Florence + The Machine performed an emotional headline slot at Oya Festival, after a day of stellar performances from the likes of Father John Misty, Run The Jewels, Ride, Team Me and many more yesterday (Thursday 13 August, 2015).
Performing before a huge glitterball backdrop, Florence Welch twirled and darted across the stage as she led her band, complete with horns and choir, through a career-spanning set - drawing heavily on 2015's How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.
Speaking of her battles with alcoholism and having a 'breakdown' prior to the release of her last LP, Welch told the crowd "you're the reason it all happened... with you, it all becomes joyful".
The day's true victor however, was Father John Misty - who drew a huge crowd pumped with enough near-religious devotion and fervour to warrant his name.
Photo: Liz Hainsworth
"This is gunna be easy," he dryly smiled at the hollering masses following opener 'I Love You, Honeybear'. "You people are up for anything."
Indeed we were, all the liquid-limbed lounge lizard lothario slinked and darted across the stage for a faultless set which he confesses is 'designed for maximum panty moisture'. The wide-eyed screaming adulation from the many men and women gathered suggests his mission may well have been accomplished. It's one thing to just roll through the cuts of what may very well be 2015's best album, but as a showman Joshua Tillman simply couldn't give any more.
The sheer abandon he displays as he twirls his mic stand, invades the crowd, films himself of fans' phones, flirts with the front rows and maniacally rolls across the floor and squawks at the climax of 'The Ideal Husband' calls to mind the likes of Nick Cave and Iggy Pop at their most unhinged, but FJM wraps it up in a classy chaos all of his own. This may well have been the best live set we've experienced this year.
Photo: Liz Hainsworth
Returning shoegaze icons Ride whirled up another dizzying haze of 90s classics on the main stage as the comeback trail continues, after Team Me played a sun-soaked set on the Amfiet main stage. As far as the eye can see, an army of nodding heads as the six-piece Norwegian pop rockers, Team Me bring the noise.
The band are an eclectic collection; delicate daisy chain head decorations, tie dye t-shirts, and a variety of fringes. Having won the title Best Pop Group of the Year in 2011 with their debut album To the TreeTops! at the Norwegian Grammy Awards, Team Me wasted no time getting straight into award winning features. With up beat bopping tones and earth shaking bass and drums bursting through their quirky synth sounds, they create lucid dreamlike bridges with real danceability. This is a band to be enjoyed whenever and where ever you like, just make sure you have plenty of space to play air drums.
"Hands up if this is your first Bad Religion show," asked frontman Greg Graffin, as a sea of arms raise aloft. "That's OK," he laughs, "we've only been going 35 years - but it already feels like you're our 'Dearly Beloved'" before tearing into the classic punk number. The band themselves poke fun at the passage of time on many occasions, making light of where other performers have earplugs, they require hearing aids. While age has wearied the looks of these icons and their performance has grown stoically static, at least they sound as powerful as ever.
The first major draw from the day, however, came courtesy of Run The Jewels - who pulled an enormous crowd as they spat cuts from the awesome RTJ2 along with their disarmingly honest and brutal banter.
"If you've got a selfie stick, put that shit away. If you're wearing brand new sneakers and sitting around drinking on Chardonnay, get the fuck out - we're about to fuck this shit up."
Indeed, they don't suffer fools, and don't take kindly to casual listeners - they want you to give everything, as they take shots at Jed Bush, honour the victims of the fallout of Fergusson and unite Oslo in a vicious blow to politicians in a deafening chorus of "lie, cheat, steal, kill, win - everybody's doing it."
Oya Festival continues today with performances from Beck, Alt-J, Hookworms, Sophie and many more.