MOKB@Roskilde : Day 4 : Dude, Where’s My Bike?

Hoping to capitalize on Day 3’s lessons, we showed up early on Day 4 with better shoes, a more positive attitude and a plan. Let’s face it, there was just too much music to possibly ingest, so not wanting to stuff ourselves on bread only to neglect the entree, we poured over the day’s schedule like generals preparing for a pre-dawn attack, trying to figure out how to win this war of musical attrition. After all, Roskilde 2013 was serving up krautronics for dinner.

Sadly, we failed miserably, per usual.

First stop was one of the smaller stages for American man of letters, Henry Rollins. Still disappointed that Hank’s musical years are behind him, we never fail to be impressed by the guy’s stamina with mic in his hand. The crowd was SRO, and with temperatures approaching a level at which one could comfortably bake blueberry muffins, this was going to be a challenge. Happily we survived the entire set, which typical to form, found him railing against racism and homophobia, while applauding world travel and (perhaps) eating rat livers.

Following Rollins’ well-received tirade, we sauntered over to the main stage to be reminded why we so dislike James Blake and his electronic snooze fests. Retreating, we made time over to see Southern stoner rawkers, The Sword. This four piece has been garnering more than a few accolades lately for their newest release, Apocryphon, but on this day it was all about big loud live guitars, much to the glee of the assembled sunburned masses. If you like your riffs big and your drums pummeling, make it a point to catch these guys next time they crash your town.

Caught 15 minutes of Azealia Banks‘ set. Like the EP, but she just doesn’t bring it live. I’ll never get those 15 minutes back.

Confident that James Blake had been removed from the stage, we made our way back and got good and situated for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Now, I have a strange relationship with this band. The first time I saw the cover of B.M.R.C., I was convinced that, here was a band I would certainly like. Unfortunately, the grooves within left me nonplussed. The pattern repeated itself with each successive BRMC release, and eventually I just wrote them off, so you can imagine my surprise that the trio really grabbed my by the short and curlies live. I’d love to be able to exactly chronicle their performance, but given the fact that I don’t know the names of any of their songs (remember? nonplussed), I’ll have to suffice by saying that they played very well and created a most pleasant din. Probably have to dig those records out again.

Having found a comfortable spot leaning against a barrier, we were more than happy to stick around for Queens of the Stone Age. …Like Clockwork has taken up residence in my work CD player, so I was eager to see what Josh Homme and friends (sadly, they didn’t pack Dave Grohl or Mark Lanegan) brought to the party. They came screeching out of the gate with the aptly-titled Feel Good Hit Of The Summer and didn’t let off the gas until the main stage crowd said uncle. The band literally melted the tastiest morsels from their impressive catalog, coming up for air only briefly for Homme to take up residence at the electric piano for a haunting reading of The Vampyre Of Time and Money before diving into the second half of their all-too-short set.

I had every intention of getting over to see one of my faves, Calexico, but I couldn’t tear myself away from QoTSA. Sorry Joey. Sorry John.

Once the festival staff finished sweeping up the cremains of the post-QoTSA main stage, there was nothing left to do but hang out and wait for Deutsch electronica pioneers, and one of my all-time heavyweights, Kraftwerk. I was lucky enough to see the hyper-sentient quartet five years ago in a suburban Twin Cities stripmall, which always struck me as more than a little odd, so I was happy as a clam to be checking them out at Roskilde. The fact that this was the worldwide debut of their 3-D stage show? Well, that was just the icing on the robotic cake.

If you’re not familiar with Kraftwerk, well, let’s just say that you either really love’em or you really hate’em, and despite the fact that I endlessly sing their praises, my ladyfriend continues to write them off as “four old guys standing behind keyboards.” Of course, there is some truth to that, but the setlist was phenomenal on this Scandinavian night. The Robot, Pocket Calculator, The Model, Autobahn; the “hits” just kept coming until audience members were either orgasmic or asleep. And as the last blips and bleeps of of 1983 dissolved into the Danish sky, I realized that Roskilde 2013, for me at least, was over.

Let me end by throwing some Roskilde numbers in your direction.

1 – Folks I saw tossed out of the festival
2 – Naked guys in the swimming lake
2.5 – Hours waiting in line to get in (sorry, I’m still crabby about it)
3 – Joints (that’s it?!)
4 – Members of Metallica
5 – Beers you can carry in one of these things
6 – People in furry animal suits
7 – US Dollars for a cup of ice cold Toborg
8 – Days of the festival
9 – Times I had to visit a P-Tree on Day 4
10 – Time Kraftwerk took the stage
195 – Shows
Too many to count – Smilers

Much love to the Roskilde 2013 staff and volunteers, and of course, our gracious Danish hosts.

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    July 16, 2013 [ 9:07 am ]

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