The weather gods were rather kind towards us this year – though the sun was scorching! (I guess you can’t have everything) And the two stage set-up this year meant that there was less waiting time – and more music! Cults kicked off the festival with a light-hearted set and their catchy choruses definitely got the crowd going.
Yuck might be a relatively young band but they performed with such intensity – it was electric. This despite a minor technical gaffe which prompted frontman Daniel Blumberg to quip, “Something broke and now it’s fixed”.
After Yuck’s set I started to realize that the crowd that had gathered for this year’s festival was definitely much larger than last (and also realized that they had kebabs this year – AND FALAFELS). And while we’re on the topic of food, the queues for the bar were insanely long. Perhaps due to the combination of a larger crowd + hot weather?
Chairlift had stunningly great sound considering the venue – really felt that Caroline Polachek’s melodic voice carried rather well across the grounds.
I must admit that I knew very little about Austra before the festival – but after seeing this entertaining band live I’m never making that same mistake again. Their performance was upbeat and the dance moves were somewhat funky, somewhat shamanistic but definitely fun to dance along too. Chris Owen opened Girls’ Set with a moving tribute to Whitney Houston before the rest of the band took to a stage decorated with some lovely flowers.
The Drum’s had a sizable crowd eagerly waiting for them to start their set – probably due to an incredible gig held at St James Power Station in 2011 and boy did they bring on the energy! The brilliant Anna Calvi was next – so immensely talented and yet I feel, so incredibly underrated.
I really enjoyed Twin Shadow’s set – though they’ve probably ruined their album experience for me. (they sound 5 times better live!) Think I might have to get clips of their live performances in order to replace their studio tracks. The highlight for a lucky festival goer (and perhaps everyone around her for having witnessed it) was when the man himself handed her a guitar after their set.
Laura Marling had a very nice folksy set-up (+ points for the double bass, yay!) and I was rather astonished to find that practically every other person in front of me was mouthing the lyrics to her songs while swaying happily. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart took to the left stage soon but were plagued with technical issues throughout their set. I was a little concerned at this point, especially since M83 were due to perform on said stage – and technical issues during an M83 set would really SUCK.
I was probably a little too excited to see Toro Y Moi live but the band didn’t disappoint and neither did the adorably adorable Chazwick Bundick. It was a refreshing performance to say the least but one could tell that the crowd was absolutely looking forward to Feist. Backed by an incredible band, she questioned why she hadn’t had a gig here before and then belted out “How Come You Never Go There”.
The Horror’s took to the stage dressed in all black – and fresh off a flight too from what I’ve heard. Nevertheless, the band sounded great and personally, there’s nothing I admire more than a freaking solid band. And boy, does frontman Faris Badwan strike you with with his skinny jeans, hair and well … just that all black ensemble.
The highlight of the festival however, was undoubtedly M83. Recently released double album “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” was an excellent release and I was thrilled when they played “Reunion” in addition to “Midnight City”, of course. The band didn’t forget older releases such as “Graveyard Girl” and “We Own the Sky”. The crowd was incredibly energetic despite the long day and the drunk fella in front of me was struggling to stay on his feet in order to rock out. And if there were any technical difficulties during their set – I didn’t notice. Probably because I was too busy having a good time.
+65 Indie Weekend: MUON
I was a little upset at not being able to attend the performances on Friday and Saturday for +65 – and unfortunately just barely missed Another Sunday Afternoon on Sunday. However, was still glad to be able to catch MUON – which is fast becoming my favorite local band.
I had two friends with me who were getting their first taste of MUON and they enjoyed themselves and the music! This probably made me happier than the gig itself!
On a side note, MUON will be launching their new album The Shape of Shapes to Come on the 24th of March. More details here.
It’s clear that Rachael loves Singapore as much as we love her. After her solo acoustic set here last year, she returned for a full-fledged concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall. (making one of the few international acts that have played the venue time and time again)
Despite having a cold, Rachael was cheerful and upbeat and even laughed off her inability to reach the high notes. It’s clear that she has a great relationship with her backing band too. And kudos to the three men for their flexibility and spontaneity on stage! The good vibes on stage translated into her music and overrode the occasional mistake here and there.
Rachael Yamagata’s performances aren’t defined by absolute perfection however. Her performances are made by soulful vocals and a charming persona. And the little narratives/crazy stories in between performances. Well then again, I’m a fan – why wouldn’t I love it?