Roskilde Festival day 6: Amazing concerts

J.N. July 6, 2018

Although it’s clear that no one – no one! – will do a better show than Nine Inch Nails did the last night, the festival Thursday had the best line-up of all days and we were looking forward to Chelsea Wolfe, Interpol, (Thee) Oh Sees, Wilkinson and My Bloody Valentine. Interpol is reviewed separately though since DJ Pappaledig has been stalking the band ever since they released their debut album “Turn On The Bright Lights” in 2002. But although it was set for a crazy concert day there were also disappointments. This is the sixth Roskilde Festival summary.

The morning started out as usual, waking up in a too hot tent with two snoring compadres next to you, rolling out your non functional inflatable bed in the shadow behind the tent to get a few more hours and then try to get rid of the salty and dusty crust that covered your body from yesterday – because you were sweating and dust clouds love sticky bodies and cover them in dirt. Our interview with Wilkinson was postponed to the next day though and made beer drinking possible in the heat, and instead of working too much as the other days we found a crate a beer to bring with us wherever we went since DJ Pappaledig was in a party mode after arriving to the festival the day before.

First band of the day was Chelsea Wolfe and her dark goth rock sound with bits and pieces of industrial elements. However, the queen of darkness should not play in full daylight considering her light show – she will burn up – and absolutely not on a time slot where most drunk people just happen to stumble in and continue talking with loud voices just to be heard through the music.

There’s nothing bad at all with her performance, and songs as “Iron Moon” and “Color of Blood” go down well but the setting for the show is terrible. The point is that the last time I was at a Chelsea Wolfe gig, at the Way Out West Festival in Sweden, she had the same time slot. I guess she hasn’t had a breakhrough in Europe, at least not enough to get the night slot she deserves. Better go to her concert at Kampnagel in Hamburg in August. 

After a few beers with photographer Martin while DJ Pappaledig was amazed by his “best Interpol show ever” (see review here) and a quick visit to experimental Japanese band Group A – too much to take in at the moment – it was time for Thee Oh Sees and some really psychedelic garage rock.

Lead singer, songwriter and founding member John Dwyer starts off in a furious tempo on “Static God” and doesn’t take a break before the show is over. With double drummers Dan Rincon and Paul Quattrone, and amazing bassist Tim Hellman, Oh Sees deliver a kick-ass show that tears down the Pavilion stage already after the third song, “The Dream”.

It’s rather easy for high energy bands to impress on me and when you also consider the visual effect of having double drummers on stage, you don’t need to ask the question “Was it rowdy?”. Yes! It was rowdy, there was a mosh pit and people were crowdsurfing, although it’s banned by the festival! But what can you do when “To Cutter/Thumb Buster” implodes the speakers on stage? Massive show!

There was no time to calm down between shows. A quick run to buy a coke and then continue to the major drum and bass act in my personal vinyl collection, Wilkinson. After two great albums, “Lazers Not Included” and last year’s “Hypnotic”, Wilkinson established himself on the drum and bass scene and ended up on one of its biggest labels, RAM Records. And doing a live drum and bass show is amazing! 

Drum and bass is synonymous to DJ sets and just a few d’n b artists perform their music live of which Roni Size & Reprazents are most well-known for their performances. Although much goes in a playback mode, even the vocals where the dude singing to “Half Light” instead of Tom Cane was really, really bad on lip syncing, it works out really well, probably because it’s at prime time allowing for a fantastic light show and at a point when people wanted to dance. Since all major hits were in the setlist – “Half Light”, Sweet Lies”, “Take You Higher”, Need To Know” etc. – I can’t be disappointed at all. However, it can’t compete with Thee Oh Sees.

The last show of the night was My Bloody Valentine, known for their wall of sound – and it sounded completely crap. I don’t know if it’s the Arena stage, I’ve been to quite many crappy shows there in terms of audio previous years but it worked out well during the NIN show. It’s not worth to write anything about My Bloody Valentine, it was just a huge disappointment. I went for a beer instead and then back to my tent. Cheers.

About The Author

Music researcher with an unhealthy passion for music and music festivals. Former studio owner, semi-functional drummer and with a fairly good collection of old analogue synthesizers from the 70's. Indie rock, post rock, electronic/industrial and drum & bass (kind of a mix, yeah?) are usual stuff in my playlists but everything that sounds good will fit in.