Music: Hurricane Festival (Part One)

In the small village Scheeßel, somewhere between Bremen and Hamburg 75.000 people got together from the 17th to 19th of June to be part of the Hurricane Festival, one of the most well-known festivals in Germany. The headliners this year were Arcade Fire, Incubus and Foo Fighters.
Project Quality was there too and I will report about the bands or music in general and will start with Kashmir.

Kashmir - Friday – Green Stage
Kashmir already drew attention to themselves before the festival by letting the fans decide on what songs would be on the track list. You could vote for the songs you wanted to hear and see and the ones with the most votes were played. My favourite song Melpome made it and was even played right at the beginning.
The offer was very nice and, in my opinion, showed how down-to-earth the band is. Yet there was a consequence, that you have to accept, when the mass of people vote: You end up only hearing the hits and well-known songs. And that is exactly what happened. Whether it’s good or bad, is left to everyone to decide for themselves, for the festival audience, which did not only consist of fans, it probably is perfect, if you want to get familiar with the bands music.
The concert was, all in all, very good, Kashmir (as always) delivered a great performance and you could really only be happy with it, it did end pretty suddenly with Rocket Brothers though and was a gig with a more or less open end.


Portishead - Friday – Green Stage
Some of you may have already heard about it: Beth Gibbons, vocalist of Portishead, apologized for the performance of her band afterwards. You could read comments from angry fans, claiming it was their worst show so far in many forums. But the opinions split. Musikexpress, for example, write Portishead were, next to Arcade Fire, a Highlight of Hurricane Festival. Now who are you supposed to believe?
My personal opinion is pretty mediocre, I know exactly one song by Portishead (Silence), so I knew nothing about their music and still noticed some wrong notes, not at last because the musicians pulled faces when it happened. A band like Portishead can not take the liberty of making beginner’s mistakes. Especially percussionist Geoff Barrow made many mistakes, the other artists never let anything show.
Sill: You can not nail the negative sides of the gig to the band, the show was great! What Beth Gibbons does to her voice should even impress somebody who has no idea of music.
I’m not going to answer the question of what you are supposed to think about the performance, I think it was okay. That doesn’t mean it was the best, but the insults seem over the top.
Everyone who was there can make up his own mind. If people can look back at it happily, it’s a good thing. For those who weren’t there, it doesn’t really matter if the were good or not anyway.

Arcade Fire - Friday – Green Stage
After Portishead’s equipment was carried off the stage, it was completely empty except for the screens, one big and two smaller ones. Then the Roadies come on stage, build up new equipment, do a sound check and suddenly the huge Green Stage is packed. The show practically already began then, the words |COMMING  SOON|THE ARCADE FIRE| appear on the smaller screens.
Then it finally gets dark, the wait is over. Many short scenes from films are shown on the big screen, among others from the short film Scenes From The Suburbs. They come on stage. Eight people stand there like a wall or an army, showing ‘We are Arcade Fire! We have a mission: to touch and delight you with our music!’ Then the fire starts. The first song is Ready to Start. An unbelievable lightshow and the screens show something different during every song. If you seriously tried, to capture the concert in a kind of half acceptable way, you had to take a picture of every song, each one was staged differently.
An unbelievable show!
The big Finale was, of course, Power Out, which exploded and melted into Rebellion. If you tried to explain what you felt during the concert, it can only be understood if you ever saw Arcade Fire live. Amazing!
Everybody can agree that Arcade Fire was by far THE highlight of Hurricane Festival 2011!



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