Now, I'm the kind of person who gets a bit sceptical when I hear the phrase 'performance art'... ("Oh no, pretentious, eccentric, spaced-out hippie art?"). But I convinced myself to drop my arrogant prejudices and tag along. I was also convinced by the share number of people who were present. So as we entered the forest where the performance would take place, we were met by this sight...

Eerie and mind-blowing performance art

The woman you see hanging from the tree (apparently by her own hair?!) is the artist, and the people sat in the trees are musicians playing saws...! Then this spine-chilling and ethereal music started playing, as the performance artist (Tori Wrånes) was singing along in an operatic manner while the saw blades were playing. It was mesmerisingly beautiful. If performance art can be this awesome, consider me a convert. Thanks to my good friend, Signe (you are now involuntarily mentioned in my 'zuper blawg') for dragging me along.

Das ist Signe.

Music-wise, the second day of the festival was 'my day'. Kasabian's first gig ever in Norway, the return of The Strokes (have they played Norway before? Thorough blog research...), and Brandon Flowers' solo project. I'm a fan of all of these bands, so I was just looking forward to some good gigs with music that I knew would be solid.

Kasabian finally arrived in Norway.

Kasabian's first gig was convincing in my opinion. It was about time they played Norway! I loved seeing Tom Meighan's arrogant British swagger on a Norwegian stage. Unfortunately, the sound was rubbish. For the main part of the concert all you could hear was bass drum and bass guitar, almost no snare or guitar or electronic sound effects. It really put a dampener on Kasabian's usual pompous and strong sound. Especially their more electronica heavy songs suffered. But their performance was solid. The best bit was when Tom Meighan thanked the Norwegian crowd for being awesome and did the sign of the cross. Funny man.

Next on were The Strokes. I read in the music press that there is murmurings about trouble within the band. But so what? Who cares? Of course, I don't want to see The Strokes break up again, but why focus on trouble in paradise prior to a gig that so many fans are looking forward to? Journalists bug the hell out of me. Anyways, the gig was awesome. The Strokes are awesome. Julian is sexy as hell (despite his slightly Elvis-chubby appearance) and a great laid-back rock'n'roll frontman. The way he talked to the crowd between the songs, leisurely asking how they were doing, letting them know what was going on on stage, changing mics, even stopping a song because he forgot the words. Perhaps not very professional in a conventional sense, but it was all just so laid-back and cool. You almost felt like you were present at a slightly rusty comeback-Strokes rehearsal.

The (casual) Strokes

Then there was the Las Vegas charmer that is Brandon Flowers. He comes across as such a shy, humble, polite and lovable person. His movements on stage are almost a bit awkward and stilted, but at the same time he exudes a stylish arrogance and confidence that only a rockstar can. I love how he makes the crowd feel appreciated and included in the concert. A true master of the stage, even own his own without the bigger presence of The Killers. He even did a guest appearance during Bright Eyes' gig later on, which made the otherwise calm and swaying Bright Eyes fans go absolutely crazy.

Now, as you're looking at the pictures in the blogpost you're probably thinking the same as I am: Rubbish. Sad to say, I don't have a fancy blogger's SLR camera, only my crappy camera phone. But it's not just that. Gig pictures in general are quite uninteresting to watch. As I was snapping a blurry photo of the Brandon Flowers gig with the intention of including it on my blog, this 18 year old girl say to me: "Are you taking a photo of a gig? How old are you? You know those pictures are going to turn out shit anyway, so why don't you put it down and enjoy the gig instead?". Touché. She was right. A picture of a stage in the distance with artists looking like single pixels is not especially interesting for anyone who wasn't there to see. It's not even satisfying for yourself to watch later on! It doesn't capture any of the magic or atmosphere of when you were there. It's nothing but a feeble 'proof' that "I was there!". And so what? You know you were there, and so do the people you want to share it with. So for the next festival blogpost I shan't spam you with blurry gig photos, but rather try a take pictures of... Other stuff...? Like these guys:

My friends Kai Olav, Mari and Erling. They love clapping.


  1. Hi! Do you know anyone with a vid of Brandon singing with Bright Eyes? I'm dying to see that!

  2. Hey nitapeluca! I haven't been able to find a clip from the gig, unfortunately. I would recommend you keep a lookout for it on youtube, perhaps someone will post a video over the weekend. I'll keep an eye out for it myself and let you know if I find anything.