The final Saturday was largely spent at home recovering from the hectic Friday. Recovering from seeing too many shows, from showing new friends around town, from catching the Papa M show (well part of it) at Revolver, before scurrying over to Crossroads to play records until 3am on wobbly legs. Yes Saturday did not greet me in radiant embraces, that’s for sure.
I only managed to drag myself down to the festival site for 4 bands. Ann saw a couple more.
Ben’s last day: First up I headed over to the Klubben tent to watch a band that had rumors circulating around them like wildfire. Rarely do the words “promising” and “Danish” ever find themselves in the same sentence, but Reptile Youth had been amassing fans in Scandinavian circles lately with their energetic live shows that seem to appease the crossover crowd. I headed into the tent while the band started their second song, and basically had to stand at the back due to the volume of the crowd. They played music that totally wasn’t my thing at all, but I can see why people were excited and surely they are going to have to return to Oslo pretty soon and play a sweaty club show. The thumping bass and drums seemed the perfect tonic for the afternoon respite before the headliners.
Next up was the unknown Jessie Ware who people seemed to be frenetically trying to get forward in the crowd to watch. I only managed to see a few songs due to splitting loyalties between Klubben and heading out to Vika to catch the beginning of Screaming Females. What I saw left me wanting no more. A woman who’s voice had more in common with a cat in labour than anything refined or beautiful, screaming her songs out in that Mariah Carey way that just butchers anything of value. A total utter wreck of an artist. No thanks.
I then managed to secure some peace and quiet under a tree while waiting for the next band. Knowing absolutely nothing about them. Kai Mauseth came over for a little chat before, still going strong on day 4 of Øya (where do they get the energy). Screaming Females entered the stage, a portly chap on bass, a short woman almost shorter than her guitar on vocal and axe duties and a drummer obscure by an amp. They started. I didn`t like it. Nothing wrong, just hated her voice and the Dinosaur Jr kinda rip off riffs. Not my cup of tea at all. Especially not today.
I found solace in the final act for me of the day. Charles Bradley. Unknown to me but by a couple songs. He took to the stage like a majestic aged pro, teasing the crowd with multiple “I love you’s”, screeched like James Brown, danced in his immaculate attire and sang like the end of the world depended on it.
With the sun beaming down heavy on my head I bid this years Øya farewell, and wandered the slow blocks home to recuperate.
Ann’s Last Day: Ahem. Having a four day pass to one of the greenest festivals in the world, gorgeous festival weather (the best in the last six years attending) you’d think I’d be able to enjoy this year’s great lineup. Such in not the case. I for some reason, each year, am cordoned off to staring outside from a nacho barrel, serving over 5 (this year 7) thousand folks. Mazzy Star came and went. Bjork came and went. All whilst drenched in salsa and the smell of cumin. But alas! On the last day, the bloody last day, and despite the somewhat terrible line-up, I managed to catch a few bands.
Sweden, old bandmates of my nacho partner, came highly recommended. Apparently the name sprung out of a love of old Swedish pop-rock. Initially, they’d me curling the upper lip at sight of the gaping Swedish flag draping over the keys. Having been temporarily Norwegianized, I’m brainwashed into hating all things Swedish, save for their abundance of soy products. Regardless, Sweden, the band, eventually won me over with some lasting pop hooks, and old school Jimmy Eat World style melodies. Not to mention and killer performance on the slide guitar by guest Blomster (the super talented and band-ho Øyvind Mordi Blomstrøm). I thoroughly enjoyed each song before feeling Nacho gravity calling me back to the stand.
I watched Bon Iver soundcheck. Sounded good, even bought his last record, but not totally my thing. See: Enya for Pitchfork mongrels.
I think everything you need to know about Karpe Diem you can find out from Karpe Diem fans. They order nachos like it’s 3am in a kebab shop….
Did I just say nachos again?
War on Drugs captivated the main stage. The humble unabetted entourage played mostly tunes from their last, and were the perfect backdrop to my grass ass lazy sprawl, the sun beating down and waves of psychedelic notes floating overhead. A much much tighter and together unpretentious performance then their former bandmate Kurt Vile, whom I’d seen just two weeks before in Spain. They were hardly wild childs onstage, but the moderate, tempered substances thickened the air, warmed hearts, and made the crowd cheer for continuous encores.
All in all, I think Øya’s got it right. You can piss, shit, charge your phone, get beer squeegy holders, drink good fjord water for free, and get different kinds of organic food in reasonably decent time. If you complain about bottled water prices, you obviously didn’t realize the tap had it for free, and tasted probably better. Would have preferred less of the corporate presence (DnB? Hafslund? WTF?) and my final word, spoken as a true nacho nazi: isn’t it weird that my food is required to have organic oil and salt, but (and is one of the easiest things to acquire) why ain’t BEER or drinks under the same strict regulations?
See you next year, (nacho) folkens!