Peaking with tomorrow’s highly anticipated performance by local hero Håkan Hellström, there are a lot of Swedish, and especially “Göteborgska”, artists at this year’s Way Out West. Friday night in Slottsskogen was however an international experience. After the amazing Soundtrack of Our Lives, accompanied by Göteborgs Symfoniker (LINK http://www.gso.se/) (but not with the Gallagher brothers, as the rumour had it), delivered a sparkling cross-over between pop tunes and classical music, there was not a Swede on the scene for the rest of the night.
But who has time for pseudo-nationalistic ideas when the line-up includes some of the world’s best musicians? Iggy Pop, for instance, showed that he is one of the world’s greatest entertainers still alive – even if the latter is against all odds. The Stooges were as tight as they were in 1970 and in a very non-Swedish act, Iggy at one point brought up a huge group of fans from the crowd, fighting resistance from the guards. They danced and co-sang with him during “Shake Appeal”. The act made the rest of the crowd, the ones still off-stage, go even wilder and the singer himself seemed to enjoy the power and didn’t exactly slow down after that.
Among the many other super acts to compete for our attention this evening, LCD Soundsystem made a lasting impression. The club/pop/electronic constellation from New York has been extremely influential during the last five years or so. Tonight’s show was a manifestation of why and the giant chandelier hanging from the scene roof made the listening experience interesting (Will it fall? Who will be killed?).
M.I.A, who enjoyed worldwide fame when she contributed with the lead soundtrack to the academy winner Slumdog Millionaire (LINK http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1010048/), entered the stage when the sun definitely had left us. It was, however, a show well suited for dramatic darkness. When she played her older hits, the mood hit the roof.
This being a city festival, after the last live act it was time for a quick clothing shuffle in a nearby apartment. With new shoes and washed hair, Explore West Sweden once again went exploring the endless possibilites the night had to offer. We’ll get back to you!