This past weekend I went to the Rockness festival, a small music festival just outside Inverness, on the banks of the Loch Ness. (yeah, the one with the monster)
There weren't many fandom related bands there, the only ones I can think of are Ed Sheeran (who produced(? helped out with? I don't really know) the One Direction album and is friends with the guys) and Deadmau5, who Gerard did guest vocals on a song for recently.
Line up's here, if you're curious.
I went and saw Ed Sheeran, The Mystery Jets, The Drums, Noah and The Whale, The Pigeon Detectives, Deadmau5, Madeon, DJ Fresh, some of Beardyman Little Comets. I also saw the comedians Daniel Sloss, Billy Kirkwood and Tim Minchin.
Ed Sheeran was on Friday, on the second stage which was in a large circus-like tent. Which, OH MY GOD WHOSE IDEA WAS THAT. Several thousand people crammed into this tent and it's Ed Sheeran so everyone's pushing and shoving and jumping and it was absolutely roasting. My friend got seperated from us and passed out twice, but luckily she was fine. Some people helped her to the edge of the crowd, secuirty helped her outside and she was fine once she got some air.
Ed Sheeran does an amazing show. He's one short ginger kid on stage with a 3/4 size guitar and he held everyone's attention for the entire set. He was commanding, clever, funny and very cute. He was constantly getting the crowd to sing, which after a while was just tiring, because he was trying to hard for different effects. He said he needed us to be his "choir" but it was rather wearing when he was trying to get us to do wierd vocal warmups.
Also, Wretch 32 (who had played the same stage earlier in the day) came on and guested for about 10 seconds and it was just wierd. I could hear a bunch of people around me going "who the fuck is this?".
Overall, though, a very good show. I loved it.
PICTURES OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN (I also took some video):
Deadmau5 was on Saturday night and he played a two and a half hour set. I'm not a massive dance music fan but I think shows like that are more about the experience and the atmosphere than the actual music. about 50% of the experience was the light show, really, and watching his mask change. The crowd was fucking mental though. I was really lucky I didn't get seperated from my group and these absolute idiots next to us kept opening up pits. W got himself punched in the face and a bloody lip when he pulled his girlfriend away from one of the pits.
I had a really excellent time at Deadmau5 though. W put me on his shoulders at one point, which I had never expected. I didn't think he would be strong enough to hold me but it was awesome. You can see the whole crowd and it's a totally different view.
It's a different experience from any other show I'd been to. It started at about 10, so it was still light outside but by midnight it was totally dark and it's just thousands of people raving and dancing in the middle of this field, rain drissling down and everyone dancing and shaking. It was great. I don't think he'd be everyone's cup of tea though and I was certainly bored during some bits. Kudos to him though, for keeping that many people going through two and a half hours.
On another note, a lady on the shoulders of some bloke near us used her lighter to light an aerosal can spray on fire as a make shift flame thrower. Security pulled her down in a flash. It was also something of an unlucky show for me, I got hit in the face with a plastic Kopparberg bottle and drenched in the stuff and then someone threw their homemade Deadmau5 head and it landed on my face :/// ouch.
I can see why Gerard and him would work together though. Deadmau5 is a massive video game nerd and his lights show contained about a million video game references, including ones to Minecraft, Mario, Star Fox and a bunch of others I wouldn't be able to name. Also, under the mask he's just a skinny-ass white dude, really.
The Pigeon Detectives
These guys aren't fandom-related at all but they're one of my favorite non-fandom bands. This is the second time I saw them, the first time a couple months ago in a tiy club in my home city. Last time, I was right on the barrier and it was an absolutely excellent show. The lead singer has amazing stage presence and their songs always deliver.
I wasn't as close this time, which kind of sucked, and the crowd wasn't as keen as it was during the other show, but that's to be expected at a festival. The played one of their most well known songs, I'm Not Sorry, during their encore, and the crowd went pretty wild. They played my favorite song and the lead singer requested a stage invasion of fancy-dress people, which really only involved two drunk guys dressed as Mario and Luigi cavorting about on stage until some techs came and shuffled them off.
However, still a really great show. Probably the best I went to all weekend, to be honest.
I really enjoyed Madeon but I think I'm a rock chick at heart, 'cause it's very surreal to be dancing and when you look up, the stage is occupied by a skinny French 19-year-old dude pressing buttons and moving sliders. Tim Minchin was hilarious and involved the audience just to the right degree.
About a million other non-music things happened as well, but they're the kind of stories that are long, boring, slightly complicated, and not at all funny to people who weren't there. I had an awesome time!
I had a great time and I'd really reccomend Rockness as a festival, if anyone's shopping around. It's really well run, all the staff were great and it's just small enough to be a good time while big enough to attract big names.