Fest à la Suédoise: Way Out West – Day 2

It’s undeniable Day 2 of WOW was the one I was looking forward to the most, as Father John Misty, Years & Years (yeah, one also has guilty pleasures, so what!), Goddess Florence and The Machine and Pet Shop Boys were awaiting. Or rather, the other way round.

Father John Misty was scheduled very early (2:10pm). And when that happens at a festival, chances are it is because you are the one with less caché, as compared to the others in the line-up. Everybody knows that. Consequently, Joshua Tilman, aka Father John Misty, couldn’t help but make fun of it (and of many other life/live circumstances) at all times. That’s because a show with Father John Misty doesn’t only have music, but also a bit of sarcastic stand-up comedy (‘How are you doing, Coachellaaaaaa?’ ; ‘If you are texting about me during the show, at least mention me’), with Joshua jumping all over the place and being playful with the mic. What else can you expect from a man who sings sarcastic ballads like “Bored in the USA” or who wrote a song titled “Holy Shit” on his wedding day because…

The way that I felt on my wedding day was just so, so wild. To make a decision like that based on something you believe in — to get out of the morass of ambivalence, to live according to endless contingencies and potential mishaps, potential unhappiness — is just huge for me.

Secondary source.

… and has lines like…

Maybe love is just an economy based on resource scarcity,
But what I fail to see is what that’s got to do with you and me.”

After that, well, I must admit I had certain interest in seeing Years & Years, from whom I had listened to a couple of very catchy songs only. The Linné tent was overcrowded to see this relatively new band, with one album, released only last July. Despite its recent release, the enthusiastic crowd, mostly in their teens, knew the lyrics to all their songs by heart. That Years & Years are newbies can be told from the very first moment they go on stage. The overall feel was as if we were witnessing the end-of-year party of an American high school. It’s not that Olly Alexander, the lead vox, doesn’t sing well —he doesn’t excel at that either, though; it’s not that they didn’t put on a stunning lighting show, although it wasn’t anything extraordinary, mainly almost total darkness or a tasteless canary yellow (un)matching the singer’s outfit; it’s not that Olly Alexander looks like he’s going to play a basketball match, although he was wearing an extra-baggy white t-shirt along with white shorts, white socks, white teeth and trainers. It was just the overall high-schoolish vibe, including the occasional ballad about which you couldn’t care less. So, yep, we left before the show finished, but only after they had played ‘Desiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiire’. No question about that.

In a nutshell, Years & Years are good to be danced to on the dance floor. And that’s about it. At least for now.

After a pleasant walk exploring the streets of Göteborg, we headed back to the WOW fest to get a good place for, yes, you got it right, Florence and The Machine. As it happened to me recently with Robbie Williams, and with Flo herself back in 2012, where she did 95% of the same show at The O2 in London and at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry – two very different venues-, I feared that I would see an exact copy of the show she did at Super Bock Super Rock last July. Luckily, it wasn’t the case. Though the essence of the show was the same, she didn’t repeat the same jokes or setlist nor was wearing the same outfit. Thank Flo! Still leaving aside her slowest tunes, and going for lower tones that would replace the higher notes, Flo jumped all over the stage keeping her mighty voice intact, ran like Mick Jagger from one end to the other, cheered the audience, and put on the show she has us all used to. Oh, and I got pretty good pics too! Thanks, Flo.

Florence and the Machine WOW15 (7)
In it.

The legendary Pet Shop Boys would put an end to the night. Unable to get a proper spot, we enjoyed their truly amazing as well as mesmerizing audiovisual show surrounded by trees and dancing in the dark. Mesmerizing is the word. Indeed. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe might be close to 100 years old (just kidding), but the energy they display on stage is that of two youngsters having the time of their life. No crowd-pleaser was left unplayed, and so Day 2 of WOW had a great closing. One of the best festival closings ever.

See photo gallery.

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