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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Hultsfred Report: Day Two

After a night of freezing camping, I went out to the town of Hultsfred (which I hesitate to even call a town, because it's more like a street) and bought a hoodie at a secondhand shop to cope with the cold Swedish nights. With that, I was ready to set off on day two, which was the most jam packed of the three festival days.

Laleh



I only got to see about half of her show, which was a shame because out of all the Swedish female solo folk/pop singers, Laleh is by far my favorite. She sounded amazing live and was absolutely adorable. Her show was very minimal but she didn't need a lot of flare because her voice and musicianship spoke for itself. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see her perform November, my favorite of her songs.
Best bit: Salvation
Rating: ÅÅŽ

Juvelen



Juvelen's small stage area was packed with people waiting to see him and I was lucky to get a good spot. He entered dressed more like a roadie than a popstar, but his effortless charisma was undeniable. it was just him, a guitar and a backing track on the stage, but he rocked it even without a full band. He played all the singles, as well as some new tracks off of (presumably) his yet to be released debut album. The new tracks sounded every bit as good as the ones we've already heard, which leads me to believe his debut (whenever it's finally released) will be one of the albums of the year.
Best bit: Hanna, which sent the crowd into a fenzy
Rating: ÅÅÅŽ

The Sweptaways


I was intrigued by this group, a choir of female singers who cover classic pop hits, so I decided to stop by. The women were all dressed in elaborate and whimsical yellow/gold outfits and looked like they had jumped straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. They sounded great as a group, and in between songs individual members would come down and say apparently very witty things. I don't know, because eveything was in Swedish, but the audience was laughing.
Best bit: Wuthering Heights (Kate Bush cover)
Rating: ÅŽ

Those Dancing Days


I went to this gig solely on the response this group has gotten by my fellow bloggers. I wasn't overly familiar with most of their music, so it was a bit of an introduction for me. As an introduction, it wasn't highly memorable, but I did see a lot of potential in this young, chirpy band. It actually felt like watching Josie & The Pussycats as the girls bopped about looking almost scarily happy. I didn't hear anything that sounded like a breakout single in their set, so it'll be interesting to see how they do on the charts.
Best bit:
Opener Home Sweet Home (or at least I assume that's what it's called)
Rating: ÅÅ

Oh No Ono



I was really looking forward to seeing this strange group of Danes that I've been championing for so long on alienhits. They didn't disappoint at all. In fact, they were the sound of a band at the top of their game. The show was very loud and energetic, and it was hilarious to watch teh crowd's reaction as the guys opened their mouths and sang. The vocals are definitely an acquired taste, but those who stuck around for the whole show were in for a treat as the band played a furious set, even tossing in a surprisingly amazing Dylan cover. Plus, nothing was funnier than hearing their soundcheck before the gig. It sounded like a bunch of warbling aliens.
Best bit:Am I Right
Rating: ÅÅÅŽ

Steso Songs



This was another bizarre performance, as Korro (the voice behind Steso Songs, looking very much like a doll come to life) sat behind her pink keyboard and played some Tori Amos esque songs. At one point she plugged in her mp3 player and sang to a backing track, throwing glitter over herself as she performed. It was kind of strange and amatuerish, as if we were at her house and she just decided to get up on a whim and start singing. It wasn't completely successful, but it was at least interesting. Not all the songs were great, but there were definitely a few gems.
Best bit: The OD
Rating: ÅÅ

Ozzy Osbourne



This was very strange for me because I would never actually go to an Ozzy concert, as it's not really my thing. Still, the whole festival seemed to be obsessed by his presence so I knew that I had to see him, even if it was just for a laugh. The audience was full of scary old men dressed in leather and playing air guitar (never an attractive thing at all). Ozzy sounded horrible (as expected), but I've got to give him respect since he is a legend after all and has come up with some terrific hits in the past. His between song chat seemed to consist of only three phrases: "I can't fucking hear you!" "You're not loud enough" and "I fucking love you." Seriously, that's all he said. He was very funny, though, and I must say I enjoyed myself.
Best bit:
hearing him warble through Mama, I'm coming Home
Rating: ÅÅÅ

Mohair



I enjoyed this band a lot last year but haven't really listened to them for some time. I was surprised to see them on the bill since their album passed by a year ago with moderate to little success. I was even more surprised about how vibrant they were live. I was blown away, really. They looked great and were one of the more energetic bands that I saw throughout my time at the festival. Apparently this was their last show before going back to London to record their new album. Based on the new songs they played here, it sounds like it's going to be amazing.
Best bit: Keep It Together
Rating: ÅÅÅŽ

Amy Winehouse


I finally got to see the carnival show that is Amy Winehouse live. She drank throughout the entire show, until she had to stumble offstage after uneasily warbling her way through the closer You Know I'm No Good. I couldn't understand anything she said in between songs, even though unlike most of the acts, it was said in English (well, Winehouse's version of the language, at least). Putting that all aside, though, her voice was phenomenal and the show was great as well. There was no denying Winehouse's star power, even though it was at times like watching a car crash.
Best bit: Rehab, what everyone was obviously waiting for
Rating: ÅÅÅÅ

Marit Bergman


This woman was a revelation! All I really knew about her before this was what I gleaned from her singles, and I never knew she was such a dynamic and astonishing live performer. She took the stage at 2:45 AM (just as the Swedish sun was rising... very strange) with her gargantuan sized band/cult and gave so much vibrant energy that it was impossible to feel tired even though it had been a long day of festival going. The show was so bombastic and energy filled that it practically felt like a religious experience. Bergman closed the show swooping down to the audience and running around the stage like a maniac. Ridiculously good.
Best bit: I Will Always Be Your Soldier
Rating: ÅÅÅÅÅ


Other acts I managed to catch a few songs by:
Salem Al Fakir - I only saw Dream Girl, but that's my fav. song and it was stunning
Goose - Great energy... songs were so so
Veto - Great songs... energy was so so
Mando Diao - I loved the singles, the rest wasn't so amazing
Sophie Zelmani - Snore
50 Cent - God he's annoying

(all photos courtesy of rockfoto.nu, who covered the whole festival)
Tomorrow I'll have all the details of day three!!

7 Comments:

Blogger Poster Girl said...

I cannot believe how many amazing acts you got to see. These reviews are great to read--perfect format and length.

50 Cent was at this? Maybe it's just because you only saw certain acts, but it doesn't sound like he fits in at all... it's nice to see the U.S. was so well-represented.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Grifit said...

Juvelen!!!!!!!!
I hate you!!!!!
and New songs, Hope the new album come out soon!!!!!

Gosh
that was a very great week you had

PS: what the hell was 50Cent doing out there?

2:10 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

i'm very excited that you liked Mohair so much. i STILL can't stop playing their album which seems like it's been released about 3 times in different mixes! I hear they are amazing live, so we must discuss soon!

11:32 PM  
Blogger stytzer said...

I drove through Hultsfred once - not much to see there really. But the Festival does look great!

6:01 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

I feel so lucky to have gone to this. It was like all of my favorite Swedes smashed together!
And yes, Grifit, Juvelen was amazing. I don't know when his album's finally coming out, but when it does it's gonna be massive.

I too was outraged by 50 Cent's appearance, especially since he was one of the headliners of the night on the main stage. America indeed was not well represented.

7:35 AM  
Blogger McSlaine said...

saw a vid of winehouse on stage at Hultsfred doin an old ska number, and its drivin me NUTS !
WHO WAS THAT ????
Selecter ?
Specials ?
Please help.
ps even totaly legless, She's cool.

10:15 AM  
Blogger McSlaine said...

saw a vid of winehouse on stage at Hultsfred doin an old ska number, and its drivin me NUTS !
WHO WAS THAT ????
Selecter ?
Specials ?
Please help.
ps even totaly legless, She's cool.

10:16 AM  

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