The War On Drugs
You might be interested in
Photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)
The day has finally arrived: the gates to the main festival grounds have opened, the sun is out, Roskilde has begun. The previous days of dolce far niente are replaced with a flurry of questions: which stage to run to, what food to eat (Korean Bulgogi is the official Here Today Food of the Week), how much alcohol do you have to consume before the prices stop feeling like stab wounds?
Off! — Avalon
After sixty years on the planet and founding not one but two legendary hardcore acts (Black Flag and Circle Jerks), frontman Keith Morris shows no signs of mellowing down. Eyes bulging, veins popping up in unexpected places, Morris stalks the stage in a defiant mood. His younger bandmates bounce along with him, though in their case the wild movements have the studied air of a re-enactment rather than the real thing. The songs themselves, rattled out in blasts of four or five, are one minute playful variations on the theme of fuck you.
While Off! might not be contributing anything new to a genre now almost forty years old, they can at least project some of the vitality of the original movement.
Bob Hund — Avalon
When earlier in the day we interviewed Thomas Öberg, frontman of seminal Swedish indie band Bob Hund, it was clear that there is something very intensely considered and thought out amid the manic energy and comedy of their live performances. Obsessed with making every performance unique, two years ago the band made a leap in the dark and sold all their instruments and equipment, choosing to rely on the generosity of friends and fans to supply them with odd assortments of guitars, vintage organs, microphones, maracas…
For their Roskilde set the equipment was provided by a music school in southern Sweden and Copenhagen surf-rockers The Tremolo Beer Gut. The old Fender Jazzmasters serve them well for the surfy pop vibe of “Tralala Lilla Molntuss”, but it is clear that Thomas was right when he told us “whatever the instruments, we still sound like Bob Hund”. The crowd’s enthusiasm is mirrored in the pure, joyous, Buster Keaton-esque energy of Thomas’s performance. He calls Roskilde “the capital of Scandinavia”, and indeed there is something utopian about hearing a crowd of Danes signing along in a Swedish dialect.
The War on Drugs — Arena
Sadly today we only have one reporter on the scene, who can only glimpse the likes of Communions, Young Fathers and Electric Eye as he tramps around from stage to stage like the errant monk of rock journalism that he clearly is. After the sun has finally lowered its burning rays, we settle down at Arena stage for our final gig of the evening, Philadelphia dad-rockers The War on Drugs.
Adam Granduciel is an aloof frontman, bent over his guitar and myriads of effects pedals in intense concentration. His music is all about tonal nuance, but in a live setting this often comes at the cost of dynamism. Other than the enthusiastic baritone saxophonist (an evident attempt to out-Springsteen the Boss himself) the rest of the band is skilled but sedate, rolling through the songs with more professionalism than passion. Even during crowdpleasers like “Under the Pressure” and “Red Eyes” the initial euphoria slowly dissipates into almost monotony. But in after these moments it is thanks to Granduciel’s mastery of guitar tone that a short busting guitar solo can rekindle the fire.
You might be interested in
Roskilde 2015 is gearing up, and as half of the population of Copenhagen migrates towards the festival grounds, it’s time for us to share the acts we are most enthusiastically anticipating.
18:00 – Communions (Pavilion)
19:00 – Bob Hund (Avalon)
19:15 – Ratking (Apollo)
23:00 – The War On Drugs (Arena)
17:00 – Father John Misty (Avalon)
18:00 – St Vincent (Arena)
20:00 – Perfume Genius (Pavilion)
23:00 – Pharmakon (Gloria)
00:00 – Ought (Pavilion)
02:00 – Fat White Family (Pavilion)
16:00 – The Tallest Man On Earth (Arena)
18:00 – Kate Tempest (Apollo)
19:30 – Kendrick Lamar (Orange)
20:00 – Einstürzende Neubauten (Avalon)
21:00 – Run The Jewels (Arena)
22:30 – Disclosure (Orange)
15:00 – Girl Band (Pavilion)
17:00 – Joanna Gruesome (Pavilion)
20:30 – Chelsea Wolfe (Gloria)
22:30 – Deafheaven (Pavilion)
23.00 – Africa Express (Arena)
00:00 – Myrkur (Pavilion)
You might be interested in
Swans – To Be Kind
After thirteen studio albums, Swans have not diluted their power or talent one bit. But somehow, since their rekindling in 2010, they have become more popular. To Be Kind is just as provocative and challenging as Swans’ early material, with half-an-hour-long songs like “Bring the Sun/Touissant Overture” and off-kilter oddities like “A Little God in My Hand”, but the sound and instrumentation has matured, becomings both less distorted and somehow more dissonant. As we witnessed in November, Swans are still a brutally loud and relentless live band, a constant provocation to audience and peers, and much loved because of it. – CC
MØ – NoMythologies To Follow
Karen Marie Ørsted is my hero. My braid swinging, ex-punk rocker, stage diving hero. I remember the first time I listened to one of MØ’s tracks, loading up Spotify and finding myself blasting ‘Pilgrim’ and ‘Let The Youth Go Mad’ for hours on end and wondering how one individual could contain quite so much effortless cool. She was the Danish alternative pop princess I’d been waiting for, ready to join a royal court populated by Björk, Kate Bush and Lana Del Rey. I waited for No Mythologies To Follow for over a year, as singles like ‘Glass’ and ‘XXX 88’ trickled out from MØ HQ. I was delighted to find that the debut album did not disappoint, as Ørsted shared something that was exciting, thematic, beautiful and most importantly, sounds fucking fantastic. From the first time I heard it, I knew that No Mythologies… was my album of the year. – HT
How To Dress Well – What Is This Heart?
Tom Krell’s third album What Is This Heart touches on lighter subjects than his previous two albums Total Loss (2012) and Love Remains (2010). Not one to shy away from touching personal matters, the album starts off with ‘2 Years On (Shame Dream)’ and leads you softly into a journey that expands an extremely vivid personal dream about his family. ‘Face Again’ the stand out single along with ‘Repeat Pleasure’ work in his signature indie R&B coupled with stunning falsetto which leave you questioning how these tracks aren’t further up the charts. WITH takes a turn with grand orchestral ‘Pour Cyril’ before leading into cute power pop ballads ‘Very Best Friend’ and ‘Precious Love’ proving key changes are making a come back! – TS
Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness
The most immediately striking thing about Angel Olsen is her voice, a voice that could easily croon country hits but instead lopes over scruffy, dampened guitars. Her voice alone should earn her and Burn Your Fire for No Witness a place in hearts and best-of lists, but what really makes Burn Your Fire… so special is that it’s wholly intuitive. Olsen’s second full length album is her first with a full band, and it’s the album her debut hinted she was capable of making. She hasn’t abandoned minimalist solo tracks, but she balances them against full-band arrangements. And it’s not just the range of her voice that’s striking but it’s incredible malleability; that it’s raw yet gentle, that it jumps from disaffected to emotive from one line to another, that it rasps and twangs with equal affect. And while she’s not too proud to pay homage to the ‘90s on “Forgiven/Forgotten” and “High and Wild,” these frazzled moments give way easily to stark folk ballads. The album comes down so slowly that by the time you’ve reached the hushed conclusion of “Windows” there’s a sense of catharsis. Burn Your Fire… doesn’t just leave you feeling satisfied, but completed. – AF
Sharon Van Etten – Are We There
Somewhere in Tennessee there is apparently an ex-boyfriend of Sharon Van Etten who, during their relationship, kept telling her that her music was terrible. There is a lesson to be learned here.
“Are We There” is one of those records that grows on you. There is something extremely vulnerable and honest about Sharon Van Etten’s song writing and performance on stage. Her voice has depth which is completed by the unique vocal harmonies with Heather Woods Broderick. As Sharon Van Etten told The New York Times when she released her previous album “Tramp”, she does not really consider them harmonies: “I just hear two notes at once — I just hear two melodies.” – MK
6) East India Youth – Total Strife Forever
7) Iceage – Plowing Into The Fields Of Love
8) Scott Walker and SunnO))) – Soused
9) Tune-yards – Nikki Nack
10) The War On Drugs – Lost In A Dream
11) Future Islands – Singles
12) Sleep Party People – Floating
13) FKA Twigs – LP1
14) Eagulls – Eagulls
15) St. Vincent – St. Vincent
16) Alt-J – This Is All Yours
17) Wild Beasts – Present Tense
18) Mac DeMarco – Salad Days
19) Ice Cream Cathedral – Sudden Anatomy
20) Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence
21) Get Your Gun – The Worrying Kind
22) Spoon – They Want My Soul
23) Warpaint – Warpaint
24) Shiny Darkly – Little Earth
25) Beyoncé – Beyoncé
You might be interested in
Before arriving at Store Vega it’s like the show has already begun. As the sun shines from a clear blue sky, the heat puts you in a snug and dazy mood – the same that vibrates in the universe of The War On Drugs. The tunes on their newest release Lost In The Dream seems to be the perfect soundtrack to the sunny season that is approaching. Being relocated from the smaller stage at Lille Vega to its big brother Store Vega, is a proof that a lot of the Copenhageners feel the same way.
The lights are dimmed as the six piece band walk onstage to the simple rhythms from a drum machine. The band falls into the groove and opens the night with ‘An Ocean Between The Waves’ from the new album. When the song ends its difficult to raise my hands for applause; the room is simply packed to the rafters. The first part of the show consists mostly of songs from the new album with a clear and loud vocal at the forefront. Lead singer Adam Granduciel is known for his way of slipping out of tune from time to time (in a charming way), his performance this night is flawless. And so is the guitar playing – numerous of guitar solos appears here and there through out the concert and at times it is so epic that even the guitar heroes from the 80’s would fall behind.
The band seems to enjoy their spot on the big stage and the energy is evident, especially while performing hit single ‘Red Lights’, colouring the entire stage in a sharp red veil in the process. As a part of a daily ritual Granduciel brings his polaroid camera on stage and takes a photo to immortalise the evening. Although that turned out being a useless act as Granduciel shows the audience the pictures – theres nothing but blurred lines! This little break isn’t the only respite during the concert – guitar tuning and amp adjusting takes up quite some time which at a point makes Granduciel so frustrated that a firm kick sends his amp to the ground. “I’m sorry for my little..eh.. everything’s alright now” he says after finishing the melancholic and slow ‘Suffering’.
The set is a long one, around two hours, which is plenty of time for the band to play a bunch of songs from the previous album Slave Ambient. Particularly ‘Your Love Is Calling My Name’ works strikingly well. The backing band deserves some credit for a tight and well played performance, of which the saxophone player is worth mentioning as the creater of a beautiful soundboard in many songs. But it is not up for discussion that Adam Granduciel is the main figure in The War On Drugs. When the band finishes the last encore and makes a sincere “Thank you!” the room is filled with a warm ambience (partly caused by the high temperature) and I feel a special appetite for taking over the summer with The War On Drugs as my soundtrack.