9 Jul 2014

Who Else Rocked Hyde Park?

As a sort of follow up to my previous post about how brilliant the Libertines were at Hyde Park on Saturday, I decided I wanted to write a post about the other bands I thought smashed their sets at BST. Here are my top 5:

1. Wolf Alice
Wolf Alice played the Barclaycard Theatre at 3pm and it was my seventh time seeing this band live. Not only were the band on top form (it's the best I have ever seen them play live) but combined with the incredible, highly energetic atmosphere that the crowd created, it was the best Wolf Alice gig I have ever ah the pleasure of attending. A setlist containing the classic single 'Fluffy' as their final song, also worked two songs in from their new 'Creature Songs EP' including 'Moaning Lisa's Smile' which was the opening song. As soon as the familiar riff began, a stage-wide mosh circle opened up and then filled itself with people of all ages jumping and screeching the lyrics, (myself included) and this never really stopped until the band walked off stage to rapturous applause. 800 red-faced and sweaty audience members piled out of the BC Theatre singing the praises of Wolf Alice, I for one, cannot wait to see them again at Reading Festival in August.
HIGHLIGHTS: Moaning Lisa's Smile, Fluffy & She

2. Darlia
Darlia played the Barclaycard Theatre at 2pm and they were the first band I saw in that venue. It was also my first time seeing Darlia live ahead of Reading Festival, and my high expectations were 100% met. They absolutely smashed it. As it drew closer to 2pm, crowds began to gather in the tent and as soon as the ever-so-cool band walked onto the stage and began their combination of kick-ass riffs and thrashing drums, a mosh followed suit and engulfed the majority of the crowd (much to the disgust of the middle aged couple standing next to me..) Darlia played a set full of their well known songs like 'Napalm' and 'Queen Of Hearts' as well as new songs 'Dear Diary,' 'Pandamonium' and 'Stars.' All these songs kept the crowd jumping and singing along. I don't know how you personally feel about being in a mosh pit, but it's easily one of my favourite things about gigs and although I may still be bruised from the Darlia pits, it was such a fantastic experience to be involved with a moment of ecstasy that everyone shares. (of course some of them were actually on ecstasy but that's not the point..) Overall, a fantastic start to my day at Hyde Park and 10/10 would recommend seeing them live if you get the chance. 
HIGHLIGHTS: Dear Diary, Napalm & Pandamonium

3. Maximo Park
Maximo Park played the main stage at 4pm after The Enemy, and the crowd pleasing northerners had no problem filling such a massive space. Fabulous front man Paul Smith guided the crowd through a setlist full of new album tracks like 'Give, Get, Take,' 'Leave This Island' and 'Midnight on the Hill,' as well as including their most famous tracks from their 9 year discography like 'Apply Some Pressure,' 'Girls Who Play Guitars' and 'Books From Boxes.' I unfortunately wasn't down the front for this one, so preceded to watch longingly from afar as the crowd jumped along in unison to the bands catchy riffs and rhythms. They didn't play a particularly long set, but nobody really did at this festival and I think it worked out for the best because it was enough to get and keep the attention of pre-existing fans as well as easily gaining a few new ones from the hoards of people wandering the venue. As one of the best bands I had seen live prior to this gig, Maximo Park definitely retain their title and I fully recommend seeing them if they tour or play a festival that you are attending. Absolutely brilliant musicians and just so much fun.
HIGHLIGHTS: Give Get Take, Leave This Island & Apply Some Pressure

4. The Pogues
A seemingly odd participant in a list made up of primarily indie bands, but The Pogues were probably the band that I had the most fun watching. Sure, the lead singer was so fantastically hammered that he could barely open his eyes or stand up and yes, the set had to be stopped and started and cut short because an audience member needed urgent medical attention.. but the atmosphere that The Pogues created in a crowd full to bursting with high irishmen was unmatchable. In front of where I was watching this band were a group of about 15 Irish guys (all off their faces on cocaine) who were just dancing and singing along like their lives depending on it, and anyone with that amount of cocaine and passion in their system is bound to create a beautifully electric and contagious atmosphere. So the majority of people surrounding this group (including myself) joined in with their dancing and signing and to be involved with someone else's happiness makes you happier than you can ever imagine. Of course the band played very well as well, but it got to a point when you could roughly mumble some words in a slight accent and you'd be pretty close to following along the songs. Overall, just a fantastic experience and a bloody good time. 
HIGHLIGHTS: Dirty Old Town (it's the only song I knew the name of..)

5. Reverend & The Makers
Now I didn't actually see this band live,  but I know some people who did and after seeing what state the venue was left in, I though they were worth a mention. After asking my friends who did see them live what the gig was like, the overwhelming response was 'mental.' I mean the simple fact that the venue got so trashed that Graham Coxon and Swim Deep actually had to either cancel or move their sets to another venue shows that te crowd were pretty 'enthusiastic' to say the least. It was all in all a positive review of the band themselves, with audience members saying they played very well, but all in all what made it a fantastic gig was definitely the crowd and their energy. I am in two minds about whether I wish I had gone to see them, because on one hand, to experience that would have been incredible, but on the other hand, the floor broke and it sounded pretty brutal in the mosh. 

Overall, BST @ Hyde Park was an amazing day, and the combination of some of my favourite bands all topped off with The Libertines headlining is something that I won't get over for a while. A day spent in the best possible way.