Live Review

Open’er 2013: Day Two

We trot off the airfield feeling happy that we’ve seen three kinds of legends play the main stage tonight.


Photo: Tomek Kaminski
It’s a new dawn and a new day, and we’re feeling good. Why? It’s the second day of Poland’s Open’er Festival, of course. Heading down to the airfield for another day packed with heavyweight acts, we force down a Heineken (we’re sick of that yeasty hell-drink already) just in time for Tame Impala. Soundtracking the fading sun with swelling psychedelic and reverb-addled jam sections, Gdynia welcomes black clouds in return, that smother the entire sky. The heavens soon open on us, too, and it’s not the ideal atmosphere to watch gloriously summery guitar music.

Still, though, Kevin Parker isn’t deterred, and neither are the crowd, who are thudding up and down during ‘Elephant’; threatening to bring down the defunct air traffic control tower in the distance with their energy. Enlisting the same spinning rainbow visuals that they used on their UK tour, it’s a visual and audio spectacle, reaching its peak with the euphoric ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’. Tame Impala are enjoying more popularity than ever before this summer, and they’ve also never looked more comfortable – entertaining the best part of 85,000 people with ease. By the end of their breath-taking set, the rain has given up trying to dampen the mood.

We hot-foot it over to the Tent Stage across the airfield to catch Junip, who are busy thrilling a tent full of relaxed and weary festival-goers having a lie down. It’s a blissful set, ruled by Jose González’s beautiful guitar work. It turns out it’s also the calm before the storm, because a new rank of angry dark clouds surge overhead just in time for Arctic Monkeys, who fittingly open with ‘Brianstorm’.

There’s a white bus complete with paint markers in place at Open’er, and people have already taken the initiative to scrawl “Don’t sit down ‘cause I’ve moved your chair” across the seats. The main stage is at its busiest yet, too, and ‘I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ pelts out frantically. It’s the material from the debut and 2007’s ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ that have the most impact overall, towards the end of the set, and we’re treated to a stripped back ‘Mardy Bum’. Much to our delight and surprise, the band play ‘When The Sun Goes Down’, too – a song absent from the band’s Glastonbury setlist. It’s a magical moment. A neighbouring bystander, Colin from Dublin is particularly taken by it. “If Alex Turner asked me to sleep with him,” he says, “I would after this. You can put that in your article”. A dreamy ‘505’ draws a triumphant set to a perfect close.

A distinctively proportioned forehead soon looms on the main stage – it’s Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds. He is a true legend, keeping us entertained with constant stage patter about which wife he wrote each song for in his unmistakable voice that booms across the site. ‘Into My Arms’ is undeniably the most magical, sparkling, heartbreaking anti-hymn we’ve ever heard. ‘Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry’ lifts us from a daze, and results in a full-blown hoedown, and a lot of spilt Heineken. ‘The Mercy Seat’ is our highlight, though, and we trot off the airfield feeling happy that we’ve seen three kinds of legends play the main stage tonight.

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