Two rock titans, spanning two generations, will this summer take to Zagreb’s Lake Jarun to disrupt the quietude. The Cure (doing a two-and-a-half-hour set, no less) and Foals are headlining INmusic festival, now in its 14th glorious year, and it’s set to the one of the most massive events of the festival season. INmusic is relatively intimate, pitched across the sort of site that allows you to easily dart between stages, so it’s a pretty incredible coup to book two of the biggest bands in the world.
Yet INmusic has always punched well above its weight, as previous line-ups have proved (and this year’s also includes – deep breath – Johnny Marr, The Hives, Fontaines D.C, Kurt Vile and the Violators , Suede and Garbage). Here, then, are the five greatest performances from yesteryear, from Nick Cave to Arcade Fire.
Placebo offered a hit of nostalgia
Here’s proof that INmusic has been drawing rock titans for years: Brian Molko and co. headlined back in 2015 and rattled through a career-spanning set that bounced from ‘Every You Every Me’ to their beloved cover of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’. If Placebo provided the soundtrack to your teenage angst – as was the case for this writer – it was an injection of nostalgia straight into the heart. “Thank you very much, children of Croatia,” Molko said towards the end of the set, and in that moment we all became temporary residents.
St Vincent put on some fringe theatre
Musicians in weird felt masks! A strange bit of acting where a dude a felt mask tried to seduce St Vincent! A reference to Zagreb’s Museum of Broken Relationships. This show, from, last year, was one of INmusic’s strangest, no doubt – but it was also one of the very best.
Arcade Fire played the set of the year
It’s a bold claim, but there was plenty of justification when the Canadian indie heroes took the headline stage in 2017. It was a reminder that, despite the patchiness of their most recent album ‘Everything Now’, they remain one of the greatest live acts in the world. They opened with their ABBA-esque single of the same name and concluded with ‘Wake Up’, taken from their 2004 debut ‘Funeral’. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Régine Chassagne danced with pom-poms, guitarist Will Butler waved his arms around like a conductor and frontman Win Butler even found time to have a go at Donald Trump. We’ve seen everything now.
Reykjavíkurdætur tore the place apart
The Icelandic feminist rap collective took the Europavox Hidden stage at 1am in 2018 and proved that this is a festival offering way more than killer sets from established acts. The nine-strong group battered through a set that, at the time, NME described as sounding like “the Spice Girls covering late ’80s house legend Inner city after hanging out with new-gen punk heroes Dream Wife”.
It was a bouncy, chaotic, thrilling set from an incredible group whose ethos matches that of INmusic Festival, which is all about new music discovery, reckless abandon and pure escapism. Yes, this year you’ll head to Lake Jarun to catch for Foals and The Cure, but who might you discover in the process?
Nick Cave formed a congregation. Hallelujah!
Well, we might have saved the best ‘til last here, to be honest. Last year Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds delivered a jaw-dropping set, one that coursed with catharsis and emotion, as Cave spent much of the show – which consisted of punk classics and sparse, newer tracks – wading out into the crowd on a specially designed rock star podium, reaching out to hold hands with the audience, a dozen of whom he later invited onstage. It was an unforgettable night that surged with a palpable sense of community – precisely what INmusic festival is about.
– INmusic Festival tickets, priced at just €74 for all three days, are available now