Life’s a picnic: readers’ reviews

Estereo Picnic 2015Stealing the stage

Well… they smashed it. Pure and simple. They’re fucking rockstars. In truth, I expected a lot from Kasabian’s live show, as I had heard they were incredible on stage. And they didn’t disappoint.

From the outset they heated up the atmosphere with “Bumblebee”, which got the tent bouncing like a European night at Anfield Road (although the Leicester lads would surely prefer that to be the King Power Stadium one day). With the lyrics perfectly mirroring the crowd’s mood, they called out ‘I’m in ecstasy, I’m in ecstasy!”

Estereo Picnic 2015, Kasabian Colombia
Photo: Chris Worden CC BY 2.0

This was followed by the band’s biggest hits  from their eponymous debut album, as well as the brilliant Empire and West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, and of course a smattering of songs from their latest exquisite album 48:13.

As the tunes kept on coming, “Doomsday” saw Tom Meighan jump, dance and shout “What you see is what you get from me”.

And what we got from him was a Liam-Gallagher-in-his-heydey-esque frontman, with ensuing energy and cocky swagger, accompanied by a Sergio Pizzorno on the form of his life.

The chemistry between the band’s leaders, the tunes remeniscent of the best university parties and the electric atmosphere inside the tent made this concert one of the highlights of the festival. There’s no doubt: on Friday, Kasabian was the place to be.


By Roman Maciejewski

Kings of Cundinamarca

With headliners Kings of Leon playing on Friday, there were palpable levels of expectation and anxiety flowing through the audience. For many Estereo Picnic-ers, Kings of Leon was the band that attracted them to the festival, and the long wait was finally over.

Kings Of Leon Estereo Picnic 2015
Photo: Camilo Rozo

As the day’s music rocked and rolled on, you could feel the anxiety building in the atmosphere until the Nashville rockers eventually hit the stage. As expected, they opened with “Supersoaker”, which sounded as perfect as you might expect from a song they’ve played thousands of times.

But it was obvious that all of us in the crowd were waiting for “Use Somebody”, “Closer” or “Sex on Fire”, with the arrival of the first two songs causing energy levels to soar and sing-alongs to get louder and more numerous. Yet it was the wait for “Sex on Fire” that got everyone buzzing, with the crowd patiently awaiting the Kings of Leon’s classic. That patience eventually gave way to restlessness, and the crowd began to demand it, incessantly chanting “Sex on Fire! Sex on Fire!”

The less devoted fans deserted but the faithful fans finally got what they wanted. The crowd truly was on fire, unified in its desire to belt out all the words. It was the undeniable climax of the night, an impressive and energetic performance from Kings of Leon.


By Andrea Cardozo

Estereo Picnic 2015Legend of dubstep gets the party started

Skrillex thrilled the crowd with his pulsating beats in a concert that seemed out of this world.

Estereo Picnic’s organizers dedicated a tent almost entirely to electronic music for this year’s festival and on Thursday night, Skrillex transformed the glossy tent into a spaceship equipped with lasers, smoke machines and filled with an ecstatic crowd including men in horse heads and rabbit ears and a man whose LED suit made him look like a raving C-3PO.

Skrillex, the man orchestrating this bacchanal, flung his mixes and beats to an audience that not only listened but followed his every move. Skrillex compelled them to shake their hands in the air, jump and crouch, shout and twist, and the audience followed.

Even from behind his booth, the young DJ knows how to handle his stage better than many veteran artists. He knows his relevance to this generation and embraces it wholly. From his booth/command centre, he led the population of Spaceship Estereo Picnic out of this world into one of dancing aliens that, oddly, felt like home.


By Felipe Torres

Estereo Picnic 2015Bringing back rock and roll

Jack White’s Estereo Picnic performance was a pleasant reminder that good, old-fashioned rock and roll is still alive and well.
On Thursday, after the multi-coloured visuals of Foster the People faded out of sight, the blues filled the festival’s Tigo Music Stage. White, a 50’s pompadour hairstyle flopping over his still youthful face, bounded onstage under a gleaming blue light and amidst electrifying riffs, with the confidence that only comes with being one of the most prominent names in contemporary rock.

Throughout his hour-and-a-half set, raw energy flowed from White and his talented band, infecting the thousands of spectators to jump around and sing along to every single song. The show included songs from White’s solo career – such as Lazaretto and Love Interruption – as well as tunes from his days in “The White Stripes” and “The Raconteurs”, like “Hotel Yorba” and “Steady As She Goes”. White finished with an inspiring performance of his most popular hit: “Seven Nation Army”. The festival put on fireworks for the finale, but White had already lit up the night for Bogotanos.


By Felipe Torres

Photo: Carlos Delgado
Photo: Carlos Delgado
DJ disappointment

I remember the wonder that was “I Created Disco”, I remember dancing like a weirdo to “Acceptable in the 80s”, and singing “I like them black girls, I like them white girls…” a thousand times. I remember feeling a touch of jealousy for this lad who, with a personal and authentic touch, was revolutionising his genre.

I remember all this, but on Saturday I saw this man’s anti-Christ, a mainstream, marketing DJ, banal and lacking in ideas.
Instead of finishing the revolution he started, Calvin Harris has decided to set down his arms in the clubs of the UK and seek fortune in less hostile lands. He has set aside his beliefs and formatted his music to be in line with standards set by the house industry.

He sold his soul to the devil just for a chance to sit at the high table with David Guetta, Steve Aoki and Pitbull, other artists who lost their way and now serve up the same commercial, flavourless music soup that you’d find in the epic parties of Ibiza or Miami Beach.

Calvin, you created Disco but, sadly, you also killed it.


By Roman Maciejewski

Estereo Picnic 2015 Manu Chao
Photo: thetripwirenyc

Dia del Campo

Saying Chao to cruelty

Packed in a sweaty tent pulsing to the frenetic beat of gypsy-punk and illuminated by wonderfully imaginative visuals, Manu Chao’s return to his former stomping ground was enthusiastically greeted by the hordes of Rolos who turned out to see him last Sunday.

Set in a sectioned-off corner of the Estereo Picnic sprawl, the day was billed as Día de Campo and emphasised the participation of all ages, especially children, who could be seen busily destroying and re-creating the bales of hay that had been laid out for fans to relax on outside the tent. Luckily, the bales provided a welcome escape, as the first band to take the stage proved to be a death-metal take on gypsy punk. Crazy programming, it must be said, with a crowd expecting music closer to the hippy-end of the spectrum. A mass exodus ensued.

Come 5.30pm, a surge of people entered the tent eagerly awaiting the main event, but Manu still had a few more tricks up his sleeve. Animal cruelty and the environment were top of the agenda on the undercard as a mournful singer-songwriter first treated the disbelieving crowd to a mini-gig that included the outrageously titled “Vegano Bacano”. This was followed by a merry-go-round of impassioned testimonies from young activists who stressed resistance to governmental oversights of human and animal rights abuses.

The activists stood in sharp contrast to Mr. Vegano Bacano, whose introverted one-man style jarred with expectations. Yet by building and harnessing the energy of the audience with wails and pleas for justice, equality and resistance, the activists set the stage for the main event. Manu finally entered on the back of an infectious, rolling drum beat. The wait was over. The man had arrived.

With his renowned style, Manu Chao belted out his classics with a rush of energy, looking like a man hell-bent on setting the world to rights. The audience was charged with anticipation, and with a mosh-pit erupting at the front and the ripples of energy barely letting up further away from the epicentre, the Dia del Campo finally looked set to meet the crowd’s expectations.

By Daniel Haddow

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