Le Guess Who 2015 Day Two: Kaki King, Josh T. Pearson, Chelsea Wolfe, Liima | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Kaki King

Le Guess Who? 2014: Day Two

Le Guess Who 2015 Day Two: Kaki King, Josh T. Pearson, Chelsea Wolfe, Liima, November 20th, 2015

Nov 24, 2015 Photography by Laura Studarus Le Guess Who? 2015
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Jet lag is real. I’m usually reminded of this on the second day of the festival, when my internal alarm is set for roughly 5am. Maybe it’s just my near-obsessive love of hotel breakfasts, or the nobleness of pushing though the pain, but I strangely love the haze of exhaustion.

Here’s the artists of the day that managed to keep my tired eyes open.


Kaki King has always been in my periferal vision as “that woman with killer guitar skills.” (This is, of course, putting it mildly. She was the first female to make it to Rolling Stone’s list of “guitar gods” in 2006.)

Her show was art on art. Dressed in white, King sat at the center stage, performing her mesmerizing version of tap playing on a white plastic slide guitar, propped up so the audience could see her fingers. She had to wear sunglasses—since her body and instrument was the canvas for a series of projection-mapped images. It was a strangely haunting, and perfect accompaniment to her ambitious instrumental compositions.


“I know what you’re thinking,” Josh T. Pearson said to the crowd, acknowledging the gap between his melancholy and audience expectations. “How can someone so God damn good looking be so sad? I don’t know what to say, good looking people have problems too.”

A perpetual broken heart, Josh T. Pearson ranks as the most self-aware musician to play Le Guess Who. The Texas troubadour (and former Lift to Experience frontman) makes the kind of music you want to curl in the fetal position and listen to while crying—not taken in at a festival. Even though booked at the cavernous Janskerk, it was a tough sell.

But don’t worry—Pearson had a quip locked and loaded for that observation too. “You might recognize this picking pattern from the last seven songs,” he told the restless audience, smirking.


Wolfe’s excellent 2013 album Pain is Beauty sounds positively dainty compared to her ferocious; heavy metal influenced new release, Abyss. Which meant her set was a terrible time to realize I had dropped one of my earplugs.

As much as the Los Angeles songstress must struggle against the title Goth (Then again, so do most after the age of about 15), there is something decidedly dark and twisty about her abrasive and atmospheric rock, delivered at a volume just roughly south of “ear bleeding.” Was it a masterful, tone-appropriate set? Yes. Did I want to vomit from having my internal organs rattled around mercilessly in my chest? Also yes.


I love Efterklang (and—let’s be honest—pretty much ever pop band making dreamy, semi-abstract music). So I was incredibly excited to see their side-project Liima. The Danish band’s offshoot is a bit dancier, a bit darker, and still plenty playful. It’s also a freaking good time, and more than well made up for the fact the venue, called Cloud 9, was accessible only by a set of four staircases. It was fun to watch…but no one was having more fun than the set’s drummer, whose kit featured a series of mason jars.

Disappointingly, those in want of more will have to wait, as the Danish band is still in the process of recording their debut full-length.

And so, our night comes to a sleepy end. I could hear the low rumble of A Place To Bury Strangers as a left the impossibly large TivoliVredenburg complex as I left—but at that point I was a bit too concerned with attempting to drag my own poor body home. But don’t cry for me—I still had two days of musical discovery left.

Revisit day two photos here.







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