The Summer of 2014 – 5 big higlights

As we approach the end of an extremely busy summer festival season, it’s very easy to say that it was a summer with many highlights. Here at All Things Loud, we brought you coverage of a whole host of festivals, with Glastonbury, Pinkpop and Lowlands amongst them. So as to ‘look back’ on this summer, we’ve compiled a brief list of our 5 highlights from this whole summer of festivals. Read on to find out what made the list.

The Rolling Stones making their debut at Pinkpop Festival
It was something which had been at least 30 years in the making, and in June it finally happened – The Rolling Stones made their debut at Pinkpop Festival. It was no secret that negotiations were ongoing, with festival organiser Jan Smeets having wanted the legendary rockers at his festival for at least three decades. Tickets for the festival sold out within 15 minutes, and quite rightly so as Mick, Keith, Ronnie and Charlie absolutely smashed it. Opening with Jumpin’ Jack Flash, their hit packed set featured newer cut Doom & Gloom alongside classics such as Miss You, Start Me Up and set closer Satisfaction. Regardless of where you were in the crowd that night, you could sense that something special was in the air, as the goosebump-inducing You Can’t Always Get What You Want proved that, for Jan Smeets at least, you can always get what you want. It just might take a while.

Metallica conquering Glastonbury and silencing the doubters
It’s a well-known fact that Glastonbury Festival had never been a metal-centric festival, making the confirmation of Metallica as one of the headliners quite controversial. Nonetheless, Metallica came, saw and conquered Pilton with their career spanning show. Frontman James Hetfield proved his worthy frontman status by hitting all the right buttons with his crowd interaction. By the time the double whammy of Nothing Else Matters & Enter Sandman came along, the whole Pyramid Stage crowd was in full voice, and Hetfield & co. had the crowd in the palms of their hands. If Metallica’s set was anything to go by, then some metal would be very welcome in 2015. AC/DC? We think so.

The rise of the two-piece
Lately, the amount of duo’s who have been making a name for themselves has steadily increased. It all started with The Black Keys all those years ago, yet 2014 has seen the emergence of many more potential household names. The most successful of these is Brighton’s Royal Blood, who have basically gone from nothing to everything in just over a year. With a UK #1 debut album under their belts and a string of sold out tours on the way, 2014 is definitely their year. Just behind them, though, are many more fantastic duos, notably Drenge, Honeyblood & DZ Deathrays. They’ve shown that 2 people can certainly make one hell of a noise, and with Death From Above 1979 having returned this year, you can certainly expect the coming months to be very, very exciting for two-piece bands.

New music
As the title simply puts it, new music has been everywhere this summer, and it’s better than ever. On one hand you’ve got exciting new rock from the likes of Temples, Wolf Alice and Royal Blood, yet on the other hand you’ve got some fantastic new producers and electronic artists making a name for themselves, notably Jungle, Flume and Cashmere Cat. Whereas Temples are able to hypnotize a crowd with their beautiful psychedelic rock, Jungle are able to keep festival crowds moving during every single one of their funk-heavy songs. Jungle may be 2 men on record, yet live they transform themselves into a 7-piece monster. With Royal Blood having scored a #1 album, and Temples a Top 10 album, guitar-based music is certainly on the rise, ready to fight with electronic music yet again. Whatever these newer bands have in store is nothing less than exciting, and we can’t wait.

The emergence of new headline-worthy acts
Alongside all the big name festivals, where big names are always found atop the bill, there are always some festivals (notably England’s Bestival and Holland’s Best Kept Secret) who are championing a new wave of headline bands. One of these bands is Oxfordshire’s Foals, who have taken the big leap from tents and afternoon slots to headlining festivals, with Bestival being a really big moment for them. Elsewhere, the likes of Franz Ferdinand and Elbow got to headline Best Kept Secret in Holland, which is just one of many festivals where it’s all about new bands and fantastic music. Alongside bands such as Foals finally headlining festivals, we also saw some bands emerge who are definite contenders for festival headliners in future years, notably Royal Blood, Wolf Alice and Jungle.

This weekend, we will be closing our festival season at West’ival in Amsterdam, featuring performances from Ela Orleans and Breton. Preparations for 2015’s festival season are already in full swing, so don’t forget to keep an eye on All Things Loud for the latest developments!