Melt! Liveblog: Der Samstag

Hello again! After our first live blog in 2009 we are finally back at the fantastic Melt! Festival to cover the 13th issue as it happens – including photos (by Christoph Paul) and some first impressions (by Thomas Vorreyer).

Sunday, 16:40: The end is near … After it’s implementation in 2008, the third issue of festival day number three, the Sunday, invites us to a smaller (three instead of five stages) but even denser cast day. While Kings of Convenience are currently stroking their strings behind us, the Post War Years, Fucked Up, Crookers, WhoMadeWho, Slagmalsklubben and of course Goldfrapp and festival headliner Massive Attack are getting ready to hit the stages over the day and night.

Alas, we got a bit kept away from the blog yesterday because of interviews and more. So here’s eventually our review of the complete Saturday:

Despite of the mild weather the day kicked off quite slowly and turned out to don’t enjoy as much as highlights as the Friday before. Although, our dear Friendly Fires, who told us their gig at Melt! 2008 during the rain and storm mayhem was their first ever, played one of the by far best shows of the entire weekend. The band machine appeared to be very well oiled by now and the crowd cheered them, waving and dancing as one. During the new song “Running Away” even transformed-to-balloons condomes danced over our heads – interview follows soon. Of course, the dance-rock of Holy Ghost was lenient in comparison, while Hurts suprisingly well filled the light, late afternoon slot between these two on the Gemini stage with the usual big-gesture pop grandezza.

In the meantime the main stage got covered in some rougher sounds: Blood Red Shoes stormed powerfully, but solid as always through their set and Dendemann demonstrated the numerous international guests, that in Germany intelligent and brave hip-hop and mullet cuts can indeed go hand in hand. Parallel to this Darwin Deez stole their hearts of the younger crowd in the Intro tent, before The Big Pink entered it to blow the not fully filled tent away. But yet their grandiloquent guitar-synthie rock may would have fit the man stage better then the bit dry Jamie T did – interview follows.

Next: dance attack! Soul-pop singer Jamie Lidell, DJ Shadow, Sinden and German band Die Sterne played live parallel to each other. And it might hasn’t been a knockout victory, but a clear one by scores for Lidell, who thus had best sound at the Gemini. Here then Hercules and Love Affair took over the mic and beats with an almost all-new set basing on their new, yet-unreleased, second album. Sadly, the new line-up and their stringently chruny Chicago-to-Detroit oldschool mix, including the even sphericly re-arranged old hits “Blind” and “You Belong”, were a bit too many news for the crowd and the set undeservedly did not enflame everyone fully. Still, they all stayed at the stage to get loose of their coresponding dance reserves at Chromeo, who turned their gig with some nice audio and visual show extras into a really good on, before the DJs A-Trak, Tiga, Carl Craig and of course German tiro Moderat (Fotos) took over the direction for the rest of the night.

Chromeo, DJ Shadow, Hercules and Love Affair, Melt! crowd (2), The Big Pink, Jamie T, Friendly Fires (2), Dendemann, Hurts, Blood Red Shoes, Holy Ghost, Jamaica

Saturday, 16:00: The Melt! Saturday has just begun and while we are looking forward to the likes of Jamaica, Holy Ghost!, Darwin Deez, Maskinen, Hercules and Love Affair, Chromeo, Tiefschwarz and Hurts (and to interview Friendly Fires and the Big Pink), let’s have a short and final retrograd look on Friday night. After Jónsi some strange sitar sounds led us to Yeasayer, where Chris Keating showed up with a vocal performance with all the sexiness and extravaganza immediately reminding us of Prince and, yes somehow, Michael Jackson in their greater days. One haven’t seen and heard such thing in  quite a long time and would have perfectly fit on the big main stage, where The XX were facing the mammoth task to present their intimate and minimalistic compositions within such a great frame. Apparently, they did it master it well. Key role was taken over by Jamie once again, who was enthroned behind a great, white X on black ground and a laser light roof drawn over the Ferropolis. He not only did rearranged the band’s songs but relined them with some heavy beats. And who watched Oliver trying out some unexpected, standard rock bassist moves, can may predicted the possible new direction this band will take from now on. Who, who already did follow this electronic path on his own, is Kele Okereke off Bloc Party. While his muscle-bound body satisfied completely, his set did only partly considering quite a few lengths in it. Too, not totally convincing where Foals, who played a – compared to their own benchmark – just average set despite a very driven Yannis Philippakis. Headling their own day stage at beach Modeselektor then didn’t reach the maximum as well, although guest appearances by Bonaparte promised a lot more action. Alas, it turned out to be just the addition, but not the desired multiplication of their forces. But still there was a 100% great end with the energetic live set of autoKratz in the Intro tent.

Autokratz (2), Modeselektor, Foals, Kele (2), The XX (2), Yeasayer

Friday, 23:32: Another round of diverse gigs lies behind us. We smiled at all the adolescence in the front row of Two Door Cinema Club, left the stage to dance to a brilliant dubstep-electro DJ set by Jamie XX at the beach (!) and got pulled away to the main stage again by our German heroes Tocotronic. Here, Dirk von Lowtzow almost enthusiastically greeted the crowd and praised the resistance once again and just for fun, while Rick Mc Phail was miming a modern god of guitar. This spectacle got followed by a delicious visual sandwich: a blue flash light orgy and loads of cheesiness by Delphic, lightening and thunder at HEALTH, who fantastically re-structured “Crimewave” into a new, even bigger version, and finally Jónsi, whose great, but complex and intimate setting and show was maybe ab bit too intimate for the big main stage and the oval in front of it. Now we are looking forward to Yeasayer, Four Tet, The XX, Kele, Foals, autoKratz, Modeselektor ft. Bonaparte and many others.

Jónsi, HEALTH (2), Delphic, Tocotronic (2), Jamie XX, Two Door Cinema Club

Friday, 20:36: Words race with drops of sweat towards the keyboard – this Melt! Festival has already crossed its melting point. It’ sunny and super hot here and after the Audiolith Pferdemarkt yesterday at the festival side and the Introducing party in Berlin (photos below) Bonaparte and Midlake could finally open the big party to everyone, while the Big Wheel Stage was surrounded by a sweating mass covered in dust and seduced by the fine tunes of Oliver Koletzki. Then – parallel to Ja, Panik and Pantha du Prince – Sweden’s finest, the Shout Out Louds, hit the stage. Too bad they prepared an undercooled set to fight the heat. But they were some highlights still: the undestroyable beauty of “Impossible” for instance or their short cover of “Walking Like an Egyptian”, which now stands in a line with “Train in Vain” from their 2007er Melt! appearance. Now Two Door Cinema Club, Jamie XX and Tocotronic are about to begin. Looks like everyone reached working temperature immediately.

Shout Out Louds, Converse Mainstage

Post War Years and Alexander’s Festival Hall, Introducing (yesterday in Berlin)

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