Each festival comes with its set of unexpected things. For us our drive to Belfort - 4h30 from Paris - came up with being stuck in the traffic at the exit of Paris, a GPS deciding to let us on our own in the middle of the Eastern countryside and slow cars leading the way. At the end of the journey and some 6 hours after departure we've missed half of our scheduled plans - including that said to be amazing performance by Ben Harper (but hey we've been listening to him in the car so we basically had our own gig).
After few camping installment later, we are heading towards the festival with a red moon over our head - a nice introduction to Fakear's set that has already started from afar. By the time "Darjeeling" starts we've already found a little spot to dance on. My biggest frustration of those three days is to miss Cotton Claw's mind-blowing live performance... Their set has already started for half an hour and their stage is at the other end of the festival - so it was pointless to try and go. Nevertheless, we set up our party-all-night-long on Fakear's performance. As always it's a rush of tribal beats triggering primitive dances out of the crowd's body... and a hint to the moon as "La Lune Rousse" begins.
Next step happens with sneakers in the sand and waves crushing at the feet of the stage. Yes Norvegian producer Todd Terje has taken La Plage by storm with his live band The Olsens and dancers. "Oh Joy" is all that comes to my mind at the moment - so I'll leave you with that instead of the overknown "Inspector Norse" - which has closed Terje's set.
At 1 a.m. we have made our way to the Grande Scène just in time to see The Dø opens on their best-known hit "On My Shoulders". The setting is impressive with its fiber hanging and sparkling lights, Olivia's interpretation is as dramatic as Dan's is pleased behind the machines and instruments. It's a succession of their latest album Shake Shook Shaken tracks, only interrupted by a few jokes. If the beginning of their sets seems energic but somehow a bit boring - without any add-value to the studio version - you in fact have to wait to see the progression. The Dø masters their live performance in the way they manage to build an increasing tension throughout - and the final song "Aha" was a blast.
After this, we return to La Plage and check out what the bizarre punk hip hop act Ho99o9 was worth live. I have listened to them before and I've liked their Death Grip-like music. But well, their live performance has been a bit... weird. Indeed the boys have a punk energy and somehow it reminded us our acquaintance with the metalcore scene.But tonight we're not in that mood and it's too big of a split withThe Dø. So we head toward the Grande Scène, where German DJ Boris Brejcha has already put the crowd in a techno trance.
Day 2 starts off with Jeanne Added performance at Club Loggia. As usual, her shy nature fades off to reveal a classy boyish performer, rocking the stage at an early hour. And we will be pleased to meet her few hours later for a press meeting.
The rest of the afternoon can be summed up with us chilling - in fact snoozing - at La Plage, while Broncho and Jonathan Toubin move the 'timid) festival-goers bodies. We will only wake up and stand up to dance to Petite Noir's noirwave. If we have loved his studio EP, the live version of his songs is even more effective. But it's a very hot day and people difficultly dance to the beats under this heat. Nevertheless the live appeared to be to short and I'm looking forward for La Vie Est Belle / Life is Beautiful due on September 11, via Domino. To satisfy my ears, I'm heading toward Green Room stage to catch the end of Angus and Julia Stone. I arrive in the middle of a down-tempo version of "Big Jet Plane". I love this song but I won't be able to get in the dizzy mood of the Aussie folk-act. Even Grease-hit cover "You're the One That I Want" sounds too listless at the moment.
Not really in the mood for American hip hop either, we have chilled around the festival, distantly listening to Rae Sreammurd. And the stand-out of the day will probably be Christine and the Queens. Her perfectly theatrical show only reveals an emotive singer - still amazed by the amount of people that comes to see her. Even technical difficulties - a loop refusing to function during encore-song " Nuit 17 à 52" strenghtens the link between Christine and the Queens and her audience - giving way to a surprising acoustic version of the song. She will later attend La Grande Scène, where Major Lazer has already started their gigantic party, to sing "Leon On" with Diplo's band. On our side, we have avoid Major Lazer - and it seems it was the right thing to do as our friends attending the gig were disappointed by the show. Instead we have decided to dance on English DJ Julio Bashmore, who actually never showed up...
And here comes the time for The Shoes - who stands at the place of honor this year as this Saturday's La Plage line-up was carefully chosen by the Reims-based producers duo. Their live is a nice opportunity to introduce their upcoming album - diametrically different from 2011 Crack My Bones. With acid visuals and a bunch of guests, their live seems to be just like Chemicals due on October. It's familial - Chemicals has been made partly with their long-time friend Woodkid, crazy and hypnotizing.
Speaking of hypnose - Rone's live took me on another place. Despite few technical issues - including a misfunctionning theremin - his performance was like being stuck between reality and a dream: surreal. Quite difficult to get out of this "Parade" of Creatures...
Our Sunday Funday has started quite late in the afternoon, as we mainly took our morning to pack thing up backin the car, and enjoy chill-out moments at the camping. A wandering towards Eagles of Death Metal and its rock energy manage to stir up our best rockabilly moves. At the sumum of our energy we've moved to the Grande Scène for Die Antwoord - the first entire gig actually spent there. If I'm not a fan of their music in general, I must confess that their live show is fun and crazy - and we took hell of a time there!
We've finished our three-day festival with a glimpse at James Blake as the sky has been going darker. A different stage, a different mood, and James Blake's soft vocals and post-dupstep beats has been a great way to ease us up before hitting the road back to Paris. We have left the festival as James Blake has been singing "I can't believe you don't want to see me" - lyrics extracted from his new song "Radio Silence". - No offence James, we really had to go.
As we reached the car, Flume's "Some Minds" can be heard at distance - quite a nice way to hit the road back home.