Day Two (2nd of November)
By far the weakest day of the Festival, best examples being the soul pastiche singer Jessie Ware, the pseudo Swedish dance sensation Robyn or the quite boring Wild Nothing or Chromatics. The headliners were Animal Collective and I must say it confirmed even more on stage what I thought about this band : I want to like them, I may find the way they do music quite interesting but I do not get it at the end of the day and it leaves me emotionless. Their high-pitched non-voices were particularly annoying live although they had a great stage set (inside a giant mouth).
Main discovery of the day for me was the hip-hop band Ratking. Animated live by two very young MC’s from Brooklyn, their set was quite refreshing, mixing up weird sound à la Wu Tang Clan with a great energy and complementary attitude of the two leading voices.
The best band tonight without any doubt was The Walkmen. I had seen them this summer in Chicago but must admit that they get better and better with every set they do. This band is now for me in a R.E.M. position just before they got worldwide famous : authenticity, great songs, a real team and family spirit, many albums behind them, a growing audience,….everything actually to go from one of the best bands of the indie rock world to be one of the major bands of our times.
Day Three (3rd of November)
After having enjoyed 20 bands out of 20 in the first two days, I dramatically decreased my ratio on the third day to 8/13, being probably too old now to go to bed at 7 am. Anyway, excellent third day, starting with a very good French band I had never of called Isaac Delusion which makes beautiful music, quite close in spirit and sound of that of James Blake.
Seeing Cloud Nothings at the Pitchfork Festival was a real pleasure as this was a first-time for me and as their 2nd LP “Attack on Memory” published this year is one of the highlights of the year. They were even better on stage creating a sort of punchy and melodic grunge music but with a real knowledge of rock history as seen in a couple of tracks that went from typical American rock (influence Dinosaur Jr.) to the best moments of German music of the 70’s (influence Can). And so happy to see guys playing powerful guitars in the middle of this electro-influenced festival!
The rest of the evening was a bit weird, mixing the great energetic but frankly a bit inaudible on stage (Liars, Death Grips) with the pop oriented sounds of Twin Shadow or Breton for instance.
But the real kings of this last day were the headliners Grizzly Bear. This band is slowly but surely building up a beautiful repertoire of songs influenced equally by challenging and intellectual rock and by harmonies as those done by The Beach Boys. This is the band that is to my mind very similar to Animal Collective (smart guys, huge music knowledge, will to change things in music but in all art forms as well) but they have one major difference : they have songs. Their music world is not one in which you will enter easily but when you found the keys, you will stay in a very welcoming and warm house. I have always liked as well the bands with more than one singer and their set was really showing how much they master the art of multiple-voice singing.
A good way then to finish three excellent (but physically exhausting) days, hoping that a third festival will take place next year. Stay tuned for a soon-to-come post about my second Paris Autumn Festival (les Inrocks, with Pulp!).