Live Review: Lowlands 2014 – Friday 15 August

As the festival season draws to a close, everyone starts to get a sense of disappointment as the wait for next summer prolongs itself. One of the big festivals towards the tail end of the summer is Holland’s Lowlands Festival, located next to the popular Walibi World Theme Park. On its first day, for which All Things Loud was present, the likes of big names such as Disclosure and Imagine Dragons were nestled in and amongst an array of impressive acts such as Temples, Bring Me the Horizon and Blood Red Shoes.

With the festival kicking off at 1:30pm sharp, it was up to Brighton-duo Blood Red Shoes to open the festival with a 45-minute set in the Alpha Tent. Featuring songs from throughout their 4-album career thus far, the likes of An Animal, Cold and rampant set closer Je Me Perds kicked off Lowlands in rousing style. Following them in the Alpha Tent (pictured below) were The Asteroid Galaxy Tour, before Bring Me the Horizon took the Grolsch tent by storm with a massive, hardcore set. Opening with Can You Feel My Heart, off 2013s Sempiternal album, the crowd instantly sensed the chaos about to ensue from the moment Oliver Sykes and co. took to the stage. Closing on an epic Sleepwalking, it was then up to Kaiser Chiefs in the Alpha tent to prove their worth. Opening with the older Every Day I Love You Less And Less, the Ricky Wilson-fronted rockers played a 60-minute set encompassing the likes of anthemic classics Ruby and I Predict A Riot, alongside newer cut Coming Home. Kaiser Chiefs knew how to make it a party in the sweltering tent, before Triggerfinger, Imagine Dragons and Disclosure well and truly finished off the Alpha crowd.

Over in the India tent, there was a whole new party going on as new hardcore heavyweights Marmozets erupted during their short but sharp set, during which eclectic frontwoman Becca MacIntyre generally danced along in the weirdest yet most entertaining ways possible as she demanded more from the small crowd. Neck Deep kept it interesting in the Charlie tent with their youthful punk rock, before the hotly anticipated Milky Chance (pictured) took to the Grolsch tent. From the off, it was very clear that everyone was there for 1 song – Stolen Dance. Coming later in the set, it meant that the crowd looked seemingly bored until Stolen Dance’s opening guitar chords kicked off. Mando Diao preceded Milky Chance, facing a similair problem in how everyone had waited to hear Dance With Somebody. Janelle Monae followed later in the Grolsch tent, enciting a similair party atmosphere to that shown by Kaiser Chiefs with her danceable funk and soul music.

With the day reaching its end, The Growlers’ psychedelic, summery pop was impressive onstage despite the crowd showing a distinct lack of interest, before Temples blew the roof off of the India tent with a fantastic set. Opening with Sun Structures (from their debut of the same name), James Bagshaw and co. rocketed through the likes of the dreamy Prisms, anthemic Ankh and groovy Keep In the Dark. Temples have a strong relationship with Holland, and it gets stronger by the day. Just before Temples, over in the Bravo tent, a wide variety of powerful electronic and funk music made its way through the speakers. Thomas Azier provided rave reviews earlier in the day, before the music of legendary Nigerian producer William Onyeabor was recreated during Atomic Bomb. What followed, however, was Australian producer Flume, who was regarded by many as the best performance of the whole day with his trippy electro and mellow grooves.

What one can notice about Lowlands is that, unlike the heavily music-centred frontrunner Pinkpop Festival, Lowlands is not just about the music. Alongside the main music stages, there’s a lot of dance, literature, comedy and poetry. Just like Glastonbury Festival has done for years in the UK, Lowlands is starting to open up a door to festivalgoers the world over due to its eclectic mix of things on offer. It’s definitely seen a slump in some aspects of its lineup quality, but the atmoshphere alone completely makes up for it.

Lowlands continues this weekend with performances from The National, Jungle, Royal Blood and Queens of the Stone Age. Below (or here), you can view more pictures of Lowlands 2014.