These two are crammed into simply because I didn't catch full sets from either. And in case anyone's worrying for my musical taste, I only watched Muse from afar as the rain had stopped and I then ran to Calvin with a handful of my friends when it started to pour again as it was closer than my tent. And the other option was the Black Eyes Peas... It was not a great selection!
When & Where: Main Stage on Saturday July 10th @ 23:00.
The Best Live Band In The World took to the Main Stage on Saturday night to a much smaller crowd than I had expected. I stood at the back, about half way up the food stalls behind the sound stage and screen and there was very few in front of me. The crowd was pretty dense in the pit and between the sound stage and the barrier to be fair, but I had assumed Muse would attract the same sort of crowd as Jay-Z and Florence & the Machine but this didn't seem to be the case. That said, those who were there seemed to be largely excited. The amount of times I heard "this is why I came to Oxegen this year!" was a bit scary really. Did these people not know there were actually some good bands playing too?
Anyway, let's try get through the rest of this without my hatred for self-indulgent Queen wannabes disrupting it....
Dull. That's how I would describe the set largely. The band opened with the rip-roaring Plug In Baby but the set just went downhill from there. Their headline slot at Glastonbury was littered with intros and riffs from other songs (Black Sabbath's Ironman, the classic House of the Rising Sun and Nirvana to name but three), something that seemed rather interesting at the time. However, when the band continued to include the exact same tracks in the exact same points in the set it became clear that this was not an act of spontaneity, but yet another over choreographed and practiced tool. The entire set just seemed so forced.
Now I can guarantee I will be butchered for the above comments, but I don't want to lie. Muse fans would have loved every second of it, but for someone who has found the band rather irritating since the release of Absolution (aside from the odd song really), this was not going to win me back. There was very little communication with the crowd, and when Matt did utter any words it was barely audible. The lack of atmosphere was really evident too - two of my friends left the pit claiming that they'd have been better off sitting at home playing the CD. Best Live Band In The World? If that is the case then there must not be much else out there...
When & Where: Heineken Green Spheres on Saturday July 10th @ 23:00.
Scottish "dj" (I say "dj" because he doesn't actually venture toward the decks much himself, but instead stands at the front of the stage singing) Calvin Harris was headlining the Green Spheres tent at the same time. He seemed to be benefiting from the heavy rain outside as there was a pretty regular stream of people leaving Muse and the Black Eyed Peas to take shelter in this tent. Now I'm not much of a fan of Mr. Harris but the least I can say about him is that he got the crowd going as well as anyone I saw at the festival.
He churned out hit after hit, highlights including Acceptable in the 80s, Girls and I'm Not There. I couldn't help but notice, however, the inability of his backing singer to actually hit a note. The word "flashback" seemed to be coming out as "flesh-beck" and was a little out of time with the man himself. He did, however, say via twitter that Oxegen was "the gig of his life"...
Enjoyable. Forgettable. It was a better option than standing in the rain really. He got the crowd jumping and singing, energetic and fun really. How he manages to find himself in a headlining slot is beyond me, however.
- Cork, Ireland
- An Irish based alternative music blog. Music news, gigs, live reviews, album reviews... You'll find them here. If you want anything featured or removed, please shout. I hope you'll discover something new to love on this little experiment of mine. Currently editing the Music Section of the UCC Express and contributing to Motley magazine on campus, as well as writing for PopCultureMonster and 4FortyFour. Always looking for new projects so please get in touch if interested. Thanks for reading.