Open’er 2015 in Gdynia, Poland has a lot to live up to. Last year’s headliners The Black Keys described as having “10 times the energy” of Glastonbury – a sentiment reiterated by Alana Haim, who told the audience during her set that “we’ve been on tour for two years and this is the craziest crowd I’ve ever seen.” High praise indeed. But this year’s Open’er – which takes place takes place July 1-4 – will bring more to the table than just raw energy: from the warm funk soothe of D’Angelo to the introspective screwball rock of returning Washington heroes Modest Mouse, there’s a brilliantly eclectic array of names making the trek to Eastern Europe for 2015’s event. Here’s 8 acts we’re hyped to see there…
The regally-dressed Albion four-piece will re-emerge from their Thailand exodus for a series of arena and festival shows around Europe this summer, with Poland being one of their first stops. Last summer’s massive Hyde Park performance underlined The Libs as a live force still to be reckoned with, and anticipate plenty of old favourites to get an airing at Open’er alongside a few new jams from their Thai writing sessions. Is the mid-2000s magic that elevated Doherty, Barât and co to the top of the indie mountain still very much within them? Not long now until we find out.
The fashionable young Harlemite takes his latest, supposedly Beatles-inspired album ‘At.Long.Last.A$AP’ on the road. A dense, dark piece, how the rapper channels album tracks like ‘L$D’ and ‘West Side Highway’ into his live show is bound to be enthralling, though the set will likely be punctuated by the more raucous ‘Fuckin’ Problems’ and ‘Wild For The Night’ too. Expect him to be flanked by members of his A$AP collective to help inject some additional vigor.
The December release of instant classic ‘Black Messiah’ may have ended fans 14 year wait for new D’Angelo studio album, but the spiritual crooner has been killing it live for the last few years with a show that channels the spirit two of his heroes, Prince and James Brown. Performing with his backing band The Vanguard, D’s newer songs – like the Sly Stone-nodding ‘Ain’t That Easy’, pretty acoustic ballad ‘Really Love’ and JB pastiche ‘Sugah Daddy’ – will form the bulk of the set, with classic joints like ‘Brown Sugar’ and ‘Chicken Grease’ also likely to feature. And for all the lovers in the audience, the singer usually closes his shows with his sweaty, carnal classic ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)’.
A true 21st century hip-hop superstar, Drake will be hoping his on-stage escapades make the right kind of impression this summer after he was criticised for his lackluster headline set at Coachella in April, which featured that awkward headline-jacking kiss with Madonna. Let’s chalk that one off shall we because Drake usually kills it live, expertly working the crowd with his stadium-ready anthems like ‘Started From The Bottom’, ‘Over’ and ‘Worst Behaviour’. Drizzy has also introduced his own version of Jay Z’s ’99 Problems’ into his sets recently which, if deployed, should rock Gdynia to its very foundations.
Following a four-year hiatus, trip-hop-trance greats Faithless are marking their 20th anniversary with a series of live shows that ought to provide ’90s nostalgia at its very, very finest. Expect renditions of the group’s best loved head-bobbin’, neck-snappin’ hits like ‘God Is A DJ’, ‘We Come 1’ and ‘Muhammad Ali’, and when the beat drops on their damn-near apocalyptic club classic ‘Insomnia’, the exhilaration from the crowd might well ensure there’s not a single person in Poland getting 40 winks.
Father John Misty
Under his Father John Misty guise, Josh Tillman put out one of the best singer-songwriter albums in years last February with the confessional ‘I Love You, Honeybear’, a sometime tender, sometimes hilarious, often self-loathing set of luxuriantly dressed folk songs. As a live artist, the former Fleet Foxes drummer is known for his charismatic stage presence, though oddly enough, he rarely dips into his pre-FJM back catalogue, which saw him release eight albums and a handful EPs as J Tillman. They’re all well worth checking out.
Having cancelled their European tour two years ago, Open’er will see scratchy guitar-enthusiasts Modest Mouse take to a stage on the continent for the first time since 2010, giving festival goers their first opportunity to hear live renditions of tracks taken from the group’s new album ‘Strangers to Ourselves’ – their first LP since 2007’s Johnny Marr-assisted ‘We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank’. Expect the Washington band’s newer tunes like ‘Lampshades On Fire’ and ‘The Ground Walks, With Time In A Box’ to feature alongside older classics ‘Float On’ and ‘Dashboard’.
St Vincent was responsible for one of the last year’s most surprising live performances when she joined Nirvana’s Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic onstage for a version of the band’s quiet-loud classic ‘Lithium’. The collaboration underlined her burgeoning reputation as one of indie rock’s pioneering voices, but always a beguiling live presence, Annie Clarke requires no guest spots or gimmicks to hold your attention. Expect plenty of tracks from her 2014 self-titled LP – NME’s album of the year – to be on show at Open’er, and maybe even new song ‘Teenage Talk’.