Alright. I've landed and almost digested this years Arvika festival. Time to summerize the good, the bad and the ugly.
First off, when we arrived on wednesday, the bus only made one stop at the big camping site. Why the *beep* couldn't he make that extra turn for those of us who wanted to camp at the small site? No mercy, we picked up our heavy bags and started walking. It doesn't seem so far when you're caught up with the festival, but now those extra miles seem to take forever to walk. And the heat - don't even get me started. It must have been 30 degrees in the sun. That was a huge bad.Thursday
The festival kicked off with Adiam Dymott
. We saw her on Siesta!
only a few weeks ago, but she's well worth seeing twice. I'm not that big of a fan, but her repertoir is rather catchy.
After that we went to Vintergatan, the big stage, to see The Sounds
. Omfg (pardon my french), Maja Ivarsson
was almost hotter than the sun that day.
We got to see poledancing using the microphone stand, her band members, and even the sound technician doing a quick adjustment on stage.
Her clothes didn't leave much to the imagination. But all of this was ok!
For god's sake, it's Maja we're talking about. Nothing wrong with sex appeal right?
Did a quick stop at Santigold
but I didn't really like the sound. Not that the music was bad or anything, but the bass was way too high and I couldn't hear her singing. So, on to one of the bands I was most curious about - Casiokids
! Music that makes you happy to say the least. These norwegians know how to put on a good show. The crowd went bananas when a gorilla and two girls with giant paper mache heads got on stage to dance with the band. An unforgettable experience.
On to Mando Diao
. Nothing much to say here, really. They always deliver and the sing-along was great as always. Maybe I couldn't appreciate the gig as much as I did on Siesta!, but that was because I was eager to move on to the next act - Opeth
! I could see them a thousand times and I would never get bored. Same setlist as on Metaltown
, but that didn't matter. Although, I would have been a happy panda if they would play Master's Apprentices
for once... next time maybe. And yeah, one hour is waaaay too short for this band. I can - without hesitation - say that this is my all time favourite band, all genres, all categories. I'll see you soon Micke!
Time for the mega hyped band The Mars Volta
. I love these guys, I do. Well, some of their stuff. But I was way too excited after the Opeth gig, so I couldn't enjoy them. I was too tired after jumping, screaming and moshing so I had to rest a bit. Did they play The Widow
? I bet they did... sob.
After a quick meal, I was so excited to see Röyksopp
. Turns out I forgot my very important medication in our tent. Bummer! I hurried back to the camp and got my pills, and then hurried back. And here's the real killer - I was convinced that they were playing on Vintergatan. I mean, they were having Robyn
as a guest singer (and later I heard that Maja Ivarsson also went up on stage). So I stood there... waiting. Walked by Andromeda stage to look for my daughter who was there listening to Parken
. Did a few dancing moves, hey this is catchy! Then it hit me. They couldn't clear the stage and rig for a new gig that soon after TMV? Oh fuck! They're on Apollo, the tent stage! I ran as fast as I could, but... I caught the last few notes before it was over, and almost got overrun by the crowd leaving the gig. Omfg, that's alot of people. I must have missed something really, really good. I'll never forgive myself. Stupid, stupid, stupid!
Nine Inch Nails! Finally! Been waiting most of my grown up life to see him live. Uh... that makes him seem old doesn't it? Well, he sure didn't look old on stage. I was a bit worried he wouldn't put his heart in the gig, because I knew he would rather be at home with his new girlfriend. But he didn't fail us. Perfect setlist, but the best songs were Head Like a Hole
and The Hand That Feeds
. He rounded up with Hurt
as an encore and I think the audience left with satisfaction.
Oh god I have to try to write shorter reviews. Maybe I should write a book about my experiences instead. Ah well, for those who have had the patience to read this far - I salute you!
Elegant Machinery - a band that's been with me a long time. I felt the performance was a bit lame, but I'm sure that was because of the audience. After NiN most of them were drained. Only a few true fans in the front brought enthusiasm to the show.
They did Move
and Save Me
which was a treat for me.
Time to go "home" and get some sleep.Friday
We slept in because we only wanted to see Welle:Erdball
this morning. Grabbed some breakfast and sat down in the grass to eat. Unfortunately, Lillasyster
were playing on Andromeda. LOK
I liked. Rallypack
I thought was pretty ok. But when they form a new band and decide to make a cover of Rihanna
, that's when it gets ugly. And yes, they played it. I didn't want to lose my appetite so we went to Apollo stage to get nice spots for Welle. On our way there, we bumped into a creepy robot man. Scary!Welle:Erdball
, thanks for a damn good show! Almost like a short play, a story that takes us into space with giant balloons, arcade games and pretty girls in cute bayern dresses. Surprise surprise, crowd went berzerk when they did a cover of Kraftwerk
's We are the Robots
, and Starfighter F-104G
After the show, they signed autographs at the Hot Stuff tent. We hurried there and got a nice spot in line. Wiee i got all four of them! I already pasted them into my scrapbook. Happy happy!
Rain was in the air, and we welcomed it. After melting away for three days straight, it felt kinda good with a shower. Went to Apollo to see Eagles of Death Metal
. I found out I only like two songs from them, Wannabe in L.A.
and I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)
. Not really my cup of tea, but hey, the rain went from a subtle drizzle to downfall in a split second. So we stayed for a while before defying the rain and ran to our camp. Stopped by bob hund
quickly on our way down the hill, but no. They don't appeal to me. I do enjoy Tralala Lilla Molntuss, Kom Hit Skall Du Få En PussThe Mobile Homes
next. Kind of an insipid gig, but enjoyable. Do create a sound for your band, but don't get stuck in the same structure when writing songs. I could have done with a little more variety in their setlist. We sat down on the floor, tired from running back and forth and standing up for hours, and listened. Quite an audience, and they could sing-along too. But me, i was waiting for the highlights of the evening.De/Vision
sooo deserved a better audience. WTF was up with that? I figured it out while standing there, doing my best to raise the mood amongst the crowd. 1. A singing and dancing guy backed up by an anonymous guy (though we know who he is) playing the sequencer. Time to rethink. Put some more people on stage, a drummer, maybe a bassplayer. Welle:Erdball knows this, that's why they did the whole show thingie.
2. Folks were already at Vintergatan, waiting for Depeche Mode to enter the stage.
To summon it up. I wanted more songs from Subkutan
, one of the best synthpop albums ever made!
I also wanted to hear Heart-Shaped Tumor
, Bleed Me White
, Dinner Without Grace
and I'm Not Dreaming Of You
Kaboom! Depeche Mode. Did it top the Exciter tour I was on way back in 2001. Yes. Did I leave just as happy as I did in Globen 2001. No. WHAT? You might say, but here's why. Of course you're more excited the first time you see them live. Any band for that matter. At Globen we had seats built so that everyone had a perfect view down at the stage. At Vintergatan, I'd be glad if I saw Martin Gores fluffy hairdo just once. I had to follow the whole thing on the big screens. It's the same at all major arenas, I know. I'm just saying. The songs were great though. A big plus for picking so many songs from Black Celebration
, which happens to be my favourite album. I still live in DM's dark ages, and that's why I can't say I love either Songs Of the Universe
, or Exciter
. They're good, but not fantastic.
Finally a HUGE minus for not playing Everything Counts
as their final encore. For everyone that's heard the 101
album (vinyl ofc), you know what I'm talking about.
Didn't mean to sound harsh, I loved the gig, I really did. I just wanted that little extra, and it never came.
Last act for the day - I Are Droid
. For those of you who have read my journal from Siesta!, you know how I felt about this gig. And boy was I pleasantly surprised. The guy can sing after all! Ow I enjoyed every song, this was a great show. Especially Blood and Ether
, Before the Fall
and Time on Time
I was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to head out to camp. But my daughter pleaded that we stayed, she wanted to hear Andreas Tilliander
DJ on the Orion stage. Here's the deal. Orion is a dancehall first of all. People rave in there. Not my thing ok? Besides, who wants to go in there and dance your socks off if you haven't had a shower for days? That must really be appealing. Still, I overheard conversations saying they actually picked up one night stands in there. Beyond my comprehension imo. What is their major malfunction?
Anywho, we sat down at the coffeeshop, waiting for the clock to turn 2.30 am. Note: I are Droid went off stage at 1.00 am. We rested our heads on the table until a waitress came and asked us if we were ok. Well, it was almost time for Tilliander, so we went inside. A wall of extreme heat hit me, and my first impulse was to get the hell out of there. We sat down on the floor and watched how people danced away. Style Of Eye
was the DJ at the time. But I wouldn't call that music tbh. More like suggestive bassounds with a few blips and blops. Hurt my ears.
I leaned my head agains my daughter and - I fell asleep! Inside the freakin dancehall with mega loud music. Yes I was tired. Once again, I was woken up. The security guy told me i couldn't sleep in there. Sod off. It was 2.30 ffs!
Tilliander came on, and my daughter was really disappointed. I guess she thought that he was going to play his own songs. But no he was only DJ:ing this night.
We went home - finally I could sleep!Saturday
Alice in Videoland got to start off our Saturday. My daughter pulled us close to the stage, remembering last year when we missed half the show because of the rain. This time we didn't want to miss a thing. Everything was awesome, they picked the songs we all knew, and could sing along to. Only disappointment - where was Maja? The Sounds
played on Thursday, why couldn't she have stayed that extra day for the duet in We Are Rebels
We really anticipated this, but no. Huge letdown, but the gig was still super.Stupid thing was, I missed Aestethic Perfection as they played the exact same time as AiV. Please, can someone tell me if it was a good show?
My daughter wanted to see Florence Valentin
, so that was our next stop. I don't really care for that kind of music, but I didn't have anything better to do. The singer turned out to be quite the activist, turning the small talk between songs into pure propaganda. Good thing we have freedom of speech in Sweden, or else he would have been in prison by now. He had a point though, but I prefer to think for myself.
We had alot of breathers this day, so we had some food and strolled along the many market stands. Got our mobile phones cleaned and wrapped in perfumed silk paper by Halebop. Bought some stuff only available at these events. At least if you live in a small town like we do. Chatted a bit about vegans and animal rights with some girls a the Womens jour. Oh, and I forgot to mention before, I joined Amnesty.
After some shopping, it was time for First Aid Kit
. Again, we sat down in the grass and enjoyed their music from there. Not really headbanger material, nor do you have to know the songs to appreciate it. We waited for the clock to turn 7 pm. Another half hour to go before Diary of Dreams
. My daughter wanted to see Elenette
, so we parted ways. I had read in the schedule that DoD was playing on the Orion stage. At first I thought it was a joke, but it was so. I thought to myself, do they have any idea how many goth and synth lovers, dark and new wavers there are on this festival? How on earth did they expect us all to fit in there? And with this heat? I managed to stay in there for as long as it took me to get some half decent photos, but then I had to leave. I couldn't breathe in there. When I got out, I saw loads of people sitting outside on the asphalt, listening. And one after the other came out and joined us. Anyway, they opened with The Wedding
, and they played The Curse
, an awesome track. I think they did Poison Breed
aswell, I honestly don't remember. But where was Amok
Since I had already seen Mustasch two times before, I decided to skip that gig. I could still hear them all over the festival area, playing the same songs they always do. My daughter had been talking about Little Boots and I listened to a few songs on Spotify. Sounded catchy and cute. And when she got on stage, you couldn't help but smile. She was petite and seemed a bit lost, even humble. But as soon as she started singing, she had nothing to be worried about. The crowd was with her, singing along to her songs. She even said she was surprised to see so many people knowing her songs. Nice setlist, best songs was Meddle
. A wierd thing though - her voice sounded more pitched on stage than on the album? Or is my hearing bad again?
Time for Thåström, our Swedish punk rock hero who now has taken a more gentle approach towards music. His body language is the same as always, and the way he performs with a voice that sounds agonized, almost tormented is almost overwhelming. His lyrics are deep and dark, and it's hard not to fall into a dark pit of emotions. We sat on a grass hill, not too far away from the stage, and if it wasn't for the cackle behind us coming from the beer tent, we could have actually enjoyed the whole show. Too tired to join the crowd in front of the stage, we went the other way. Hey, at least I got to hear Alla vill till himlen
. Wish he would have given me Karenina
also, then I would have been so happy.
! I adore this band, and I've been waiting to catch them. My daughter didn't agree with me, so she went to see Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft
(DAF). Yes, I know, I should have chosen to see DAF, Engel is a Swedish band that does several gigs all over the country. But you see, I don't really care for DAF. Not KMFDM
or Front Line Assembly
either. Not entirely true, FLA has a new and interesting sound, so the album Artificial Soldier
I like alot.
Back to Engel. I actually did some serious headbanging here. I think it's because they are headbanging friendly and it's hard not to get caught up in Magnus Klavborn
's energy. They did Casket Closing
and Sense the Fire
The next three gigs were going to be heartbreaking for me. I had to leave one to go to the other. Such a shame! Right before Korn, I got to listen to three songs by Thermostatic. I couldn't see anything because Lyran stage was so damn crowded. Then I had to find my daughter in all of this, just coming from the DAF gig. Anyways, three songs later and a found daughter, we headed to Vintergatan to see Korn.
This was my second time so I kinda knew what to expect. Alot of Twist sounds, a bagpipe and and a guy in a skirt. Jokes aside, it's always a pleasure to see Korn. Why? Because they have been in the music business for ...16 fucking years
and they have alot to show for. Freak on a Leash
, Coming Undone
, Did My Time
, Falling Away From Me
, Here to Stay
, Y'all Want A Single
. We got a sort of a Greatest Hits gig, and I'm not complaining! Btw, I had to leave right before the end... but I thought I heard Trash? Anyone who can confirm/dismiss this?
And now... drumroll... mind.in.a.box
! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever see him/them live! Thank you Galaxen! We left Korn to get good spots, and we did - right in front of the stage. 20 minutes until it started and I was literally shaking. I love everything about them. The music, the concept albums, the story, the mysticism around visions of the future. Then they entered the stage. Stefan Poiss just walked in, sat down and started fiddling with his computer/sequencer gadgets. Without a word he started the music. They opened with the new track, Remember
which i think is an awesome song. A bit more rough around the edges, heavy and emotional. Can't wait till the next album!
Other tunes they played, Fear
, Dead End
and a few more I can't remember right now, but I do know they ended with another new song.
As always, I had some wishes that I didn't get fulfilled. Lament for Lost Dreams
and The Place
, which is a beautiful song. If you haven't heard it already, go Spotify it NOW!
Arvika festival was over. We went back to camp and snuggled up in our sleeping bags. Tired and worn out but happy. We got to experience so much, much more than I could fit in here. Unfortunately, Sunday brought rain, and alot of it. Still we had to pack up our stuff to get to the bus in time. Imagine trying to keep your clothes, books, magazines, food and gadgets dry while packing up the tent. We must have looked like something out of a Chaplin movie. On our way home, we felt a sting of sorrow, but at the same time, a longing for home and family.
See ya next year Arvika!The good
: The bands! The best lineup ever, I wonder how they're going to follow up on this?The bad
: The heat and the rain. Me missing out on Aestethic Perfection. Queues at the water stations.The ugly
: The amount of porta potties on the festival area, and the fact that no one refilled the toilet paper.