The penultimate day of Poland's Open'er festival took place yesterday (4 July), and acts such as Foals, Lykke Li and Jack White ensured it surpassed even the mightily impressive first two days.
Where most festivals warm up their crowd with half a day of small, unknown acts, Open'er throws its attendees in at the glorious deep end and hopes they're not too hungover to swim. Opening the main stage yesterday were Foals, a band whose live shows are so varied in genre, a casual spectator would be forgiven for thinking more than one band had come and gone.
Those who follow Foals closely will already be well aware that their live shows can be surprisingly heavy occasions - and their Open'er set was no different. Tracks such as 'Hummer', a song which dates back to 2007 and was the band's first single with lead singer Yannis Philippakis, sparked several delighted mosh pits amongst the crowd - while lower key numbers such as the stunning 'Spanish Sahara' led to a brief respite of gentle swaying.
Every year there are a few bands who jump up several rungs of the ladder during festival season - and this year none have done this so smoothly as Royal Blood, a band who initially felt they were "too heavy" to even be played on the radio. With just a set of drums and a guitar, the duo managed to fill the Alter Stage with the presence of a much more substantial band.
"Mother said 'Don't come home without a Polish wife'", Jack White told the crowd as his headline set kicked off, before adding: "So I'm on the prowl tonight." It got a huge cheer from the crowd, but, let's be honest, it was a bit creepy.
Thankfully though, his set made up for it. Songs from his new album, Lazaretto, translated to the festival atmosphere well, particularly the more country-inflected numbers such as 'One More Drink'.' Despite ending his musical partnership with ex wife Meg White in 2011, White also treated the crowd to several White Stripes number, including 'We're Going To Be Friends' and the iconic 'Seven Nation Army'.
With her melancholy, haunting vocals and penetrating bass drops, Bank's placement late at night in the Tent Stage was perfectly judged. Live, her vocals sound deeper and richer than on record, and her presence onstage was electrifying. Though she demonstrated some of the most bizarre hand movements we've witnessed in quite some time (think a T.Rex trying to take off), the sheer power of songs such as 'Waiting Game', 'Goddess' and unreleased song 'Stick', obliterated any slight physical awkwardness.
Closing day three on the main stage was Lykke Li, who provided a solid set with the occasional spark of brilliance that made it all the more disappointing that her scheduled one and a half hour set ended after just under an hour. Still, it was an atmospheric, if slightly overdone, moment when the singer asked the obliging audience to hold up their phones and lighters to create a blinking sea of white light. "I want to film this," she told the crowd in wonder, "because it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."
Open'er comes to a close tonight (5 July), with The Horrors, Bastille, Warpaint, Daughter and headliners Faith No More. Check back to Gigwise for our final round-up.