Øya festivalen 2010 – part 2

It had rained all morning of Friday the 13th but the luck smiled upon the festival in the afternoon, and it got way too hot at times. A bit of research on Spotify or main website, before heading to the festival grounds, made me decide to check out Trash Talk. I can hardly remember much about their music since from the very first second I got next to the stage, among a really shy crowd, I saw the singer jumping off the stage and going in the middle of the non moving attendants. There he started singing/screaming, running around, asking folks to start running in circle and altogether he barely spent some minutes with the rest of the band on the stage. There were a bunch of about 7-8 guys who were obviously part of the show since they kept following the singer, ran to his microphone and sang along and tried to start moshpits themselves. Or moved around swinging their arms in the air. So I guess that if the present Norwegians happened to be more of the ‘extreme concert behavior’ type, this would have gone really mad.

Going back in the sunlight, to my surprise, the main stage was full of people dressed in orange, the singer was climbed on the shoulders of someone dressed with a black bear concert and among the orange folk, there was a big red/blue inflated doll looking like a computer game character or a wrong version of Superman. This was Flaming Lips’ performance and I think that prior to their concert, there was an ad saying they are looking for dancers on stage. Now I understood why. It was really fun to watch, not always great to hear, music tending to get too psychedelic. They even played the song used at American funerals and had a speech about war end and peace before the march started, and asked everyone in the audience to show the peace sign. So, to conclude, a peaceful concert.

Time for a new reprise of thrash, although way more hardcore, from the Norwegians of Purified in Blood. I was nicely impressed by their performance at Norway Rock and was looking forward to see them again. And there’s a lot to watch on stage, considering the band has about 7 members, out of which two are vocals and each of them just moves around the stage at all times. Or goes into the crowd like one of the singers did. Their discography is not very vast yet, since they recently reunited, but the crowd reacted well to the songs from their first album and the band was happy to introduce their newest production.

On the main stage I finally got to see John Olav Nilsen & Gjengen, a young band from Bergen, Norway, who currently only has one album out but it got such good reviews and has brought them the main prize at Spellemannsprisen. Hence, going in the middle of the crowd to watch this made the concert twice as good. Actually, the performance itself is nothing extreme, except maybe the keyboard player who is overly enthusiastic. But when everyone around you sings and screams and knows each word, you cannot but enjoy what you see and hear.

The blackest concert of the festival took place in the Klubben tent. Actually I am really happy with the addition of this covered stage, since concerts like Wardruna, 1349 or Altaar would have totally been wasted in the daylight (it gets dark around 10:30 PM now). So, back to the front row in the tent to have a look at the black metalers from 1349 (Friday the 13th was quite a good day to see them) who came on stage with corpse paint, spikes, bullet belts, and even a cape worn by the bassist. I spent most of the time headbanging and staring at the drummer who despite the incredible speed he was blasting at, he seemed like the most relaxed person on earth who is about to read a newspaper and enjoy a coffee. They have an album out this year, so they covered quite a lot of stuff from it that was unfamiliar to me.

On the way out, I stopped for two songs to checkout The Specials. A bunch of people on stag with trumpets, guitars and other instruments needed to deliver their ska to the public. And the people loved it since I’ve never seen so many of them dancing at a concert at this festival. I ran towards the main stage to grab some beer, heard half a Robyn song and considering how dull that sounded, I had to go back to the Specials and dance along with the rest of the people. It was a good way to move the rest of my body after killing my neck at 1349. Altogether, this was a great day, way beyond expectations.

As for the last day of the festival, I have to make it short since it was way less interesting than the others. It won at the chapter for good weather though, as is was really sunny and at some point I just sat with my friends and melted for a long time, not having the mood to move a finger. I went to see Altaar but left after some 15 minutes, time in which they were not done with their experimental song and I would guess the whole concert was a song or so. Paul Weller was nice rock pop background music to enjoy while getting toasted. Then it was a long time of gossiping the crowd passing by, waiting for the local rappers from Karpe Diem to start singing. They were loved by the crowd, but as I was strongly recommended to go see Converge, I relocated to the Vika stage and stood next to my friends, by the fence, in front of the stage. 10 seconds after I got there, I got squashed by the moshpit that just started behind me. And it kept on, to the delight of the photographers and the surprise of the singer. His face kept on inquiring ‘really??’ and he threw the microphone twice into the crowd. Absolutely insane concert and after 5 minutes he looked like coming out from the swimming pool as the sun was shining straight on the stage and in his face. And the guitarist had the coolest looking transparent guitar of the festival.

Back to the place on the grass, with drinking beer and doing nothing while waiting for Motorpsycho. And while listening to Motorpsycho actually. The hard/progressive band from Trondheim, who started their career back in ’89, had a poll on the festival’s page asking the people to vote what album should be performed. The winner was Timothy’s Monster, a 2 CD release from 1994, a blend of melodic and psychedelic songs, with a touch of Zeppelin or maybe Sonic Youth. But certainly quick changes of rhythm, or not necessarily changes, but weird additions of a riff or a beat, to an already existing rhythm. With some simple, soft acoustic blends in between. There was nothing fancy about their show, just good instrumental performance by the trio and a tired crowd (or maybe at a certain level of drunkenness) who didn’t respond quite as expected for a final concert on the main stage. But the organisers made up for the disappointing end as they offered us a nice fireworks show that lit the sky over the sea in the fjord for quite a while and had some spectacular explosions to watch.

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