Øya Festival 2012, Øya Festival 2012: Day 4, Siri Nilsen, Young Dreams, Metronomy, Chromatics
Øya Day Three: Young Dreams, Metronomy, Chromatics, Black Keys and More, August 10th, 2012
On day three of Øya my logical side took over. Sure, the festival grounds still felt like the Mecca of rock (and pop), but why was I so ready to swap my American passport for a Norwegian one? It all comes down to the fact that I’ve never bought into the idea that you must sacrifice creature comforts in the name of the festival experience. Apparently, I’m not alone. The founders of Øya pay strict attention to the details that keep festival ground from becoming a musical internment camp. Free water stations are abundant. There are bathrooms for all (Porta Potties—but you can’t have everything). And—thanks to a recycling program—kids dash around picking up stray beer cups, assuring that by evening’s end you aren’t wading neck deep in trash.
The day of music kicked off with Siri Nilsen, whose ukulele-driven opening number provided a pinch more sugar than I would have liked. However, by set’s end, with the addition of a backing band and cellist, the music blossomed into blue-toned, pop-orchestral bliss.
Under the suggestion of a friend, I headed over to Young Dreams’ set—having no idea what I was in store for. The answer? A treat. With what appeared to be half of Bergen on stage (I’m 75% sure that I saw a member of Casiokids), the Norwegian pop sextet (octet? Billiontet?) performed a series of increasingly complex harmonies, sounding not unlike a meeting between Beach Boys and Fleet Foxes.
On the main stage, Metronomy vied for position of coolest geeks at the festival. The British four-piece dazzled with slick tracks from last year’s The English Riviera, despite having to do so under the hot midday sun. “I don’t usually wear sunglasses on stage because it makes you look like a bit of a prick,” frontman Joseph Mount apologized. “If you’d excuse me for a second I need to apply sunscreen to my forehead. It’s a big forehead, it needs protection.” Needless to say, the audience indulged him.
Chromatics was a bit luckier than Metronomy, having scored the sunset slot on a side stage. A significant crowd gathered to watch the Oregon trio’s first performance in the country. Lead by the slippery vocals of frontwoman Ruth Radelet, the band leaned heavily on recently released Kill For Love, and 2007’s Night Drive. Combined with the approaching evening, it was an appropriately mysterious (and downright cool) performance.
The Black Keys, on the other hand, were all bluster. Pulling cuts almost exclusively from El Camino, Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach thumped their way through the headliner’s slot, all dirty southern attitude and blues posturing. Fun for sure, but having already been lulled into a dream state, I opted to call it evening before the set’s end.
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