For ten years Gothenburg’s Slottsskogen has been home for the Swedish festival Way Out West, the opening day finds acts such as Kaytranada, The Libertines and Morrissey playing across all four stages.
Since the festival is non-camping and held in the middle of the country’s second city the festival goers are giving quite a fashion show. The trendy figures show up in large number as two of the brightest minds in electronic music join forces when Talaboman play the Dungen stage. The stage is beautifully surrounded by green leaves and a pond right behind the stage where Axel Boman and John Talbot find great success during their more than two-hour long set.
M83 gathers a big crowd in the afternoon sun and Chvchres take of right where the French group left off. The Last Shadow puppets are set to open the night shift but it’s a worrying start as Alex Turner and Miles Kane have a hard time charming the quite small attendance.
The Libertines follows and are supposed to play their first show in Sweden since 2004. At the time Peter Doherty was replaced by the now forgotten Anthony Rossomando, and as we all know, no Pete no party. With minutes to go a message appears on the screen, The Libertines postpone their performance until tomorrow. The crowd is upset and does not seem to think that ’this is an essential part of the Libertines experience’, as overheard when the group didn’t show up to Electric Ballroom last year. Reports has it that ’one of the members’ did not arrive in time but that is yet to confirm.
Way Out West has been for a couple of years now completely vegan, so Morrissey have found his right place as he delivers a stunning set. The ex-Smiths front man is not afraid to speak his mind, during 'Ganglord' terrifying videos of police brutality are being shown. 'Meat Is Murder' forces the massive attendance to watch disgusting pictures of animal slaughter, something that really seems to make a mark as people with great shame constantly try to look away. Closing the set with 'What She Said' and 'Irish Blood, English Heart', Morrissey justifies his legend status during his Way Out West set which closes the first day in Slottsskogen.
Words: Axel Franzén
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The second day of Way Out West offers performances from Kamasi Washington, Floating Points, Grace Jones, The Libertines (hopefully), PJ Harvey and many more. Rumours that this years edition might be the last have been circling for a while now. If that is the case, the rain that pours down definately must be the deluge. The festival area is much less crowded than the day before, even though one-day-tickets for thursday now are eligible for friday as well, thanks to the postponement of The Libertines gig.
Kamasi Washington shares the stage with his father and Floating Points sounds like a modern Pink Floyd with their long build-ups, mixed meters and slow monotone guitar solos. Libertine-wise, It looks more promising than the day before as the backdrop and all of their equipment can be seen on stage an hour before their set is supposed to start.
15 minutes late, 'The Delaney' is starting up and it’s mostly a huge relief. The cliché yet iconic mic sharing between Carl and Pete is started but doesn't seem as meaningful when the band performs mostly newer songs in the beginning of the set. Pete throws his acoustic guitar into the crowd after the first half of 'You’re My Waterloo' and everything feels weird and fantastic. Pete has trouble with his tuning and is forced to change guitars multiple times before 'Gunga Din' can be started. He had just landed at Landvetter Airport two hours earlier and the band is having several discussions around Gary’s drums. Carl successfully guides his friend in a loving way to get him in the right mood for the show.
fThe second half of the set makes up for the fumbling start as 'Can’t Stand Me Now' is followed by 'Vertigo', 'Death On The Stairs' and 'Time For Heroes'. The emotional 'The Good Old Days' is linked into the electrifying ending with 'Up The Bracket' followed by 'Don’t Look Back Into The Sun'. Pete throws his red army jacket into the crowd screaming “I love you” repeatedly to the audience. A true Libertines performance and a symbol for their roller coaster ride of a career.
Words: Sixten Engqvist