Oxegen 2010


Oxegen 2010 - The Drums

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ATL | 12:14 UK time, Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Red Bull Tent, Saturday 10th July, 9.50pm

Describe in a tweet: Breath of fresh air

What happened: New York act The Drums are one of the buzz bands of the moment after releasing a short seven track EP last year as well as earning themselves a place on the prestigious BBC Sound of 2010 poll. On top of this they released their debut album proper a few weeks ago. So, quite rightly, the tent was rammed for their performance.

Going on slightly later than billed, probably due to the fact that the set was being played out live on the Red Bull Music Academy website, the band finally came on and wasted no time in giving the crowd what they came for. Melancholic, sardonic, catchy indie belters!

Channelling the energy of early Smiths-period Morrisey in both vocal style and content ("you're my best friend, and then you die"), the concert achieves that rare goal of making this reviewer want to rush home after the set and listen to the album over and over again.

Crazy in Love: Every so often the guitar player would put down his main instrument in favour of a tamborine and prance around the stage tapping it. You couldn't help but smile. 

99 Problems: The tent was absolutely jam-packed - they could easily have played to a larger audience. 

Oxegen Rating: 8/10

Oxegen 2010 - Paolo Nutini

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ATL | 11:22 UK time, Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Main Stage, Sunday 11th July, 7pm

Describe in a tweet: Sunshine radiated with a raw Scottish charm that you can't help but like

What happened: Accompanied by the music from The Godfather, a motley crew of three men on brass, two guitarists and one drummer made their way onstage, with Paolo hot on their heels. Armed with maracas, bongos and a saxophone they instantly made rainy Oxegen feel like a tropical bar on the beach.

Uplifting trumpets ablaze, they kicked off with latest single '10/10' and, being a total natural on stage, Paolo smiled from ear to ear, epitomising the vibe of his 2009 album 'Sunny Side Up'. The beautiful 'Alloway Grove' saw him sing in soulful bluesy tones before having a go on the drums. Then, taking the mic in his hands and talking in a broad Paisley accent that you could just about make out, he called Ireland one of the seven wonders of the world, which was music to the ears of fans.

The super catchy 'Candy', with its brilliant electric guitar riffs, got the crowd dancing along and this was chased up by 'New Shoes' and 'Jenny Don't Be Hasty' from the more guitar-focused first album, 'These Streets'. Finishing off with a slow acoustic version of 'Last Request' Paolo didn't even need to use his voice, as the crowd sang it back to him in volumes.

Crazy in Love: Paolo covered MGMT's 'Time to Pretend' with such passion and depth that it sounded almost autobiographical.

99 Problems: With vuvuzelas being honked in the background, you could not forget that Paolo's set clashed with the World Cup final. BOO!

Oxegen Rating: 8.5/10

Oxegen 2010 - 30 Seconds to Mars

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ATL | 10:56 UK time, Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Vodaphone Stage, Sunday 11th July, 8.20pm

Describe in a Tweet: Buck Rodgers acts out the rock star

What happened: Hitting the stage with a massive bleached mohawk, a blue leather jacket and bright red gloves, ATL was gobsmacked to see that Jared Leto's new look left him looking like a cross between Buck Rodgers and Johnny Rotten.

After the initial shock, we tried to embrace the four-piece that are 30 Seconds to Mars, but found it hard not to be grated down by Leto's obvious theatrics. As well as ordering the crowd to "go crazy!" "scream as hard as you can!" and "jump Ireland, jump!". With banalities being thrown left, right and centre for effect, it felt like the actor was just doing his rock star act, leaving little room for musical authenticity. In spite of such apprehension, the fans certainly lapped up Leto's rhetoric and 'Night of the Hunter' got plenty of revellers jumping and up down wildly.

Singing into the face of a crowd surfer who had reached the stage, and wearing a pair of heart sunglasses, Leto sang 'Closer to the Edge' accompanied by his brother - replete with studs and eyeliner, and banging furiously on the drums. Conducting cheers from the fans from different areas of the crowd and getting two mosh pits to merge into one, Leto definitely knows how to work the crowd. However, he was constantly stopping songs midway to shout "lose your minds!", "you ****ing psychos!" and the like, as well as stretching eight songs over a one-hour set, making us question how much material the band actually has.

Crazy in Love: Getting members of the crowd onstage for the final song 'Kings and Queens' was a really special, unifying experience and showed the importance of the fans to the band.

99 Problems: Leto's rock star theatrics were topped off by him saying "we'll never forget this day for as long as we live!" Maybe best not, eh Jared?

Oxegen Rating: 5/10

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