Sziget 2014 Diary- Day One

 

It’s the first day in full swing, and a hot and humid one- long queues clog the entrances and all the locations are now up and running. There’s circus and opera, street theatres and movies, a beach and a gym, so it seems a bit of a stereotype choice to start the day at the main stage but Jake Bugg is definitely an act to check out. Barely 20, he already has a flock of dutifully screaming groupies, but his music should go down well with more mature audiences as well. There’s nothing mind blowing about the performance, it’ basically him and his guitar, plus a small band-whose drummer seems out of synch at times- in spite of this, Lightning Bolt ends the set on a high, signalling hopefully grander things to come. Time is definitely on Jake’s side.

 Jake is followed by one of those bands I can’t really fathom- Imagine Dragons. The very name irritates me and I go all grumpy cat style, no, I won’t imagine them just because they tell me so. Thier music is also something indefinite, a bit The 1975 style- should be nice in theory, but fails in practice. Unlike The 1975 though, the live show seems to work for these ones- what was utterly dull and lacklustre on the radio comes alive on the stage, and sucks the audience in its vibe. Imagine Dragons might not be your music of choice for home listening, but were born to play festivals. I would hazard saying that Sziget should have kicked old school Placebo in the butt and shoved the Dragons in the later slot, for the snooze fest to follow fell particularly flat between Imagine Dragons and Skrillex. This is not necessarily a compliment to the two though. It’s just a fact- they’re not sleep inducing, whereas this time Placebo truly were.
 

It’s safe to say that the quality of Placebo’s Sziget concerts can be predicted based on Brian Molko’s hair day- and this one was rubbish. The hair was a classic Darth Vader helmet, unmoving like the coiffure of a wax statue. The feeling of the concert itself was something alike a statue’s unmelted heart- they pretended to he happy to be back, but seemed to be actually, utterly bored, like a 9 to 5 office worker who decides today will be the day she will spend browsing cat videos and taking long trips to the coffee dispensing machine.If she is then asked to do anything worthwhile she’ll just mess it up quietly- and so did Placebo, rushing into some songs at a frenetic but out of place speed and inexplicably slowing down into others. They’ll probably be back some time soon though, hopefully in the wake of a better album and well, let’s just pray Brian finds a proper hairdresser as well.

The moment Skrillex dropped his first bass on the unsuspecting crowd was the moment I ran for my life to the A38 tent. Miles Kane is often mentioned as the other guy, and people glide over the fact that his Last Shadow Puppets project works so sublimely because both Alex Turner and himself are so pivotal to the sound and the atmosphere of the tracks. His evening slot on Sziget came to prove what an extraordinary musician and showman he is.For 75 minutes it felt like meeting an alien, coming from a planet of superlative music, where we’re all guitar gods, we all dance flawlessly to the rhythm and everyone is a good guy out to have the time of their lives. Every Sziget has one concert that you expect to be good, but it turns out borderline perfect. In 2014, although this was only the first official day, Miles Kane most definitely takes the prize.

You know a concert was awesome when any other music listened to immediately after it sounds like an insult to your ears. Therefore we cannot say anything about Clean Bandit except that they filled in for London Grammar and looked rather spectacular on stage.As for the music, give me some more Miles Kane, thank you.

 

 

 

 

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