Øya Festival 2014, Øya Festival 2014: Day 2, Conor Oberst, Janelle Monáe, Jungle, Little Dragon, OutKast
Øya Festival 2014 Day Two: Conor Oberst, JUNGLE, Janelle Monáe, Little Dragon, and Outkast., August 7th, 2014
Every festival has one day that stands head and shoulders above the rest. While every day at Øya this year felt like an embarrassment of riches, Thursday was my absolute favorite—thanks to strong sets from Conor Oberst, JUNGLE, Janelle Monáe, Little Dragon, and Outkast.
If you had asked me for list of my musical crushes in college, Bright Eyes would have been somewhere near the top. It’s been a while since I’ve been in school, and it’s been a while since Conor Oberst has been the teenage, angst-ridden troubadour. But from the first note of “First Day of My Life” it felt like nothing had changed. In addition to the classic cuts, Oberst also played a large helping of material, which resonated with the crowd—despite the fact my appreciation for his work seems to be stuck in the past tense.
The evening’s run of standout R&B started with a dazzling set from JUNGLE, who has clearly earned every inch of their buzz band status. The British duo was in high spirits, and their attention to detail (Specialty microphones, big-voiced backup singer) made for one of the best sounding performances of the entire festival. But perhaps more importantly, they were clearly having fun. (Remember how music is supposed to be fun? Yeah, sometimes I forget too.)
Admittedly, I’m not convinced that material from Janelle Monáe’s sophomore album The Electric Lady matches her dynamic opening salvo, The ArchAndroid. But despite the fact her song writing might not be iconic (an observation driven home by her cover of James Brown’s “I Feel Good”), live she might just be an icon in the making. From silly stage antics (being wheeled out in a straightjacket, pretending to faint and being revived, getting the crowded field to sit) to the fact she can simply hit every note ever time, she might just be one of the most dynamic live musicians working today.
Little Dragon couldn’t quite match Monáe’s energy. Then again, they didn’t have to. The Swedish quartet, led by sultry-voiced frontwoman Yukimi Nagano, made the most of the material of their new album Nabuma Rubberband, bringing a large helping of sex appeal to their slow jams.
And then, there was Outkast. By now, the reunited duo has headlined nearly every festival in the world. (Still waiting for them to play my living room—but give it time.) So chances are you’ve probably read a review (or twenty). So instead of rehashing thing entire thing I’ll simply leave you with this run-on sentence: The hits were vibrant, the sets were absurdist/NSFW, and the dude next to me—dude, I don’t know exactly what you’d call it, but I salute you for taking the edict “shake it like a Polaroid picture” very very seriously.
Check out a gallery of day two photos here.
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