This past weekend kicked off Roskilde Festival—Denmark’s annual week of insanity where attendees are almost obliged to abandon all sense of self and simply get wasted for a week straight and maybe see some concerts in between beers, too. Technically speaking, however, you don’t actually have to spend a week reducing yourself to little more than a skeletal machine powered by copious amounts of alcohol: the first few days are ‘warm up’ days, before the actual festival begins Wednesday. However, we decided to do the full week of beer bowling, burger-scarfing, and band-filled madness—which means we also managed to catch some pretty impressive emerging acts. Here’s the best of what we’ve seen so far.
Crowd watching Av Av Av at Roskilde Festival.
Before Av Av Av took to the Apollo Countdown Stage late Sunday night, things were pretty chill, festival-wise. Minimal amounts of puking, shirtless boys were visible; some reasonably civil-looking drinking games were going on here and there. It really wasn’t too crazy—until Av Av Av came on stage. Av Av Av initiated the true party atmosphere of Roskilde Festival: the three Copenhagen-based producers and DJs delivered a set that put just the right minimal techno spin on the floatier, effervescent beats we’re used to hearing from them. The insane light show on the stage only amplified the energy: people were dance-moshing and spilling beer all over each other, and even the rain that came near the end of the set didn’t stop people from seriously losing their shit to Av Av Av.
We haven’t been shy about our admiration for Molly lately, and that’s not without reason. The Copenhagen-based ‘power pop’ trio has only gained momentum and increased their in-your-face energy since exploding onto the scene a few months ago with their single "Bagu Bagu", followed by the release of their refreshingly impressive debut LP Peach Melba. On Monday, they took to Roskilde’s Rising Stage at a somewhat-sleepy 15:30 and pretty much seamlessly replicated the no-stopping energy you’ll hear listening to Peach Melba. No visible nerves and no arrogance on stage—just three guys who know their shit and know it well, and deliver it to the audience tight, intense, and with a tidal wave of energy.
Simply crossing over the stairs from East to West to the Rising Stage to see De Underjordiske was enough to clue us in on how this show was going to go: for a band playing the Rising Stage, the crowd was pretty sizable—as in, spilling out way past the sides of the stage, with a tangible air of anticipation hovering above them. When De Underjordiske actually played, they killed it: with determined and tight musicianship from all the band members, the Copenhagen-based psych group delivered quite the electrifying punch—all organically and expressively tied together by vocalist Peter Kure. The crowd was super into it – so much so that a mosh pit emerged at some point – and the whole set was a powerhouse of energy and the kind of catharsis you only really get from proper psych rock.
Another Copenhagen-based outfit, these three guys have been hyped for the past little while for their addictive brand of ‘romantic punk’ punctuated with youthful abandon and solid hooks that instantly get stuck in your head. When they took to the Rising Stage at 23:30 on Monday night, the hype was matched by the kind of promising stage presence you only get from a small portion of emerging bands. The Entrepreneurs delivered a smoke-shrouded set that sent Mathias Bertelsen’s vocals soaring against the relentless heaviness of the drums—and proved that the howling energy we’ve heard from them so far in tracks "Brutal Summer" and "It Strikes Again, Love" is here to stay with The Entrepreneurs.
Life’s about exuding confidence, right? Is there anything you can do that exudes more confidence than shamelessly dancing to rowdy rap music like an underage girl at the first club she’s snuck into? For the sake of everyone watching Molotov Movement on Monday night, we hope not—because it seemed like every single person in the crowd was sloppily twerking and collapsing into their neighbor with ambitious and commendable enthusiasm. The hip-hop crew composed of rap duo MellemFingaMuzik, Gilli and Højer Øje played music best suited for the kind of deliciously sleazy club that sells gin & tonics for 180kr and features girls drunkenly discarding their stilettos circa 2 am. Which isn’t a bad thing: Molotov Movement was intense, loud, bumpin’, rowdy and even surprising—S!vas came out at some point to drive the crowd mental with everyone’s guilty pleasure, "D.A.U.D.A". Molotov Movement was stupid fun—and inspired quite a few questionable dance moves. No shame.
Ruined at Roskilde Festival.
This Copenhagen-based punk/hardcore outfit took to the Rising Stage at 17:00 on Tuesday to a small, slightly dazed-seeming crowd. However, the size and energy of the crowd didn’t seem to deter these guys at all: for the next half hour, Ruined delivered a brutal set in the awe-striking sense of the word. Vocalist Laurits Nielsen marched around on stage like some sort of possessed overlord leading his crew to divine victory; both the guitar and bassist played with the kind of relentless energy that shouldn’t be humanly possible; and the drummer launched himself into his music with ruthless speed, proving quite the sight to behold on a Tuesday afternoon. Ruined gave it their all to songs that sounded colossal, apocalyptic and earnestly wild—proving that infectious hardcore is alive and well, and completely embodied by Ruined.