Monday, August 27, 2018

Live: Way Out West 2018 (Gothenburg, August 9th - 11th, 2018) - Part 2

In Part 2 of our coverage of Gothenburg's Way Out West festival we have the performances that stood out for us during the second and third day of the event that took place at Slottskogen Park between August 9th and 11th, 2018. You can check out the highlights of the first day here.

Fever Ray, live @ Way Out West 2018 (Aug. 10th, 2018)
Day 2 - August 10

Friday was less busy for us in comparison to the full first day of the festival, with fewer artists on our "must see" list, so after spending the morning checking out record shops and switching to non-vegetarian options for lunch, we made our way to Slottskogen Park in the afternoon, where Lily Allen was presenting on Azalea stage her comeback album "No Shame". I have nothing against her brand of dance pop music but it's definitely not my cup of tea, so we enjoyed some churros instead and waited for M.I.A.'s performance on the nearby Flamingo stage.

It's been a long time since the first time I had the opportunity to see Maya Arulpragasam on stage. It was actually 11 years ago in a festival in Paris, where M.I.A. shone with the material from her newly released "Kala" album, including the brilliant "Paper Planes". M.I.A. and her crew still present a lively and entertaining set, guaranteed to provide good festival vibes, but the sense of innovation that used to characterize her early work is not really present any more. Not surprising "Paper Planes" stole the show once more and had everyone dancing, but for some real surprises and thrills we had to wait a little longer for Fever Ray's set on Azalea stage.

M.I.A. live @ Way Out West 2018
Karin Dreijer, in her Fever Ray guise, made a thrilling come back last year with her second full-length release, the excellent "Plunge". Her live show at Way Out West, where she was accompanied by two back-up singers/dancers dressed in impressive uniforms plus a handful of musicians adding extra sonic layers and more percussion to her electronic sound, was certainly one of the festival's highlights.

Fever Ray's set combined some of the strongest songs from "Plunge" ("Wanna Sip", "To the Moon and Back", "IDK about You") with a few choice cuts from her classic debut ("When I Grow Up", "If I Had a Heart") to create a unique audio-visual experience, a Dionysian sonic orgy whose protagonists seemed to have landed on earth from a perverted universe far, far away!

Fever Ray, live @ Way Out West 2018
After the otherworldly 60-minute Fever Ray extravaganza, it was time for Kendrick Lamar, undoubtedly the world's top hip hop star at the moment.

Kendrick, who came on stage sporting an Oasis "Supersonic" t-shirt under his yellow jacket, gave a top-notch show, drawing an impressively large crowd who seemed to know the lyrics to all of his songs. His recent hit album "Damn" provided several of the night's highlights ("DNA", "Loyalty", "Humble" to mention a few) without forgetting his past, with tracks like "M.A.A.D City", "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" or "King Kunta" raising the enthusiasm of the fans. A triumphant performance from a man at the top of his game!

Kendrick Lamar, live @ Way Out West 2018

After Kendrick Lamar closed the night at Slottskogen Park, we tried to check out Australian punk rock sensations Amyl and the Sniffers who were playing at Folkteatern as part of the Stay Out West club shows. Unfortunately the small theater got too crowded (frankly an unfit venue for a punk show) and unable to see anything we decided to call it a day. From what we were able to hear though in the twenty minutes we were there, Amyl and the Sniffers are certainly a band that deserves our attention and we will be seeking out their recently released debut album that combines their EPs "Big Attraction" & "Giddy Up".

Day 3 - August 11

We started the rainy last day of Way Out West at the Linne stage where David Longstreth unveiled the latest line up of his long-standing Dirty Projectors project.

With new players Felicia Douglass (percussion/vocals), Maia Friedman (guitar/vocals) and Kristin Slipp (keyboards, vocals) joining the ranks of the band which also includes longtime members Nat Baldwin on bass and Mike Johnson on drums, plus a new album under their belt ("Lamp Lit Prose"), Dirty Projectors played a fine set that proved that Longstreth has found a way to reinvigorate his band and add an exciting new chapter to their important history.

Dirty Projectors, live @ Way Out West 2018
Meanwhile, back on Azalea stage Fleet Foxes unveiled their fragile melodies under the gathering clouds that brought the first heavy shower of the evening.

The band had something from each of their three albums in their set, with my favorites coming from their ten year old self-titled debut - "White Winter Hymnal", "Ragged Wood" and of course "Mykonos".

Fleet Foxes, live @ Way Out West 2018

Lykke Li on Flamingo stage was next, with a new album to present ("So Sad So Sexy") and an interesting past to draw upon in order to create a respectable pop show that made our wet evening warmer and a little bit sexier.

Lykke Li, live @ Way Out West 2018
After a bit of rest and a bite to eat, we were ready for the festival's grand finale on Flamingo stage, an epic performance by Arcade Fire.

The seasoned Canadian rockers seemed to under-perform last year with their fifth album "Everything Now" not living up to their usual standards. However on stage they proved that they are still a formidable force and despite the rain that made its presence felt especially during the start of the show, the band gave a triumphant performance, combining their best new material ("Put Your Money On Me", "Electric Blue", "Creature Comfort") with several highlights from their rich history.

Their classic debut "Funeral" was well represented with "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" and  "Rebellion (Lies)" making an impact early in the set, while the tremendous "Wake Up" was saved for the grand finale. In between songs from both "The Suburbs" and "Reflektor" left their mark and chased the rain away ("The Suburbs", "Ready to Start", "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)", "Reflektor", "Afterlife", "We Exist"). Only "Neon Bible" was left completely out, but I guess you can't have it all in a 80-minute festival appearance.

As the band made its exit to the sounds of "Walk On The Wild Side", it was time for us to say goodbye to Gothenburg and the lively Way Out West festival, a well organized and constantly growing event which we would definitely recommend to any music fan visiting Sweden during August.

Arcade Fire, live @ Way Out West 2018
Check out below clips from some of the performances we enjoyed during the second and third day of the festival, and click here for our coverage of the first day of Way Out West 2018.

Arcade Fire - Wake Up (live @ Way Out West Festival 2018)

Fever Ray - Wanna Sip (live @ Way Out West Festival 2018)

Fleet Foxes - Blue Ridge Mountains (live @ Way Out West Festival 2018)

 Dirty Projectors - Cannibal Resource (live @ Way Out West Festival 2018)

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