Taking place from July 7 to 9 in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, Nos Alive festival celebrated its tenth year in 2016 with a line-up that was stronger than Ronaldo’s thighs. A much-photographed neon sign on the site, which is close to the city and beside the river Tagus, suggested ‘It was all a dream’ – but we have the pics to prove it wasn’t.
Lisbon’s NOS Alive draws in 55,000 music fans each day – and it’s easy to see why, given the glorious weather and the stellar line-up which this year included the likes of Pixies, Radiohead and Arcade Fire.
Wolf Alice played on Thursday evening on the Heineken Stage, and revealed before the show that as it was their first time playing in Portugal they weren’t sure if anyone would come and see them. They needed to have no such worries: a huge crowd spilled past the sides of the tent and sang along with every word.
Even in Portugal there’s always an audience for an English-language visual pun.
The 1975 frontman Matt Healy wore a Cannibal Corpse T-shirt onstage at Nos Alive, from the death metal band’s ‘Butchered At Birth’ era. Look out for The 1975’s cover of ‘Meat Hook Sodomy’ coming soon…
A festival with a bit of sunshine is all the excuse most people need to revert to cave-man fashion.
Two Door Cinema Club played late on Friday night after Radiohead had finished, and they drew one of the biggest crowds of the festival to the Heineken Stage.
Here are some flags. It looks sunny, doesn’t it? That’s because it was.
Tame Impala’s psychedelic set saw many of the audience members flashing their bits in delight, prompting Kevin Parker to say: ““I see what you’re doing down there, Portugal. I see you taking off your clothes… Do what you want – it’s a festival, right?”
US electronic pop performer Hana performed an early (for this festival – it was actually 6pm) set on the Heineken Stage. She later tweeted fans saying “thank you for singing along to my songs and making me feel so special”.
Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters included some Led Zeppelin classics alongside more recent material, including a well-received ‘Whole Lotta Love’.
Radiohead’s headline set saw them incorporating the past and present of their career, visiting songs from each of their albums. To the delight of the crowd, they ended on ‘Creep’ and ‘Karma Police’.
José González played a set that included a number of tracks from last year’s ‘Vestiges & Claws’ album plus covers of Kylie Minogue’s ‘Hand On Your Heart’, Arthur Russell’s ‘This Is How We Walk On The Moon’, Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’ and The Knife’s ‘Heartbeats’.
The Pixies treated the audience to three tracks from new album ‘Head Carrier’. Alongside the previously heard ‘Um Chagga Lagga’ were two songs which were aired for the first time: ‘Head Carrier’ and ‘Classic Masher’. Later, ‘Where Is My Mind’ provided a huge singalong moment.
Father John Misty’s charged show on the Heineken Stage saw him being mauled by the front rows, proving that Portugal has drunk as deeply on his cult Kool Aid as we have. The former Josh Tillman’s set ended with a run through ‘The Ideal Husband’.
Foals performed in face-melting temperatures, but still attacked their set like terriers. Before a sprawling ‘A Knife In The Ocean’, frontman Yannis Philippakis told the crowd, “If you’ve got it, I suggest you smoke it now.” Sage advice, as always.
A tall reveller enjoying a moment under the roof of the Heineken Stage, one of the three main arenas at the festival.
Biffy Clyro – or “Biffy Fuckin’ Clyro” as they repeatedly have it – played a lower-down-the-bill set than they’re used to, but rocked like bastards anyway. Their set included a handful of tracks from new album ‘Ellipsis’, or ‘Ell-fuckin’-Ipsis’ as they probably say.
Years & Years rocked up looking like they’d rushed in straight from the gym and – on their first ever visit to Portugal – won themselves a heap of new fans. Frontman Olly Alexander was a bit taken with it all. “This is the most beautiful place I think we’ve ever played,” he said.
Us Brits may be Brexiting this Euro wonderland, but these two still had a message of peace for NME’s cameras. Unless they were gesturing to someone behind them.
This bit of the festival was a load of balls. In a pit! A ball pit! What could possibly be more fun than that?
Punk poet and ‘bard of Salford’ John Cooper Clarke appeared on the Jardim Caixa Stage, where he had to do the second half of the poem on the preceding page from memory.
This chap was one of the people operating the drones that fly around filming the festival from above. It’s the future Muse warned us about, and it’s brill.
And the prize for the most Instagrammed thing on site went to… this Notorious B.I.G.-referencing piece of neon loveliness. LIKE! In second place, and popular for the many Brits in attendance, was the sausage cart named Willy. Imagine that.
M83 played after Arcade Fire on the final night of the festival. Tough gig, but with a new album – ‘Junk’ – that comes packed full of bangers, it’s a task they were able to take on.