It’s now been a few days since some 20,000 revellers departed Beuningen for the third edition of Down the Rabbit Hole. We’ve regrouped, scoured the line-up and picked out the twenty best performances from throughout the weekend.

20. DMAs
What we said: “Australia-via-Manchester outfit DMA’s hit the Fuzzy Lop stage later on, performing tracks from this year’s full-length debut Hills End. As per usual, Tommy O’Dell and co. were on top form as their Madchester vibes echoed through Beuningen’s smallest stage. Set highlight Feels Like 37 made for one of the best moments of the whole weekend, with the emotion expressed by O’Dell nearly palpable. Give them some time and they’ll be able to perform in front of packed crowds twice this size in Europe as well as back home in Australia.”

DMAs

DMA’s. (c) Jack Parker

19.
What we said: “Danish vocalist followed immediately on the Teddy Widder stage, still riding the huge wave of success which last year’s Major Lazer collaboration Lean On created for her. The track predictable closed out her energetic set, one which proved that she also has definite potential to headline Down the Rabbit Hole in the future. A stripped back version of Don’t Wanna Dance opened the set, with MØ prowling around the stage before heading into the photo pit duringKamikaze. If she plays her cards right then MØ (real name Karen Anderson) could definitely become a megastar in the years to come. All she needs is a solid sophomore album with plenty of hit potential and backing to really show the world what she’s made of.”

MØ. (c) Jack Parker

MØ. (c) Jack Parker

18. Sonido Gallo Negro
What we said: “Mexican collective Sonido Gallo Negro pulverized the Fuzzy Lop at the same time, bringing their death-obsessed skeletal imagery to Beuningen’s smallest stage for the weekend’s biggest party. Need we say more? No.”

Sonido Gallo Negro. (c) Jack Parker

Sonido Gallo Negro. (c) Jack Parker

17. Ty Segall & the Muggers
What we said: “Closing out the main part of the day on the Fuzzy Lop stage was garage rock weirdo Ty Segall, who performed with his band The Muggers for an hour’s worth of mental, fuzz-laden garage. Performing in a hoodie for the most part, Segall seemed to choose obscurity over everything else as he tried to come across as the serious madman that he is. It worked, with the crowd going absolutely mental from the word go. Wherever he goes, Segall knows how to destroy a crowd’s ability to move by employing his darkest, heaviest grooves, rhythms and screeched vocals. Just like a chameleon who changes colours on a regular basis, Ty Segall is a musician who always teaches people to expect the unexpected.”

Ty Segall. (c) Jack Parker

Ty Segall. (c) Jack Parker

16. Lianne La Havas
What we said: “Back on the Hotot stage, soul starlet Lianne La Havas performed a twinkling set in front of a crowd which slowly filled up as she started playing. New album Blood is a pristine exercise in soulful grooves and lovelorn lyrics.”

Lianne La Havas. (c) Jack Parker

Lianne La Havas. (c) Jack Parker

15. Pat Thomas & the Kwashibu Area Band
What we said: “Ghanaian afro-funk forefather Pat Thomas and his Kwashibu Area Band opened the Hotot stage not to soon afterwards, bringing some much-needed party vibes to Beuningen for a solid hour of groove-laden afro-funk and rock ‘n roll. Performing in front of a colourful visuals screen, Thomas and his band expressed nothing but fun and extreme enjoyment as they energetically bounded about the stage in front of a half-full tent. The lack of crowd didn’t matter to the band whatsoever, though; they enjoyed themselves to the fullest and made sure that Down the Rabbit Hole received the warm African welcome it had been waiting for.”

Pat Thomas & the Kwashibu Area Band. (c) Jack Parker

Pat Thomas & the Kwashibu Area Band. (c) Jack Parker

14. Daughter
What we said: Daughter followed the band on the same stage, performing tracks from the subdued and beautiful Not to Disappear, which came out earlier this year. Set opener How was a beautifully tragic mixture of subtle verses and majestic choruses, with standout track Smother soaring serenely through the Teddy Widder. Daughter only have two records to their name, but they’re currently pressing all the right buttons and heading straight to the top.”

Daughter. (c) Jack Parker

Daughter. (c) Jack Parker

13. Suede
What we said: “The Brett Anderson-fronted Suede had the honour of sub-headlining the Hotot stage, however they fell victim to something which almost every band experienced that day: a low turnout. Throughout Saturday night and Sunday morning, some 4,000 people left Beuningen for their homes, meaning that the festival site seemed far quieter and less bustling than on the two preceding days. Not that this stopped Suede from giving everything they had, though. Set opener Europe Is Our Playground may or may not have been a subtle hint towards Friday’s controversial Brexit outcome, with Anderson flamboyantly bounding around the stage as he interacted with the crowd in a way which not many other frontmen do. Popular cut Animal Nitrate appeared early on in the set, one which ended on rousing rendition of the menacingly good New Generation. Suede themselves may not be part of that generation, but their 90s legacy still lives on and will continue to do so for years to come.”

Suede. (c) Jack Parker

Suede. (c) Jack Parker

12. De Staat
What we said: “Following Charles Bradley on the Hotot stage was Dutch hype band De Staat, whose viral Witch Doctor video has landed them recognition from the likes of Tommy Lee, as well as recent touring partners Muse. The Torre Florim-fronted outfit took to a stage cloaked in smoke as they kicked off the set with new album track Blues is Dead. As per usual, De Staat filled out the tent with their now-unique brand of quirky alt rock. It’s nothing special when the band does it 100x per year in the same country, however it still carries a sense of Dutch pride with itself whenever the band venture abroad and show the world what they’re missing out on. The likes of All is Dull and Peptalkstood out, with predictable closer Witch Doctor seeing Florim (predictably) descend into the crowd for a mass-orchestrated circle pit.”

De Staat. (c) Jack Parker

De Staat. (c) Jack Parker

11. Dubioza Kolektiv
What we said: “Over on the Teddy Widder stage, Bosnian outfit Dubioza Kolektiv ensured that the warmest time of day was also met with the hottest party of the weekend. Unlike Catalan counterparts La Pegatina, Dubioza Kolektiv like to ensure that they make a visceral statement whilst hosting a massive party. Dressed in matching yellow football shirts, the Bosnian maniacs ran around stage energetically as traditional Balkan segments were interspersed with hints of dubstep and electronica. It’s an interesting combination, but it certainly works well on paper when you throw confetti and such into the mix. Dubioza Kolektiv are the politically-charged party band which planet Earth never knew it needed. And in dire times like these, political messages could use a bit of fun to send a point across.”

Dubioza Kolektiv. (c) Jack Parker

Dubioza Kolektiv. (c) Jack Parker

10. Savages
What we said: “On the Teddy Widder stage, post-punk quartet Savages meant business from the word go as their furious undertones and rhythms intertwined with so much panache and vigour that the stage supporting Jehnny Beth and co. almost collapsed.”

Savages. (c) Jack Parker

Savages. (c) Jack Parker

9. Charles Bradley & his Extraordinaires
What we said: “Over on the Hotot stage a couple of hours later, Daptone Records legend Charles Bradley absolutely tore the house down with his absolute dyke of a voice. It took him 10 minutes to take to the stage, with his expansive live band pulling everything they had out of the bag, before Bradley’s keyboardist introduced him by asking the crowd if they “were up for some good old loving”, before “bringing out the lover boy”. Said lover boy, Mr Bradley himself, bounded about stage like a returning hero as his voice absolutely destroyed the tent. To see someone of his age (68) still at the top of their game is an absolute wonder, because there aren’t many people like Bradley around today who can pull off what he pulls off.”

Charles Bradley. (c) Jack Parker

Charles Bradley. (c) Jack Parker

8. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
What we said: “Another formidable force to be reckoned with is Nathaniel Rateliff and his band The Night Sweats. Descending upon the Hotot stage like a mixture of the finest blues rock-meets-Bruce Springsteen, Rateliff and co. made for the day’s first big party with a capital P. Set opener I Need Never Get Old made for the first huge moment of the day as Rateliff and his big band bounced around the stage energetically with effortless ease. The Hotot definitely responded, cheering the band on repeatedly as Rateliff held them in the palm of his hands. Standout track S.O.B. appeared towards the end of the set, encompassing catchy handclaps and Rateliff’s soulful voice to reach a captivating end point.”

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. (c) Jack Parker

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. (c) Jack Parker

7. Flume
What we said: “On the Teddy Widder stage, Australian producer Flume took his beautiful light show and production to Beuningen for what was essentially a greatest hits live mix for the masses. Dropping megahit Holdin’ On at the start of the set, Flume made sure that he kept the crowd in the palm of his hands as they lost their minds to his brain-frazzling techno house. One day, the likes of Flume will be able to headline Down the Rabbit Hole. Last night, however, was just a warm-up.”

Flume. (c) Jack Parker

Flume. (c) Jack Parker

6. The National
What we said: “Headliners The National subsequently went on to pack out the Hotot completely, even if brand new opening track Find a Way was aborted during its failed intro. Proper set openerDon’t Swallow the Cap became an instant trip down memory lane for the band’s dedicated front row fans, with the likes of Bloodbuzz Ohio and later track Mr November absolutely standing out far and wide above everything else performed on the Hotot that day. Frontman Matt Behringer may have been relatively tipsy during the performance as he majestically strutted around stage, but it only added to the magnificent frontman effect he has on people. When their new album finally comes out, it’s sure to set in stone the fact that The National are absolute festival headlining behemoths. Pinkpop next year, anyone?”

The National. (c) Jack Parker

The National. (c) Jack Parker

5. PJ Harvey
What we said: ” Headliner PJ Harvey followed on the Hotot stage afterwards, with her huge live show encapsulating the crowd for a solid 75 minutes. New album The Hope Six Demolition Project featured heavily throughout the set, with Harvey even taking the opportunity to address Brexit by reading out a heartfelt poem from 1624. Her new album is a musical documentation of the world’s key warzones (Washington DC included, unsurprisingly), and it definitely hit hard in Beuningen. She’s been out of the game for a long time, but her return is so well-timed that we couldn’t begin to imagine a musical spectrum without Polly Jean. She doesn’t just know how to make a statement; rather, she knows how to hit that statement home with her powerful musical missives. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. Welcome back, PJ.”

PJ Harvey. (c) Jack Parker

PJ Harvey. (c) Jack Parker

4. Mac DeMarco
What we said: “Back on the Hotot stage, hippie stoner Mac DeMarco packed out the tent as he and his band (featuring brand new topless bassist Rory) performed what was essentially an exercise in slacker rock. Taking to the stage with a high-pitched “helloooooo”, DeMarco seemed to have prepared himself for a relaxed set, something far removed from his common onstage chaos. On record, set opener The Way You’d Love Her sounds like something out of a Spongebob soundtrack; live, though, it’s a whole different beast which packs more punch than Mike Tyson did at his peak. Follow-up Salad Days sparked the first big sing-a-long moment of the day, with the first crowdsurfers slowly but surely emerging throughout the tent as festival patron Seasick Steve watched from the side (god knows what he does here every year save for a couple of acoustic sessions). Give it a few years and you’ll most likely see DeMarco topping the bill in Beuningen; he’s definitely capable of it.”

Mac DeMarco. (c) Jack Parker

Mac DeMarco. (c) Jack Parker

3. Courtney Barnett
What we said: “Aussie slacker rocker Courtney Barnett had the hard task of following up such a tight set with her own show on the Teddy Widder stage, pulling a full crowd who didn’t really seem all too bothered until she pulled out the upbeat ‘hits’. Slow burner Depreston was met with crowd conversation, before popular cut History Eraser sent the crowd into ecstasy as people came running back into the tent. Was it as powerful as her set at Lowlands last year? No, but Barnett now definitely looks like she’s finally back in the groove of doing what she does best. Set closer Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go the Partyproved just this, with the Melbourne-native looking absolutely ecstatic.”

Courtney Barnett. (c) Jack Parker

Courtney Barnett. (c) Jack Parker

2. Nothing But Thieves
What we said: “Back on the Hotot stage, indie rock darlings Nothing But Thieves performed one of their biggest Dutch shows to date as they continue to tour their successful self-titled debut. Frontman Conor Mason may have played more than 100 shows in the last years, but it’s not affected his absolutely spectacular voice whatsoever. Set opener Itch encompassed huge choruses and manic riffs, before the groovy Hostage and funky Honey Whiskey followed suit. You can definitely hear that the band have grown tenfold throughout the last 18 months, seeming like a whole new force to be reckoned with compared to when they first started out by touring with Gerard Way and AWOLNATION. Their touring partners have now escalated to the likes of Muse (who took them across Europe in March), a band whose influence has definitely rubbed off on the quintet. The tracks sound bigger than ever before, and everything only seems to be getting better. Set highlight If I Get High put Mason’s voice on a pedestal in front of 7,000 baying listeners, with show closer Ban All the Music throwing some more chaos into the mix. Give it a couple of years and another record and you could definitely see Nothing But Thieves headlining a festival like Down the Rabbit Hole.”

Nothing But Thieves. (c) Jack Parker

Nothing But Thieves. (c) Jack Parker

1. Whitney
What we said: Whitney took to the Fuzzy Lop in the early afternoon, having just released the fantastic debut album Light Upon the Lake. Set opener Dave’s Song set the tone for the next 45 minutes, one which encompassed the likes ofGolden Day’s catchy outro, No Woman’s majestic ending and No Matter Where We Go’s rock ‘n roll vibe. Frontman and drummer Julian Ehrlich, formerly of Smith Westerns, positioned himself at the front of the stage as he wittily interacted with the crowd throughout. Whitney are by no means a ground-breaking band, but they definitely know how to release simple pop songs with just enough lilt and beauty to captivate a listener for years on end.”

Whitney. (c) Jack Parker

Whitney. (c) Jack Parker

Down the Rabbit Hole will return next year.