electric picnic 2011

I wanted to write an Electric Picnic blog since Monday but I didn’t because I was a) bloody knackered, b) bloody KNACKERED and c) I hadn’t a clue where to begin. So here goes.

For my first ever festival outing, Electric Picnic was a excellent choice. Everyone was too yipped off their faces to be very aggressive or unpleasant, the rain was kept to a minimum (apart from late Friday night and Sunday morning) and the line-up was quietly brilliant. Here are some of my favourite things from the weekend.

  • I was super impressed by Little Green Cars, who played the Electric Arena on Friday – a young Irish band that are pretty much bound to make it big, judging by their performance at the Picnic. The slow building, beautifully harmonised “The John Wayne” was one of my favourites from their set.
  • Also on the Friday on the Crawdaddy Stage were Warpaint, who I have previously harped on about in my “Picnic Picks” post. These girls are simply amazing. Yes, they’re hot and sexy and whatever, but by God can they PLAY. “Bees”, “Undertow” and “Majesty” were superb, with the tracks sounding more vicious and less spacey live. The finale, “Elephants”, was stretched out into a crazy long jam where the band looked like they were having the most wonderful fun. Definitely one of my favourite acts from the weekend.
  • I caught Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros twice on Friday night – once in the Cosby Tent and once on the Salty Dog stage. While they were both great gigs, I must admit that the Salty Dog acoustic set was just magical. Alexander Ebert (his name is not, in fact, Edward Sharpe) is an endlessly charismatic frontman who had the audience in the palm of his hand for the entire show. Though they were reluctant to play their signature song, “Home”, for a second time, the band were visibly blown away by the audience singing the chorus back to them over and over. Maaaagical.
  • Arcade Fire. Blaaaarg. Through some strange twist of fate I was two rows from the front at Arcade Fire, despite not having been at James Blake or Lykke Li (something I regret very much, but sure…) Moments before the band came onstage, an old-fashioned cinema sign read “Arcade Fire: coming soon” – a nice way of building the anticipation, which was already at boiling point. The band opened with “Wake Up”, and what followed is almost a blur for me – so many songs, so much singing, so very drunk…but I had an awesome time. The encore, “Rebellion (Lies)” and “Sprawl II”, was just amazing. I came away from the gig so excited that my friend thought I was on drugs. No, my friend, high on life. Really.
  • The last band I really wanted to see were Best Coast on Sunday, and they did not disappoint. Bethany Consentino is my girl crush – she introduced a song by saying: “This is a new song. It’s talking about cats and stuff.” She was also wearing the cutest outfit. What a hero. Standouts were “Boyfriend” (obviously), “Our Deal” and “When I’m With You”. They performed some new tracks, which hopefully means a new album is on the way soon.
Other really fun things included the Silent Disco, which is infinitely amusing (watching your friend do the Macarena while you’re listening to Marilyn Manson is really something), the Gramophone Disco (held in a creepy barn with 1920s porn projected on the walls) and the Comedy Tent. Some good’uns from the Comedy Tent were Colm O’Regan, Ardal O’Hanlon and of course, David O’Doherty. Some bad’uns were Danny Dowling, who did a very creepy impression of Rihanna, and Mark Hynes, who set out to insult and offend as many people as possible in his ten-minute slot. But you’ll have that.
For the Too Long, Didn’t Read crowd: Electric Picnic was GREAT. Arcade Fire are GREAT. Listen to music. It’s GREAT.

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