Where the Bands Are (Way Out West 2019- Day 2)

Way Out West, 9 August, 2019

Day 2

The lineup for the second day of WOW19 had some gems for me and it started with a visit to the cinema for a Nordic premiere.

Blinded by the Light is a British comedy-drama film inspired by the life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor’s acclaimed memoir Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N’ Roll. Set in the town of Luton in 1978, the film tells the story of Javed, a British-Pakistani teenager whose life changes after he discovers the music of Bruce Springsteen.

The absolute highlight of the day! The above description is how the film is presented officially. If you want to read my personal take, read my separate blogpost on the film.

My original plan was to see both Blinded by the Light and Bohemian Rhapsody, but as I was totally taken by the first film I decided to skip the second film and let the first one sink in. While slowly making my way to Slottsskogen, I stopped by Bönor and Bagels for some lunch.

Gulasch soup with cream cheese bagel

Daniel Norgren [stage: Flamingo] is a Swedish singer-songwriter whose music is influenced by American blues and gospel. He sings in English and the lyrics are simple stories about his life. He is a really talented musician who started out playing all of the instruments himself in a one man show. Now he mostly plays the guitar and the piano.

I was glad to see that Norgren and his band’s somewhat introvert performance pleased the crowd that had gathered in gazing sun in front of one of the festival’s largest stages. Norgren, in a cap, a pair of cut off back jeans and a black t-shirt came off as natural and forthright as his music which is a simple straight forward blues/rock/folk/gospel music that I appreciated a lot.

Mitski [stage: Linné] is a Japanese-American songwriter in the genre indie rock. She is known for her straightforward yet elusive lyrics and performance.

The only song I knew from Mitski before this show was Nobody which is a very suggestive song. Apart from delivering good singing Mitski’s performance was a bit out of the ordinary. She had brought a table and a chair as props, and she used them for various acrobatic moves while delivering the lyrics. The whole show puzzled me and it awoke more questions than answers, but maybe that was her intention (?)

The headline of #WOW19 is The Cure. I don’t think if they need any extensive introduction. Everyone probably already know that it is a British rock band that had its breakthrough in the 1980s and that they’ve since then been one of the leading bands in the goth and indie rock genre. The only consistent member of the group is the singer, guitarist and songwriter Robert Smith, who with his characteristic look is an icon. He was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last spring.

The Cure actually entered the stage and started playing five minutes ahead of their scheduled time. That was a good omen. The supposedly gloomy band treated us to two hours of pure joy.

Robert Smith, in his characteristic look with smeared red lipstick, black long shirt and wild hair, seemed happy almost. Every now and then he did an exotic waggly dance and he even ventured away from his mic on a few random occasions.

The set was solid and the band was tight. The show covered most points in their career and, by the time of the encore, they had the whole audience sing along to Friday I’m in Love and Boys Don’t Cry.

To conclude: this was an almost perfect festival day. The weather was ideal and I saw some pretty decent acts (including a fantastic film).

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