Melt! Festival is one of the biggest events in Europe’s festival summer. The line up has three days full of world class acts to offer. There is something for everyone as the variety ranges from Kylie Minogue to Nina Kraviz and from Years & Years to Jamie T. Of course I focused more on the pop side this weekend and I can tell you, there was A LOT to enjoy in this genre. These were my highlights of Melt! Festival 2015!
Although the main festival started on friday, on thursday there already was a pre-party for the diehards who didn’t want to wait. The crowd was warmed up by performances of great artists, including a swinging and energetic set by Santigold and house producers duo Gorgon City, who delivered a DJ set that sounded quite different from their debut album Sirens. Still, they played their hits ‘Imagination’ and ‘Here For You’ and the crowd danced like there was no tomorrow. But of course there was a tomorrow, which was opened on the main stage by Swedish pop singer-songwriter Tove Lo. With the burning sun still on her face she performed a great set of her debut album Queen of the Clouds including hit singles ‘Stay High (Habits)’ and ‘Talking Body’ that the crowd enthusiastically sang along to.
The friday was a busy day for every pop fan at Melt! as they directly had to change stages to see Years & Years. Olly, Mikey and Emre celebrated the release of their debut album Communion with a swinging performance. They skipped basically every ballad and fired uptempo after uptempo at the audience. Again, Years & Years had some technical difficulties as Olly’s voice was barely hearable at times. Still, songs like ‘King’, ‘Take Shelter’, ‘Ties’ and ‘Shine’ are outstanding and Olly is a charismatic performer with some cute little moves. On the same stage, electronic pop band Shura performed next. Although they do not have an album out yet, they had enough material to entertain the crowd for 45 minutes. Highlights were the beautiful renditions of the singles ‘Touch’ and ‘2Shy’. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.
London Grammar was back at Melt! on the main stage and they brought a moment of serenity in between all the dancing and beats. Hannah’s voice is crystal clear live and the songs were even more goosebumps inducing in this setting. ‘Hey Now’, ‘Nightcall’ and ‘Wasting My Young Years’ were all performed flawlessly and the band even introduced a new song called ‘Hell To The Liars’ from their upcoming second album. Vocally one of the best performances of the whole festival. La Roux was the last proper pop act to perform on friday and she was pure class on stage. The clothes, the attitude, her voice, and especially those banging tracks were all just perfect. ‘Sexotheque’ of her second album was one of the highlights and of course singles like ‘Bulletproof’ and ‘I’m Not Your Toy’ were sung by hundreds of voices. By all means an outstanding performance.
The saturday of Melt! Festival was all about Kylie Minogue. The Australian superstar graced the festival with a performance, but not before legendary disco producer Giorgio Moroder took to the stage with a DJ set. The 75 years old Italian hitmaker isn’t really a DJ, but it’s always nice to hear a string of verses and choruses of a lot of his tracks in a row, including his hit single ‘Right Here, Right Now’ with Kylie and his classics with Donna Summer. When Minogue started her performance with ‘Better The Devil You Know’ the crowd already adored her. They chanted ‘Kylie! Kylie!’ in between the songs and every hand was in the air during full on show performances of hits like ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’, ‘On A Night Like This’, ‘Slow’ and ‘Love At First Sight’. She also did some covers, including an English rendition of ’99 Luftballons’ by Nena, for her German fans. The swinging dance version of Kim Carnes’ ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ screams for an official release. She ended her gig with ‘All The Lovers’ and ‘Into The Blue’, the lead single of her most recent album. It’s safe to say Melt! loved her and there is definitely room for artists like her on this festival. On the same stage, during night time, Flume gave a visually and musically great performance where everyone danced along and sang along to his mixes of Disclosure’s ‘You and Me’ and Lorde’s ‘Tennis Court’.
On sunday it was time for some Scandinavian pop in the Intro Tent. Seinabo Sey performed in a red dress and her charming personality and huges vocals made the audience fall in love with the Swedish artist. She played songs from her EP’s For Madeleine and For Maudo and hitsingle ‘Younger’ was an absolute highlight. Although Seinabo faced some technical difficulties with her ear-ins, she had the crowd in the palm of her hands. Norwegian teenager Aurora managed to do the same with her quirky personality and performance style. Her vocals are crystal clear and her electronic pop choruses are right in the face every single time. ‘Running With The Wolves’ is her best song so far and she performed it with pure passion and emotion. Judging from the other songs we heard tonight, her debut album will be of epic proportions. Meanwhile on the main stage, Jamie T faces the rain and gives a powerful performance of swinging songs like ‘Rabbit Hole’. The mainstage is closed with a mesmerizing show by Alt-J. It’s simple, it’s sober, but it is very much on point. The vocals are stunning, the synths sound glorious live and songs like ‘Matilda’, ‘Tesselate’ and ‘Breezeblocks’ strike a chord with everyone that stands at the mainstage and watches them in awe. The perfect closing act for a festival with a brilliant atmosphere, a beautiful industrial setting and an outstanding line up with artists that delivered what one whould have expected from them and much more.