Optimus Alive 2014, festival review
Wednesday 16 July 2014
Lisbon’s Optimus Alive festival is fast becoming the alternative for Brits wanting to travel further afield for a cheap and sunny festival experience. Like Benicassim, a Brit-orientated lineup and cheap tickets allow fans of the UK-chart acts to escape V Festival to enjoy a sun-filled holiday by the sea and a varied festival experience.
The first day kicks of with 50,000 fans coming to enjoy the port-side festival facing a tough choice between The Arctic Monkeys and Kelis. The opening bars of ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ sway it for the Sheffield band who play a 5th album-heavy set.
Frontman Alex Turner, sporting his trademark slicked back hair and leather jacket, keeps interaction with the crowd to a mongrel-faced minimum. Offering only a couple of begrudged “obrigado's” between songs, he goes on to dedicate 'I Bet That You Look Good On the Dance Floor’ to “the girls”.
While most call out for songs from the first album, only a few are thrown in including 'Dancing Shoes’ and ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ that keeping them in good spirits while ending with 'R U Mine?'
Earlier in the day, Temples drew crowds to the Heineken Tent and delivered a set showcasing their retro-rock splattered debut on the most balmy of summer evenings. An ideal backdrop for the cherubic four-piece, it is the psychedelic twangs of 'Answer is a Question' and 'Shelter song' that are the hypnotic favourites.
The highlight of Thursday came from Interpol though, who delivered a tight set with sharply dressed frontman, Paul Banks in fine voice and playing a perfectly balanced set of old and new including ‘Evil’, the brilliant 'Take You On A Cruise', and 2004's single ‘Slow Hands.’
On Friday it was Sam Smith who played the best show of the night. Aside from the diva belts on “No Money hon My Mind' and ”Lay Me Down“ it was a surprising cover of The Arctic Monkey's 'Do You Wanna Know?' - performed as a gritty R'n'B slow jam - that made for the biggest hit of the set.
There was little enthusiasm for The Black Keys headline set on Friday. Two months after the release of their moody album 'Turn Blue', Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney played their honest Americana rock with expressionless riffs and growls that only “Tighten Up“ and single ”Fever“ could muster up a blues-stomping reaction from the clock-watching crowd.
As Saturday crept in, most of the crowd arrived late to the site after sweating out hangovers on Lisbon's beaches. Healthy-sized crowds formed for SOHN and War on Drugs while Bastille played their hits “Bad Blood” and “Pompeii” on the mainstage with the most gruelling cover of Blur's “Song 2” anyone will ever hear.
Saturday belonged to The Libertines though. Fresh from their Hyde Park show, Pete Doherty and Carl Barât continued the reformation in high spirits.
As the first buzzing guitars and snares of “Vertigo” kicked in, it was clear the band hadn't lost their touch. The frenzied crowd crushed forward on “Time For Heroes” with John Hassall’s basslines and Gary Powell’s punk-rock beats providing a basis for Doherty and Barât's duelling riffs. The loose electric guitar strums and throaty vocals ended the festival in a united singalong to a battery of hits: “Up The Bracket”, “I Get Along” and “The HaHa Wall”.
Still something of a fledging in it's 7th year, Optimus Alive has everything that UK festivals could offer but more- the holidaying location, low cost and an incredible lineup which make the festival unable to ignore for an option for UK festival goers next year.
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Mr Selfridge series 3: Actress Kara Tointon says 'we're starting to see his demise'
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him tickets after Wembley Stadium rant
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Taylor Swift banned from Triple J Hottest 100: Fans react to epic #Tay4Hottest100 defeat
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally