Live Review

Open’er 2013: Day Three

After a day of recovery, Open’er resumes in true style with These New Puritans in the Tent Stage.


Photo: Howard Melnyczuk
After a day of recovery, Open’er resumes in true style with These New Puritans in the Tent Stage. It’s a relaxed affair as fatigued punters litter the ground, but the band conjure sheer wonderment from thin air. Bathed in smoke and vibrant lights, rich brassy melodies and intricately constructed percussion are the main attraction, with ‘Fragment Two’ from the recently released ‘Field Of Reeds’ reaching spiralling heights. ‘Organ Eternal’ rings across Open’er, yelping and marrying restless melody with endless subtle touches. We leave absolutely gobsmacked, and have to pick our jaws off the floor at several points during the show. You’d have to be a complete plonker not to fall head over heels in love with this evening’s mesmerising twilight set, and it’s the most intense, reflective and beautiful performance we’ve seen in Poland. Actually, no, it’s the most beautiful music we’ve heard in a fair while.

We’re so in awe, in fact, that we completely forget Queens Of The Stone Age are due on the main stage, and we race across the site just in time to thrash around to the breakneck ‘No One Knows’. In contrast, this band are anything but subtle, and Josh Homme is leading a full-on crowd freakout as QOTSA crack out ‘If I Had A Tail’ from the band’s most recent album. It’s brooding and pounding, with a few naughty lyrics that might even make Rihanna blush. The crowd are responding appropriately, and are at their rowdiest yet.

The National soothe proceedings, though, providing a spellbinding, and more introspective end to day three, with textural washes of sound and stunningly poetic lyrics. Frontman Matt Berninger is in his own world, and there isn’t much interaction, but it’s perfectly alright, because the audience are equally absorbed. We’re right up at the front swaying along contently to a tranquil rendition of ‘I Should Live On Salt’, followed by the wonderful ‘Don’t Swallow The Cap’ – which prompts a mass sing-along of the refrain ‘everything I love is on the table’. It’s a set dominated by the band’s excellent recent album, but ‘High Violet’ also proves a winner. After the intensity of These New Puritans, and the mayhem of Queens Of The Stone Age, The National settle us into the clouds, leaving with ‘Terrible Love’, and another set to add to the list titled ‘brilliant’.

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