After four days of incredible music, Open'er festival came to a triumphant end yesterday with the help of Bastille, Phoenix, Daughter, Warpaint, and headliners - surely the most hyped of the entire week - Faith No More.
In a slightly topsy-turvy approach to scheduling, Faith No More were one of the earliest non-local acts of the night, and inspired an almost religious level of adoration amongst the crowd, many of whom had travelled from other continents to see the band's second show in over two years (the first was the night before in Hyde Park). One fan delightedly informed us that she is in email contact with keyboardist Roddy Bottum, had travelled from Seattle for their set, and has a Faith No More tattoo across her back.
The band played two new songs during their set, which they had previewed for the very first time the previous night - 'Leader Of Men' and 'Motherfucker', marking their first new material since 1997.
Despite a distinct lack of Bastille-themed back tattoos on display, Bastille provided an injection of pop to the eclectic line-up, and predictably their catchy, anthemic tunes, including 'Laura Palmer' and 'Pompeii', went down incredibly well with the enormous crowd they drew to the Here & Now Stage.
Those who were dedicated enough to walk the 18 miles to the Tent Stage (disclaimer: it may not have been 18 miles. It was dark and we were tired) were rewarded with an immensely powerful set from Daughter, who seem to still be humbled by the reaction they receive, despite being a festival favourite for a good few years now. At one point during 'Youth', Elena Tonra (who was sitting across from us on the flight home, chatting to a loquacious Polish woman and reading The Psychopath Test) stopped, shook her head and laughed. "Sorry", she said as the song ended, "I had to stop singing because I was just looking at you all."
Whilst most acts struggled to even pronounce the Polish word for 'thank you' (it's 'dziękuję' by the way - simple, right?), Warpaint had a secret weapon up their sleeve - an Australian drummer, Stella Mozgawa, whose first language as a child was Polish. In fact, much to the delight of the fans with the "Stella, give us some Polish" banner, not only did Mozgawa frequently thank the crowd in their own language, she also orchestrated a singalong to 'Sto Lat', the Polish version of 'Happy Birthday', for a friend.
The band's set began, as indeed their recent second album does, with a false start. Horrendous feedback during the opening song forced the crowd to visibly recoil, and the band to start again. After a bumpy opening though, Warpaint's potent stage presence meant the set, which ran half an hour over the scheduled finishing time after the crowd cheered them back for an encore, proved one of the highlights of the entire festival. Tracks including 'Undertow', 'Bees' and 'Love Is To Die' were performed with their distinctive dissonant harmonies and jagged instrumentals, but also a tightness and polish (no pun intended) which their past live shows have occasionally lacked.
A combination of not being able to tear ourselves away from Warpaint's extra long set, and the aforementioned 18 mile walk from the Tent Stage back to civilisation, meant that we missed the first portion of Phoenix's set - the blessing/curse of a festival with such a consistently solid line-up. We did arrive in time to see them perform electrifying renditions of '1901', 'Rome' and 'Entertainment' though, the latter of which we're reliably informed was also the set's opener.
After diving into the audience to thank each fan individually (they gave up after about fifteen), Phoenix left the stage in an explosion of lights, and the festival was over. Open'er, you were brilliant, dziękuję and see you next year.