Way Out West 2013, Way Out West 2013: Day Two, Bat For Lashes, Håkan Hellström, HAIM, Local Natives
Way Out West Festival 2013 Day Two: HAIM, Bat For Lashes, The Knife, And More, August 9th, 2013
Tired from indulging in a late night Stay Out West show? Yup! Ready to do it again? Yup! Particularly excited that day two of Way Out West was stacked with Under the Radar favorites, including HAIM, Local Natives, Bat For Lashes, Håkan Hellström, and The Knife? Duh.
Los Angeles four-piece HAIM tore through their set like a latter-day Led Zepplin. (Every review you’ll ever read about them will name check Fleetwood Mac, but do you really think Stevie and the gang could handle this many guitars?) The three Haim sisters/frontwoman alternated between drumming and guitars, their long hair shaking around them like clouds. “Sweden is beautiful!” exclaimed bassist Este Haim. “I want to make out with everyone.”
Local Natives are still riding high on their sophomore album Hummingbird. While the album is built on more melancholic harmonies and blue-toned mediations, live their music is more aggressive, and (dare I saw it) rockin’.
Bat For Lashes performed with a quiet dignity and a loud pantsuit. Even in the late afternoon sun, the British songstress evoked and air of mystery, particularly during her stripped down single “Laura.” During the title track for last year’s Haunted Man, she lifted an old-fashioned radio above her head in a show-stopping moment that was equal parts Joan of Arc, and ethereal pop goddess.
In what was perhaps the most culturally interesting part of the day, hometown hero Håkan Hellström performed. Part Bruce Springsteen and part Hugh Grant circa Music and Lyrics, the Swedish singer/songwriter had the crowd in tears. Yes, tears. Mainly from the sixteen-year-old girls who lined the front row—but you’ve got to admire a musician that can bring people together. Even if something was clearly lost in translation. At least there were confetti cannons.
The Knife’s set—where they performed the entirety of their new album Shaking the Habitual—was a masterpiece in performance art. The set began with a hype man in drag, who led the audience through a series of exercises, including marching in place and screaming yes and no. Minds open, we were finally able to “receive” The Knife’s music, and the show started.
With over dozen dancers, props, and shadows, it was impossible to tell who was actually a part of the band. (We were assured later that Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer were actually on stage, although play back was used for the majority of the performance.) It was confusing, but cool and a damn good time. Much like international travel…
Check out a set of day two photos here.