The city festival Way Out West is known for having an eclectic mix of bands, and this year was certainly no exception.
I started the day with Neneh Cherry at the Linné stage. I remember listening to her single Buffalo Stance in 1988, before most people in the audience were even born. Last time I saw her was in Stockholm 2007, but that was a club gig which are always a different kind of beast. This time the bass was diabolical and I think she did a very good job on stage.
As I exited the tent for some fresh air, Motörhead started playing on the largest stage. Lemmy and Mikky Dee seemed to enjoy themselves on stage and Ace of Spades really got the jeans jacket crew up front moving their aging legs.
The National turned out to be surprisingly good, I especially enjoyed the live version of Conversation 16. I also enjoyed the trance-ish sound of Darkside before my main event for the evening: Queens of the Stone Age. Josh Homme and the crew entered the main stage as the sun set and did a great show. There was a lot of songs from their album Like Clockwork, so the setlist suited me perfectly. Vampyre of time featuring Josh on piano was a nice touch.
The next day offered bands such as Icona Pop, Little Dragon and Outkast. But they were of no concern to me as I already in my mind was awaiting Slowdive. The old shoegaze legends decided to quit way back in 1995 but aptly resurrected in January this year. Rachel Goswell seemed surprised and happy at the crowd’s response, she had a big smile for the entire gig and was occasionally giggling over the most devoted fans in the front row. I especially enjoyed Machine Gun and Souvlaki Space Station, bringing back old memories.
Rachel Goswell has had a rough time, as she is partially deaf due to a a viral infection in 2006, as well as suffering from balance problems. This led her to stop touring with Mojave 3. In addition her son was born with a severe condition, so I was glad to see her so happy on stage.
Another thing that Way Out West is known for is the rain, turning the forest into a giant puddle of mud. Fortunately the rain didn’t appear until the last day of the festival this year. I started humming on Here Comes the Rain Again by Eurythmics and went straight for the Linné stage, since it’s the only one under a roof.
In the tent Elliphant made some noise and the moist heat in there made it unbearable, so I ran out and hid from the rain under a tree. Some kids passed by and laughed at me in their ugly Oatly-sponsored ponchos, as they awkwardly jumped between the mud holes. I made sure to remember their faces so I can splash some mud on their shiny white sneakers later on.
As I gathered courage to left the shelter of the tree, I discovered the DJ crew of Above and Beyond who where massacring Blue Monday (New Order). I should have stayed under the tree.
Annika Norlin turned out to be great as expected, even though the bass from nearby Mos Def concert sometimes took over. Jens Lekman appeared as a guest on stage for two songs.
Ending the festival was the Norwegian duo Røyksopp, assisted by Susanne Sundfør and Robyn on stage. Røyksopp has certainly come a long way since the first time i saw them, when they were warm-up for a Moby concert in 2002. There was a beautiful full moon rising behind the stage and not even the cold could ruin this moment.
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