10 Recommendations for Electric Picnic 2011

Posted: 31/08/2011 in Uncategorized

This is not a ‘Top 10 Essential Must See Be There Or Be Square’ kinda list – moreseo, a list of 10 sets at this year’s Electric Picnic which I reckon have the potential to be truly great – either from the experience of seeing the acts live already, or from anticipation following copious amounts of listening to their material (there are a few debut sets on Irish soil included!) So, in alphabetical order…

Arcade Fire – Saturday, Main Stage, 10:00PM

One of the biggest draws of this year’s festival, Arcade Fire make a welcome return to Electric Picnic. Their legendary set at the festival in 2005 is still talked about by those who were lucky enough to have been there – but this time around, it’s all about the Main Stage and it’s a safe bet that it’s going to be an absolute cracker. A questionable headline performance at last summer’s Oxegen festival was over-written by two sell out stormers in the O2 pre-Christmas, the songs of The Suburbs proving just as anthemic live as those of Funeral and Neon Bible. Expect a setlist with a perfect balance of old and new, impressive lighting and visuals, and goosbumps as the sound of thousands singing along to the refrains of ‘Wake Up’ takes over Stradbally.

Austra – Sunday, Body & Soul Main Stage, 1:20AM

Canadian five-piece Austra more than lived up to the hype when they wowed a sold-out Crawdaddy in July with an intense performance of the dark and almost sinister electro sounds of debut album Feel It Break. Austra will take to the Body & Soul main stage on Sunday evening after all the action in the main arena has wrapped up – and it has the potential to be one of the standout sets of this year’s festival. Blissful electronica under the stars – one not to be missed.

Best Coast – Sunday, Cosby Stage, 9:15PM

The laid back lo-fi garage-rock sounds of Best Coast make them an irresistible summer festival draw. Electric Picnic marks their debut performance in Ireland – and it’s been a long time coming for fans who fell head over heels with Bethany Cosentino & Co. upon the release of debut album Crazy For You last year. Interestingly, The Go! Team are scheduled on the same night – could there be a chance that Cosentino might make a cameo appearance onstage with them to reprise her vocal role on ‘Buy Nothing Day’…?

Foster The People – Friday, Cosby Stage, 7:30PM

There will be many who will flock to the Cosby Stage on Friday evening to see Foster The People purely on the back of the commercial success of the impossibly catchy ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ – which is NOT the festive summery delight its sound might lead you to believe, but actually about a seemingly homicidal teenager. Anyway, there is SO much more to Foster The People than just that song. Debut album Torches is jam-packed with brilliant upbeat indie rock, reminiscent of the feel-good falsetto brilliance of Passion Pit. Foster The People are unfortunately clashing with The Rapture and Warpaint – but they have the potential to be a real hidden treasure of Electric Picnic Friday, and are worth the gamble.

Ham Sandwich – Saturday, The Salty Dog, 10:15PM

They may be up against the might of Arcade Fire on the Main Stage, but Ham Sandwich have more than proven themselves on the Irish festival circuit this summer and can expect to draw a decent crowd to The Salty Dog on Saturday night. Stellar sets at Forbidden Fruit, Sea Sessions and Indiependence have set the bar high, but they’re more than up to the challenge – head along to see them close out their summer in style, and take the next step on their path to becoming one of the country’s finest live acts.

Le Galaxie – Saturday, Electric Arena, 1:30PM

It’s a real shame that these boys weren’t given a slot in the AM as opposed to the PM – but if there’s one certainty for this year’s Picnic, it’s that Le Galaxie will do their very best to lift the roof off the Electric Arena, even if it’s barely lunchtime. Le Galaxie are one of the most exciting and unique live acts around at the moment. The songs of debut album Laserdisc Nights II are performed with such energy and gusto onstage that it’s impossible not to dance along – so be there, and be prepared to throw some serious shapes. Oh, and bring glowsticks.

Lykke Li – Saturday, Main Stage, 8:15PM

She’d probably be better suited to the more intimate confines of one of the tents, but on Saturday evening Lykke Li will embrace the great outdoors and put on one hell of a show on the Main Stage. A stunning sell-out gig in Tripod earlier this year will ensure a large audience in attendance – those who were lucky enough to be there will be eager for more, and those who missed out will be intrigued and should be prepared to be cast under her spell. She’ll break hearts with ‘Sadness is a Blessing’, before causing outright raucousness with ‘Get Some’… A truly captivating live performer, whose stage presence more than lives up to her vocal abilities – which in the case of this sultry Swede, says an awful lot.

Oh Land – Sunday, Electric Arena, 2:30PM

Having been forced to abandon a career in professional dance due to injury, Nanna Øland Fabricius switched her focus to music – and her pain has been electro-pop fans’ gain. Her debut album barely made it out of Denmark, but the eponymous follow up has garnered much attention and had her heralded as one of the best new acts of 2011. Electric Picnic marks Oh Land’s debut Irish live show – and following acclaimed performances from SXSW right through the summer festival circuit, it’s one to very much look forward to indeed.

Santigold – Friday, Electric Arena, 9:00PM

It’s hard to believe that it was 2008 when debut album Santogold was released… She played a fantastic set at Electric Picnic that summer, and now three years and a vowel change later, Santigold makes her return to Stradbally. Fans had been kept very much in the dark about the elusive follow-up album, until April of this year when ‘Go!’ came along -and what a way to mark your return. The song makes for an exciting indicator as to what Santigold has in store for album #2, and Picnic revellers can look forward to sampling some more new tunes in the Electric Arena on Friday evening, alongside the vintage brilliance of the likes of ‘Creator’ and ‘L.E.S. Artistes’.

Yuck – Saturday, Cosby Stage, 8:00PM

It’s no secret that Yuck wear their influences for all to see – and for many, therein lies their charm. What they achieved with their self-titled debut album is quite clever – it walks a fine line between sentimentality for fans of early 90s alternative rock, and a new and refreshing sound for fans of present-day lo-fi. There’s plenty of promise within that album to suggest that Yuck are well worth a look in a live setting, and their early evening slot on Electric Picnic Saturday could prove to be a surprise hit of the weekend – but, if it doesn’t, at least there’ll still be time to catch the second half of Lykke Li’s set afterwards.

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