If you risk a look back on a huge event like the German HURRICANE FESTIVAL there is plenty of topics to focus on. Far too many to mention – most likely the bad weather on the last weekend. The constant switching between rain, wind, clouds and sun was quite a challenge – especially when it tends to happen every five minutes. The resulting mud was another one. But, well, it’s a festival – and probably every long time visitor of the HURRICANE is used to such a weather scenario. We’ve seen worse.
It’s a festival for the masses. Over 70.000 people attended this year’s event featuring a wide range of artists from every different genre. And one thing you can clearly say over the course of the past years – the masses have become bigger and bigger while the event area more or less stayed the same. Which means there is – especially in the evening – not much space left. The whole area is way too small especially since there are four stages, tons of food booths and even more special areas by the sponsors of the event. In combination with the – once again – increased ticket prices you can’t help but wonder when this irresponsible longing for growth will ever stop. The pain barrier is reached – especially when you look at the behaviour of many, especially younger visitors. Well, okay – most are heavily drunk, on drugs and out of control which is a normal thing. But the number of people who are going nuts and risking other people’s life by primitive fun is increasing more and more too. Burning tents and toilets are only one aspect, throwing bottles, cans or food at innocent people while shitting behind your tent or destroying it willingly is another. No one seems to care anymore – like a mirror reflecting the decline of society. It’s been bad two years ago when we last visited the event – it’s didn’t get better so far. Do we need dead people on the camping area first before someone is changing their mind?
Once big festivals like the HURRICANE were about music and the peaceful celebration of it. It still is – at least for a certain majority. And especially for NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION. That’s the reason why we present you our best/ worst of from this year in form of…
15 Memorable Musical Moments From the 2013 HURRICANE FESTIVAL
1. The whole RAMMSTEIN show. Whether you like the German industrial rockers or not this is something you need to see. A perfectly timed and choreographed performance (Not even sure if the music was played live) – full of fire and effects. Of course it’s pure trash by now, the ‘shock’ effect has gone long time ago. Especially when frontman Till is penetrating keyboard player Flake with a fake penis before ejaculating into the crowd. The band has become an entertaining joke – nothing less and more.
2. SIGUR RÓS playing “Popplagið”. After attending three shows by the Icelandic band within ten months there is of course a high chance you get bored. But well, actually, there is not. Whenever you attempt to think ‘I’ve seen this before’ the band plays the epic closing track from 2002′s ( ) album. An overwhelming musical masterpiece – it can’t get any better after this. Thank god the day was over after that performance. What else could have followed this?
3. MACKLEMORE might be the mainstream pop hype of 2013. The American rapper and his DJ buddy RYAN LEWIS are currently on a victory lap for their recent success. And if you need a proof to this success you should have watched them perform their hits Thrift Shop and Can’t Hold Us on a far too overcrowed (and way too silent) smaller blue stage. Cleary – these guys had headliner potential. Intelligent and catchy pop/rap – this really is there moment and it’s freaking awesome!
4. Letting ARCHIVE performing in the tent during the afternoon is a really stupid choice since these guys belong on a stage in the middle of the night. Probably as closing act. Once again the band proved why they are one of the greatest live bands on the planet. Their hypnotic mixture of electronic and rock is to electrifying to miss. Live music’s best kept secret – something that would easily attract the masses too even if they don’t have pyro technics.
5. THE SMASHING PUMPKINS playing old classics “Tonight, Tonight” or “Disarm”. The moment when you suddenly see the fire in the eyes of the crowd and Billy Corgan. He’s gotten old and he’s clearly struggling to deal with the undeniable decline of his band. It’s a testament of a group that clearly passed the prime of its success and is still playing. It’s a bit sad but within these moments you remember what once made them one of the greatest bands on the planet for a short time in the 1990s.
6. BLOC PARTY attending with a new drummer. No sign of Matt Tong on that Saturday. He’s been replaced by a – well, quite good-looking – female musician. No explanation from Kele Okereke why he wasn’t there. But it looks like this is more fire for the upcoming split rumours. We won’t tell our source (but be sure it’s a prominent one) but Tong might be gone for good. The show was excellent. Which makes the upcoming months of uncertainty even more uncomfortable.
7. TYLER, THE CREATOR bringing the dirt back into rap. The American shooting star and his rough performance on Sunday was a welcome musical change to the usual line-up. Accompanied by two buddies from his Odd Future Gang the man dropped tight beats and harsh raps including an irrational use of the N-word of course. Really great guy or like he would say: “That was cool”.
8. Matthew Berninger of THE NATIONAL going mental again. The indie rock institution played a great set on Friday focussing on the more energetic material of their discography. And once again – during Mr. November – Berninger threw himself into the crowd. The nightmare of every security guard but a pleasure for every fan. You gotta love this man and his passion for music and – well – far too many good wine.
9. THE KYTEMAN ORCHESTRA playing a quite interesting mixture. Everything from rap to goth rock it seems. We knew before that this band has potential. Simply because it’s something new and a brave and enjoyable attempt to combine contemporary pop with classical influences. Quite a unique experience.
10. BRITISH SEA POWER performing with a polar bear. Of course not a real one, but someone in a costume. We’re still unsure about the additional value of this one but it was quite a lovely thing to see. And the band’s powerful indie rock as well.
11. EDITORS make the strategically bad decision to end their quite solid set with a new ballad called “Honesty”. A lame COLDPLAYrip-off as follower to The Racing Rats or Papillon while it was raining in front of them? From a record that is just about to get released next week? This wasn’t a wise choice, especially when the new songs already had a quite tough time when played in combination with the old classics.
12. California’s FIDLAR playing punk in the break of noon on Saturday and the crowd still totally digging it. Wild, furious and full of power. These guys are just too sweet and after more than loud “Encore, Encore” shouts we can only assume that the HURRICANE FESTIVAL visitors agreed on this.
13. TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB are so nice and harmless that you almost forget the band played. I mean it’s nice to listen to them at home and on the record but their songs are just too harmless and without musical surprises that it’s a quite boring live experience. Of course a lot of people in the jumping crowd saw it differently but sometimes rock music doesn’t need to be friendly.
14. Seeing ARCTIC MONKEYS perform their headline slot on Saturday you can’t help but wonder how far the Sheffield-based lads have come over the past years. What happened to the lovely little pimpled indie boys that once sang I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor. Well, they’ve grown up and evolved into a proper rock band with nice suits and haircuts. They weren’t afraid to risk a change or two – and that’s why they were headliner and other bands from their ‘generation’ are gone. Accept it, haters!
15. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE played a great energetic set featuring old classics and tracks from the new album … Like Clockwork. The crowd was in a good mood but after just a bit more than one hour Josh Homme and his band mates left the stage without saying a proper goodbye. No encore and they still had twenty minutes in their slot according to the timetable. Disappointing finish.