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LIVE REVIEW: Roskilde Festival Day 1, 29.06.2016

in Live Reviews by
at the drive-in live roskilde

Reviews by Amanda Farah and Jesper Gaarskjær

Africa Express presents the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians — Orange

If there was one flaw in the Africa Express set from last year, it was timing. The four-hour performance started at about 10pm on the last night of Roskilde, and as marvellous as it was, we simply didn’t have the energy left to stick it out.

So Africa Express presents the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians with Damon Albarn and Guests (not the snappiest title, to be honest) was a wonderful way to open the Orange Stage. And with this set running only two hours, there was no threat of Albarn being carried off the stage again, though of course it was mentioned.

This night was not about Albarn, though. Aside from an extended version of “Out of Time,” where Arabic string arrangements melted the song into something romantic and beautiful, and a cover of the Beatles’ “Blackbird,” sung with the Syrian choir and Julia Holter, he remained in the background. Even from the perspective of a longtime fan of his work, that’s fine, because the best moments of the set belonged to other performers.

Mounir Troudi not only floored us with his voice, but is so delightful to watch in his performance with his enormous smile and fanciful dancing that it’s almost unbearable. Someone please bring him to Koncerthuset so we can enjoy a full concert. Lebanese/Algerian artist Malikah, performing with both Noura Mint Seymali and with Bu Kolthoum, has us realizing that we need more Arabic hip-hop in our lives.

And lest anyone doubt the political nature of this performance, Albarn opened the set by declaring “keep borders open” and ended it with his fellow musicians leading the crowd in a chant of “Syria.” Well said. Welcome in. — AF

Aurora — Pavilion

Standing there in her thin black dress and golden jacket and shining with her pale, smiling face, obviously grateful for the people crowding this years’ first concert at Pavilion. And then she starts singing, Aurora Aksnes, 19 year old from Norway, and nothing is stronger than the voice from this young, tiny woman.

She really can make some unbelievable sounds with her voice, both on record and not least live at Roskilde, that just fits her gripping, explosive electro pop-songs somewhere between Björk and Sia. That was the formula from the minute she entered the stage until she left only 40 minutes later, leaving the crowd hungry for more of her pop songs that have this cold Nordic melancholy underneath it all.

aurora live roskilde

This really was a lively concert, but that was also the weakness of her performance. It was too much the same pop formula, and that was a shame. Aurora is so, so talented, and she makes adorable pop songs like the irresistible “Running With The Wolves” — which also lifted the concert to pure magic — but she is also very interesting, when she is vulnerable in a more acoustic setting, and that side of her could have varied the show.

Instead she chose the safe path. It also left her too bound to the microphone — and therefore dancing too little to her own beats, making her performance too static. Because she did dance, especially during her last few songs, and when she did it all went ecstatic and made the crowd wonder, why she was only on stage for 40 minutes. Way too short for such a gorgeous singer. — JG

At the Drive-In — Arena

The archival footage of At the Drive-In from their initial run (which ended in 2000) shows a band that could easily destroy a stage and possibly themselves. Sure enough, within three songs, an amp head has been lost, a speaker has been toppled, and frontman Cedric Bixler is scaling the rubble and making life difficult for whatever poor manager is responsible for repositioning their abused equipment.

It’s what was hoped for, but it’s not sustained at that level. Though watching Bixler swing his mic stand around during “Invalid Litter Dept.” makes me afraid for the safety of the band members around him and anyone within throwing distance of the stage, the mid-set song list slowly devolves from crunchy to spacier tracks that would likely appease any Mars Volta fans that had wandered in.

at the drive-in live roskilde

Bixler’s between song banter is as unpredictable as his physical performance, with comments ranging from the abstract to the inspirational anyone-can-do-this to the reflective. Whether or not it’s a standard line of his, it’s seems genuine when he thanks the crowd for caring about a band that broke up 16 years ago and never played venues of this size.

That’s the note on which they launch into “One Armed Scissor,” the only song they could end their set on. And it sounds way tighter than any of the old videos ever suggested. And all of the energy they started with is there in droves. If the new material that’s been rumored ever surfaces, you can’t blame us for holding it to this standard. — AF

Alex Vargas — Gloria

The ingredients are simple: You take a soulful voice. You take some intriguing beats and some guitar. And then you mix it with raw energy and a utterly talented performer. In the bowl you get Alex Vargas, who made a mind-blowing performance in a totally packed Gloria, leaving hundreds of people disappointed outside.

His voice goes from deep and rootsy to precise falsetto, without any sign of uncertainty whatsoever, and complemented by overwhelming visuals in the dark room of Gloria. These features transformed the room into a feeling of music, of rhythms, of pureness and art. And it lifted the concert to heights that are be revealed on much larger stages in the coming years for the 28-year-old, gifted Danish musician. For sure. — JG

Hinds — Pavilion

Hinds are fresh off their appearance at Glastonbury, and apparently they had a rough time of it. As such, they’re rather happy to be at Roskilde, and the packed Pavilion stage seems just as happy to have them.

The Spanish quartet combine a little surf with a little rockabilly, some very pretty vocal harmonies, and a whole lot of party. There are plenty of surf revival bands out there, but Hinds knows how to sell it, bouncing around with endless energy, posing like a hair metal band, and singing so sweetly it almost seems like a con.

hinds live roskilde

They ended their set by coyly relating how their final song usually prompts stage invasions, before a ready volunteer presented himself and one of the guitarists launched herself into the crowd. If we see any other band this festival with as much sheer joy as Hinds exudes, we’ll be very lucky indeed. — AF

Red Hot Chili Peppers — Orange

One question rose above all in front of the Orange stage this beautiful evening: Would Red Hot Chili Peppers make up for the disaster of their last visit?

It’s fair to say that the headlining concert had a pre-history after Anthony Kiedis & Co made their scandalous bad performance on the same stage nine years ago, leaving the crowd and critics stunned, some even asking the festival to get their money back. And the answer to the question is a clear and profound no.

The reason is a lazy and limp performance, especially from singer Anthony Kiedis. To be fair, it actually seemed that the rest of the band tried to put in an energetic performance. Flea was Flea, a purple-pink-haired dynamo circling around the stage in a suit that made him look like some gear from outer space. And both the permanent John Frusciante-replacement Josh Klinghoffer, guitar, and Chad Smith, drums, seemed to invest themselves in the songs, with  Klinghoffer notably putting some soul in the strings. But it all faded in the light of Kiedis and his Bermuda shorts. He went on and off the stage and looked like someone who did not know why he was on that stage this evening. And somewhere between the sing-alongs “Scar Tissue” and “Californication”, the dull jam-sessions and songs from their latest, quite excellent record The Getaway, the question appeared: Are they really happy being up there on stage?

In their 90 minutes set, the iconic band did not do much to convince that they have a future in such big venues. And when their past with so many strong and even immortal songs plays such a small and weak part in their setup, the answer to all this is even more doubtful — and the performances of “Under The Bridge” and “Give It Away” were oddly trivial.

It just seems that Roskilde Festival and Red Hot Chili Peppers are a bad match, and the festival should have no intentions of getting them back on that stage. Ever. — JG

Föllakzoid — Pavilion

The last show of the evening was a journey with three space cadets of trance rock. These guys do live what they do on record, delivering repetitive, looping ten minutes moods, slowly building towards the climax and echoing krautrock-explosions, when they stepped out of the dark shadows on stage. Föllakzoid suited the venue and the after-midnight-atmosphere perfectly, transforming the Pavilion to a late night dance party that could just go on and on and on and on and never stop, before entering space in the dead of night, tired and fortunate. — JG

PHOTOS: Roskilde Festival 2015

in Photos by

Bob Hund

Photo by Morten Krogh
Photo by Morten Krogh

Communions

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Ratking

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Noel Gallagher

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

The War On Drugs

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Father John Misty

Father John Misty (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

St Vincent

St. Vincent (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Foxygen

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Perfume Genius

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Lust For Youth

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Pallbearer

Pallbearer (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Hot Chip

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Ought

Ought (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Fat White Family

Fat White Family (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Pharmakon

Photo by Morten Krogh
Photo by Morten Krogh

The Tallest Man On Earth

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Run The Jewels

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Kendrick Lamar

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Goat

Goat (photo Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Nils Frahm

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Deafheaven

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Paul McCartney

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Jamie xx

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Africa Express

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Photos of the year 2014

in Photos by
The Rolling Stones (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

It has been a busy year for Here Today. During 2014 our photographers and journalists covered Roskilde FestivalNorthside FestivalTrailerpark FestivalWasn’t Born To Follow (a mini festival by Smash! Bang! Pow!), as well as over 50 live shows with artists like St. VincentSwansAngel OlsenSharon Van EttenThe War On DrugsMac DemarcoCommunionsFirst HateLower, and many more.

We have put together a selection of the best photos of the year 2014. It has not been easy. Some stood out, though, like the picture below of Perfect Pussy; a picture that captures the raw energy of the show while still being very carefully composed and a perfect example of Henry Cartier Bresson’s concept of the decisive moment.

Perfect Pussy (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh / mortenkrogh.com)Perfect Pussy | Wasn´t Born To Follow, Pumpehuset, Copenhagen (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Another amazing photo is the one of Damon Albarn (by Tom Spray) spitting water at the audience at Roskilde Festival. The crowd, the big empty space and the solitary figure (Damon) at the edge of the stage in a defiant stance; it is a picture with allegorical qualities, one that can make you mind wander.

Damon Albarn (Photo by Tom Spray)

Damon Albarn | Roskilde Festival, Arena Stage (Photo by Tom Spray)

Then there is Morten Aagaard Krogh‘s photograph of the The Rolling Stones (at the top of this post) from when the band played the legendary Orange Stage at Roskilde Festival, a stage that has come to symbolize the festival. The Orange Stage was originally made for The Rolling Stones’s 1976 Summer tour, but in 1978 it was sold to Roskilde Festival. For the first time since 1976 The Rolling Stones where reunited with their old stage. It was also the first time they played Roskilde Festival. James Hjertholm’s photo of Hexis’s leadsinger Filip Andersen is also very powerful and last, but not least, there is a whole gallery of photos (at the bottom of the page) that are equally great.

Hexis (Photo by James Hjertholm)

Hexis | Roskilde Festival, Rising Stage (Photo by James Hjertholm)

See the gallery with Here Today’s photos of the year 2014 below.

The gallery features photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com), Tom Spray (tom-spray.com), James Hjertholm (jameshjertholm.com), Ivan Boll (ivanrb.dk) and Jonas Bang (jonasbang.com).

All images are copyright of the individual photographers.

Roskilde Festival 2014: Friday 4th July

in Live Reviews by

Photo by Tom Spray

Connan Mockasin

I can’t watch Connan Mockasin without thinking, ‘this guy is creepy as fuck’. Maybe it’s the haircut, or the glasses, or the weird pyjama waistcoat combo, or that smile, but I’m pretty sure it’s mostly because I keep having flashbacks to his video for ‘I’m The Man, That Will Find You’, where he stalks a woman around her house and then when they meet it’s all very uncomfortable, like a 70s soft porn. And although the Pavillion doesn’t have quite the same soft lighting scheme, it’s still an awkward experience to watch him. But at moments, I set my awareness of rape culture to one side, and appreciate the brilliant pop-psychedelia of Connan Mockasin’s echoing, twang guitar and overly vocoded falsetto over the bass on the track, and it’s suddenly a far more pleasureable watch. But it’s also massively repetitive, and combined with the unspeakably hot weather outside the tent, gives everyone a pounding headache. Connan Mockasin manages to compel the audience with his seductive tones, but wholly engaging them is a different prospect.

HT

Connan Mockasin (Photo by Tom Spray)

Photo by Tom Spray

Warpaint

Warpaint are cooler than you will ever be. With baggy t-shirts, pink hair and hotpants, they look like the poster girls for the Coachella look, which combined with their heavy dose of talent and skill, and desire to be sexy in sound and persona, puts them in control of their set like it’s a ball of putty. They pull you into a punch-drunk state of awe with dizzy, whirling melodies and effortless vocals that slip and slide through golden high pitched moments, and low, more brooding vocals. Frontwoman Theresa Wayman asks the Danes to party and clap, then tells her audience and band members that it was “the sexiest clap” she’d ever seen. They then move into the shiveringly good harmonies of ‘Undertow’, shredding on a single note, with the stage lights behind flashing up with a matching velocity. ‘Intro’ from their eponymous, sophomore album is played mid-way through the set rather than at the start, making the music feel continuous rather than disjointed. Wayman then starts making cat claws during the chorus of ‘Love is to Die’, then immediately laughs them off; she’s relaxed, comfortable, effortless, and hypnotisingly beautiful to watch and listen to.

(Roskilde Festival 2014)

Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

(Roskilde Festival 2014)

Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

HT

 

Haim

Haim are like the big sisters every ten year old girl dreams about, who want to teach you how to play the guitar and the drums and tell you to not care what other people think. Their live drummer plays a low, rumbling line in anticipation before Danielle, Alana and Este run and jump onto the stage like a group of excited puppies (probably a long haired breed. They shake their hair A LOT). After opening with ‘Falling’, the girls move into ‘If I could Change Your Mind’, shredding to the end. They then take a pause to ask permission to jam like they’re at home, as “Roskilde is our home now.” The crowd goes nuts. Este pulls the most fantastic bass faces throughout the set. For reference, see the Jenna Marbles video ‘How To Avoid Talking To People You Don’t Want To Talk To’, add some jerking chicken neck, and you get the idea. Alana ‘Baby’ Haim looks confused, potentially stoned, and when she does open her mouth, has a voice so squeeky it’s hard to decipher what she’s saying. But her skills as she rotates from drums, guitar and keyboard mid-way through tracks suggest that she knows exactly what she’s doing. As the set draws to an end with ‘Let Me Go’, each member bounds over to a large tom-tom and smashes it in time for a drumming trio. The stage explodes with silver confetti, the crowd cheers, and the chirpiest girls in California depart.

Haim (Roskilde Festival 2014)

Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

Haim (Roskilde Festival 2014)

Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

Haim (Roskilde Festival 2014)

Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

HT

Deftones

The only survivors of 90s “nu-metal”, and for good reason, Deftones have something of a split personality: on record they can be dark, introspective, full of subtleties to balance the heaviness of the guitars; live, subtlety goes flying off the stage. Frontman Chino Moreno bounces up and down as if the stage were a trampoline, simultaneously attempting autoerotic asphyxiation with his microphone cord.  This, combined with jaunty banter and Chino’s Beyoncé t-shirt, proves that Deftones have developed an effective, if rather blunt, formula for playing festivals. Songs like “My Own Summer (Shove It)” are made for places like this, full of exaggerated swagger. It might not be enough to fill the field in front of Orange Stage, but with the likes of Haim and Damon Albarn playing at Arena, it is significant.

CC

Deftones (Photo by Tom Spray)

Photo by Tom Spray

Deftones (Photo by Tom Spray)

Photo by Tom Spray

Deftones (Roskilde Festival 2014)

Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

 

Damon Albarn

There are two Damon Albarns: cheeky Damon and mopey Damon. You see the latter in interviews all the time, looking a bit wistful, a bit troubled, singing songs that largely reflect what Blur said in 1993: modern life is rubbish. I don’t know where that guy was on Friday, but he wasn’t in Denmark. Instead we got Damon the cockney lad, grinning so broadly you could see his gold tooth from half a mile away. Whatever you might think of Damon’s solo record, Everyday Robots, there is very little of that downbeat meditative quality to the set. Arena is jam-packed and Damon & co. are happy to oblige the mood of the crowd with a set that spans Damon’s career almost in its entirety: Blur, Gorillaz, The Good, the Bad and the Queen, even Rocket Juice & the Moon, his collaboration with Flea and Tony Allen.

By the time the band gets to “El Mañana” and “Out of Time”, this is already one of the great Roskilde gigs. Damon drenches photographers with water, discusses the differences between British and Danish princes, tells us of his Danish ancestry, and generally has a good time. But as the encore reveals, he has a few surprises in store. The band launches into “Clint Eastwood” as Damon introduces Kano, the London-based rapper who had a guest spot on Plastic Beach. It’s the moment when the set moves up a notch into proper crowd-pleasing frenzy. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a great closer for the set, but not so. Damon has another set of friends to play with. They’re in a little group called De La Soul, perhaps you’ve heard of them? It’s a moment of genuine surprise and excitement as the newly augmented band launch into “Feel Good Inc.” and from this moment on it is sealed: for today at least, this is the highlight.

CC

Damon Albarn (Photo by Tom Spray)

Photo by Tom Spray

Damon Albarn (Photo by Tom Spray)

Photo by Tom Spray

Damon Albarn (Roskilde Festival 2014)

Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

Darkside

No one really sees Darkside. Appropriately to their name, the duo spend their entire set in the shadows, only emerging as silhouettes when the lights behind them flare up. Avalon is packed with people awkwardly swaying along to a ten minute simmering overture. I suppose this is the one set that I was most curious about on this day. Having enjoyed their debut’s brooding, low-key menace, full of muted vocals and Chris Rea-style (ask your parents about him, they’ll know) slide guitar, it wasn’t immediately apparent how Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington were going to translate this into a festival setting. The answer is by emphasising a very basic, heavy, four-on-the-floor drum beat. The crowd was certainly jumping, but the effect was to turn these wrought soundscapes into dance tracks that bordered at times on the formulaic.

CC

Darkside (Photo by Tom Spray)

Photo by Tom Spray

Darkside (Photo by Tom Spray)

Photo by Tom Spray

Future Islands

Respect to those lucky people who managed to get into the Avalon tent to see Future Islands. Those of us who calmly strolled in fifteen minutes before the beginning were confronted with an ocean of people in the field outside of the tent, trying to peer in. Everyone wants to catch a glimpse of Samuel T. Herring’s already semi-legendary dance moves. If Future Islands are overwhelmed by all this, it certainly doesn’t hinder their playing. Herring invites people to crowd-surf, although we cannot confirm that anyone took him up on the offer. Instead he likes telling us what the songs are about, which would be a mark of awful pretension if it weren’t done with such openness. The great quality of the band is to sound unaffected and completely theatrical at the same time. Songs like “A Dream of You and Me”, “A Song for Our Grandfathers”, “Doves”, are instant synth-pop classics, full of bounce, poise and precision. But if we are going to be honest with each other, it is obvious that most people are at the gig for one song, and one song only. “Seasons (Waiting On You)” is not a fast song, but it comes on like a rush. Herring growls and wails does his dad-dance and mimes the song in sweeping gestures. Though at the back, you had to imagine this more than you could watch it.

CC

Future Islands (Photo by Tom Spray)

Photo by Tom Spray

Darkside (Photo by Tom Spray)

Photo by Tom Spray

Future Islands (Photo by Tom Spray)

Photo by Tom Spray

Future Islands (Roskilde Festival 2014)

Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

Future Islands (Roskilde Festival 2014)

Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

CC = Charlie Cassarino
HT = Helen Thomas

Damon Albarn | Roskilde Festival, 04.07.2014

in Photos by

Photos by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com) and Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)

Damon Albarn (Photo by Tom Spray)

Damon Albarn (Photo by Tom Spray)

Damon Albarn (Photo by Tom Spray)

Damon Albarn (Photo by Tom Spray)

(Roskilde Festival 2014)

Damon Albarn (Roskilde Festival 2014)

(Roskilde Festival 2014)

Damon Albarn (Photo by Tom Spray)

Roskilde Festival 2014 | Bands to catch

in Blog by

Thursday 3rd July

Who: Earl Sweatshirt
Where: Avalon Stage
When: 17:30

Who: Outkast
Where: Orange Stage
When: 18:30

Who: Chance The Rapper
Where: Avalon Stage
When: 21:00

Who: The Rolling Stones
Where: Orange Stage
When: 22:00

 

Friday 4th July

Who: Connan Mockasin
Where: Pavilion Stage
When: 14:00

Who: Damon Albarn
Where: Arena Stage
When: 20:30

Who: Darkside
Where: Avalon Stage
When: 23:00

Who: Trentemøller
Where: Orange Stage
When: 01:00

Saturday 5th July

Who: Omar Souleyman
Where: Apollo Stage
When: 17:30

Who: Manu Chao
Where: Orange Stage
When: 19:30

Who: Arctic Monkeys
Where: Orange Stage
When: 22:30

Who: Interpol
Where: Arena
When: 00:00

Sunday 6th July

Who: A$AP Ferg
Where: Avalon Stage
When: 16:00

Who: Julia Holter
Where: Gloria Stage
When: 17:00

Who: Stevie Wonder
Where: Orange Stage
When: 20:30

Who: Forest Swords
Where: Gloria Stage
When: 21:00

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