Way Out West 2013, Way Out West 2013: Day Three, Cat Power, INGRID, James Blake, Lykke Li, Miike Snow, Peter Bjorn and John
Way Out West Festival 2013 Day Three: Cat Power, James Blake, and More, August 10th, 2013
Sheets of rain greeted festival attendees on day three of Way Out West. Over drinks, festival co-founder Joel Borg joked that their goal is to be one of the prettiest festivals in the rain. Judging by the surprising lack of mud puddles at the end of the deluge, he may be able to hang that mission-accomplished banner now. Not being much of an R&B/Hip-Hop fan (Kendrick Lamar, Public Enemy, and Danny Brown were among the day’s offerings), I spent the moist day three taking in Cat Power, James Blake, and INGRID.
Despite a troubled year that has seen her threaten to quit both America and music, Cat Power’s Chan Marshall delivered one of the strongest performances of the day. Looking like she was ready to bolt from the stage at a moment’s notice and sounding surprisingly poised, she performed cuts from across her catalogue. (We’ll just save time here and deliver all the applicable clichés in one go: whisky-soaked voice, troubled singer/songwriter, wise beyond her years, old soul.) Songs from her excellent ninth album Sun sounded impressive. (Particularly “Nothing But Time,” which Chan dedicated to “all our children.”) But the inclusion of older cuts, including “The Greatest” and “Good Woman” were downright chill inducing.
James Blake delivered an upbeat, dance-oriented set culled in equal parts from his self-titled debut and recently release sophomore effort Overgrown. While the English dub-ish artist stage banter was at best awkward (insert your favorite perfunctory greeting here), his music translates surprisingly well in a live setting. Well, save for an ominous bass rattle, which meant every drop brought to mind Spinal Tap. (“These amps go up to eleven,” Blake would later mutter proudly to himself.)
The night ended with a dynamic performance from INGRID. The artist collective—which includes Lykke Li, Peter Bjorn and John, and Miike Snow, took over a warehouse at the Gothenburg Film Studios as part of the Stay Out West series of after parties. In a room filled with smoke, lasers, and trees, (yes, real trees) the bands performed in different constellations across two stages. Among the highlights: Lykke Li sitting in on Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks,” and all three bands jamming to Miike Snow’s “Animal.” It made sense. Why not close out Sweden’s finest festival with a handful of Sweden’s finest musicians?
A huge thank you to the hosts and founders of Way Out West. From the something for everyone lineup that featured a fair share of Swedish acts, to the logistics of safely shepherding thousands of fans in and out of the park each night, it was a highly successful and enjoyable weekend. Tack!
Check out a gallery of day three photos here.