Longitude Day 1 Photos and Review
Longitude 2013 kicked off on Friday, the 19th of July, bang in the middle of Ireland’s best summer since you were in long shorts. However, short shorts were the short of choice for shortitude, as I have been referring to it ever since I found out how clever I am. The festival’s first day was an overwhelming success, thusly dictated by fresh legs, supreme organisation, and the glorious scorch. A department of the 300-acre parkland in the DLR (Co. Dublin’s nega-CPT), saw an impressively stocked lineup entertain the ticket-holders, all overlooked by the Georgian house and gardens of the Marlay grounds.
Upon gaining entrance to the main arena and passing over the river on the far side, we found Vondelpark in the Heineken tent. Their set was soothing in both tone and setting; the tent offered a shade and saccharine atmosphere, attended by Lewis Rainsbury’s dulcet and low voice. Possibly the untraditional placement of monitors and mics led to some noise issues, but the performance burned it off. At times, if indeed the extra noise was there, it even contributed to the softly shoegazer nature of the music and prompted many to remove their footwear in fits of relaxation. Their music has a certain nostalgia to it – it has the finish of something unselfconscious and dignified, at least in the way that its parts are so harmonious. There is nothing asynchronous or distracting. In a word: smooth.
The young man from Nottingham who loves to fuse things, chopping and creating styles, actually makes them his own with relative ease – the result is a surprisingly engaging performance that was probably one of the most well-received of the day. Flaccid pop tunes these are not – he has the idea of proper expression in songwriting and creative ability enough to count on more developed albums to come. The promise is bolstered by his strong voice and diction, crooning now and forceful then. He worked his way through the album, as well as offering up a cover of Hey Hey My My to the rock gods.
It was a big one. Lesser-spotted Foals put on a staggering show, full of theatrics and stagecraft to please the adoring fans, and the evening was at its most agreeable. There was a fairly even share of material from each album, only slightly less from the first album, and Spanish Sahara in the second half of the set may have been the strongest performance. The flair with which this band create and perform music has become in recent years fully realised, though persona heavily influences the latest release, The crowd took it all in, however, amid a perfectly knitted fabric of timing and rhythm. This characteristic of mathrock in general, and the funkiness of Foals in particular make them the favourites that they are, particularly when complemented by the buzzing summer atmosphere of Longitude.
The Paris-based band closed the first day of the festival with a spectacular set. Their Longitude performance came just a few weeks after headlining the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury. The set resembled the highly acclaimed Glasto performance in terms of energy, stage decor and even setlist. Opening with “Entertainment”, the lead single off their 2013 album “Bankrupt!”, the band got the crowd going wild from the first chords. The bright red LED background, the smoke and the lights all contributed to the overall fantastic atmosphere. “Trying To Be Cool” and “S.O.S. In Bel Air” were two of the most appreciated songs of the set. The night ended with another version of “Entertainment” and a lot more engagement from the audience. There was no encore to the disappointment of the few thousand people who waited, hoped and shouted “one more tune”.
Even though not all the Friday day tickets were sold, the day had an amazing lineup and performances.
Review by Luke Etherton
Photos by Tudor Marian