let us tell you a short concert story

As you may know (or not) I spend every single summer from past four years on the Island of Freedom, which most people recognize as Sziget Festival in Budapest. Nothing has changes since last year and this holiday season I also spend in capitol of Hungary. And this means that I have some stories and opinions to share with our dear readers. Hopefully you will enjoy my thoughts about this year edition of the Hungarian biggest festival. So shall we begin….

… right at the beginning? Oh, that’s make sense! 😉 The day minus one, which of course is first day of the festival for anyone who has bought a ‘seven day pass’. For this day I have planned to see only two artists at the Main Stage. The first one was a pop-punk legend from Canada, band called Billy Talent and the second one was American singer slightly different than other pop stars, P!nk. The show presented by Canadian group was so intense and energetic, that for sure it was my favorite one for that day. We had opportunity to hear many old songs during the time of their set, but for sure the main point of the setlist was promotion of formation’s latest record “Afraid of Heights”, which happen to be a really good album anyway. Pink from the other side was surprisingly good at her job, she is first female pop vocalist, which I saw and actually sing her own songs. At the same time her singing was good, not scary or anything like it. She is definitely a pro and that’s her biggest plus. If she will be near by don’t forget to go at that concert, because it’s worth of checking out.

Funny story, The second day happen to contains more groups worth of seeing and listening to. Everything has started with Tom Odell at Main Stage, where I go to see if he still able of bored me to death – The good information is… yes he still can do it, but after all I enjoy that show a bit. Anyway his ‘friends’ from Great Britain showed themselves from the better angle, Biffy Clyro definitely stole my heart that day. Formation put into their show so much love, passion and of course their biggest hits as “Who’s Got a Match?”, “Many of Horror” or “Opposite”. That’s was enough to stole my entire body, but they also didn’t forget about newer songs from the latest album, “Ellipsis”. So the crowd had an opportunity to hear “Animal Style” and “Wolves of Winter” as well and I have got another kick of love to the band. After a short break I go to see The Vaccines in the A38 tent. It was my first time there since I arrive in Budapest and imagine my shock when I discovered, that they finally do something with horrible sounding system over there – or it was imagination and desire to make it true. After all this change made shows in the tent a bit more enjoyable. Going back to the subject, British band stole my heart and mind (I know Biffy stoled it first, but my body parts came back on right place after their show) simply by loving this what they do, playing live music in front of mostly Hungarian fans. It was nice to sing along to “Handsome” or “Post Break-Up Sex” … At the end of that day I went to see W&W in Telekom Arena – it was a nice party and that’s all I would like to say.

The 11th of August for me started with dose of mystery, but the feeling disparaged right after Rudimental start their concert … The group actually shows everything what I shoud expect after seeing them for the first time at Sziget 2015. Their music is definetly not my pice of cake. As the rest of the line up that day, besides Kasabian. And that’s why I’ll skip the part of me traveling across the city and Island and go up straight to the end of the day, which of course happen to be a performance of the British group. Kasabian just like Rudimental before, didn’t surprise me with their style of playing live music at all – They we’re perfect as they used to be at two shows, which I saw earlier in my life. There was no surprise, that group had to change a bit of their setlist, because since my last concert the band has released a new CD – „For Crying Out Loud” (2017) and they add a few songs from it to the set. So we heard group’s biggest hits as “Shoot the Runner” , „Fire”, „Vlad The Impaler”, „Days Are Forgotten”, „Eez-Eh” as well as “You’re in Love with a Psycho” or “Bless This Acid House”.

The middle of the festival was surprisingly the bast part of it (as usual on every event like it), during the fourth day I had opportunity to check out performances by Galantis, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Courteeners, Bad Religion, Throttle and Oliver Heldens. Even by comparing the number of artists, which I just mention here to the previous days you get the idea how line-up was created this year … If that was worth crazy amount of money, which people actually pay? Depends, but we will leave my opinion about it for the other articles. In the mean time let’s keep our minds focus on the live music acts, starting with Galantis, Throttle and Oliver Heldens – The big electronic trio of that day. Actually the best electronic music, which I saw live so far. Personally I didn’t listen to much of electronic music, so I was surprised by getting to wanted to upgrade my knowledge about Oliver’s and Galantis creations. Of course I had some knowledge about their music earlier and it wasn’t bad, but not that ‘catchy’ as their live performances. From the other hand we had a third part of that ‘trio’ – This time I had to admit, that I never heard of Throttle before the show. So at the end he was my biggest discovery of that night. Not complicated electronic music, which is catchy as hell – that’s my kind of electronic to listen to. So If you’re looking for something new and good check the guy out.

Besides the music created by a table and a lot of weird buttons, I was also able to heard a sound of guitars that day – which of course was way more exciting for me. Everything started with The Courteeners show in A38, where I get relaxed next to typical British rock. By typical I mean, nothing specialy hard, but catchy melodies and easy in listening to. Which is more weird, the music created by the band sound way different that their records. Simple conclusion is – you should go and check them out live at first instead of listening to their CD’s before the show, it should change the entire experience. Right after my chill out session I take a moment to see one of American punk legends, Bad Religion. The band after 30 years on the stage still know how take the crowd to have a real fun during their show. Later on the same stage I had a chance to see Crystal Fighters once again. This time comparing to the 2014’s show was better, but group’s music is still not my cup of tea. For the end I saved a performance of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Main Stage, of course). The duo known from mostly two hits – „Thrift Shop” and „Can’t Hold Us”, accumulate a lot of fans in front of the stage, but they didn’t serve anything special to them. Yes of course we heard a few newer songs including “Downtown”, but still the main show has been stoled by these two hits I mentioned earlier. And people wasn’t mad about it, actually I get the feeling, that most of them don’t even know anything else besides these two. Sad, but true – this is how looks an artist, which will always connected only to one or two hits during their career. Let me know if you don’t agree with me, but I think that this is beginning of the end for that duo.

Another day and another surprise for my ears, sadly the only one assigned for that 24 hours period… The source of my pleasure was show presented by Hurts, I never thought, that they will be that good during live show. I was so wrong about it, they just got me down on my knees. The crowd as well as me was taken to the world of perfect synthpop, great vocal possibilities and hypnotizing dance moves. I would love to recommend a listening to “Wonderful Life” in live version, because this should show you band’s live performances from the best angle. In the mean time other British group, White Lies happen to be my biggest disappointment of that day. When I listen to their studio works, they are good, not crazy perfect, but definitely not horrible bad. From the other hand band during their live performances isn’t even good, just boring. Last, but not least – This time straight from America, electronic duo The Chainsmokres. They were so overrated during past few months, that I was curious about their music live. And at the end I end up listening to most of that show in my tent almost falling a sleep – If you have to choose who you gonna see at some electronic festival, choose Galantis, Oliver Heldens, Martin Garrix even David Guetta – they still more worth of the hype.

Finally we’re getting to the final, my last day at the site – pretty exciting day actually. There was a few artists, that I want to see and I failed. Because at this point I was so tired, that I didn’t make it to the Don Diablo’s show in the middle of the night – so sadly I have to wait a bit more to hear „Save A Little Love” in live version. Anyway I was still awake to hear and sing along to „Budapest”, with the creator of that hit himself – George Ezra. Who happens to fill the first spot of main stage line-up that day. But I wouldn’t say that I want it to happen again, his performance wasn’t special from any reason. Good songs, good singing, nice people in the crowd – worth of seeing once, twice not so sure. From the other hand, Pineapples, stop Glass Animals, which I don’t even planed to see surprise me with positive music set. Creative, filled with passion music came into my heart and mind. The set was a bit too long, have to admit that, but it was enjoyable. Of course I AM HUGE fan of pineapples for no reason, so it had to happen. Next artist on the stage and another piece of disappointment, Two Door Cinema Club. Just like White Lies a day earlier, the band is good with their studio job, but absolutely not great with playing live music. Sadly I was expected a bit more from them.

The final act happen to be a ‘fight’ with Diplo and Major Lazor fans. Concert was actually not bad, pretty enjoyable and yes I have fun. That’s why I fall a sleep way to earlier than I expected ( : The only one bad thing about that show was the crowd. People were pushing each other, there was flying beer all over the place and cigarettes almost on your back. Everything is for everyone I get it, but remember to put safety, not only yours, but other as well on the first place. And that was my last conclusion from the festival, but I still have one other in my mind. Overall you just have to feel Sziget atmosphere by yourself, to understand why even the worst concert makes you feel good.