Review: Frequency Festival – Day One.

FrequencyIt’s Wednesday afternoon and the first day of Frequency Festival in St Pölten, Austria. While tens of thousands of people make their way to the camping grounds, others are already taking a relaxing bath in the mud puddles. Yes, the weather gods are indeed threatening to put a damper on the party but no one here seems to mind.

After Chlöe Howl cancels as the first act to play the Space Stage, which is the only stage open for business on day one, Austrian band Olympique () fill in, doing a great job playing to a scarce crowd that doesn’t quite seem to be ready to start the fun just yet.The mood changes when Conor Oberst (★★★★★) takes the stage. Despite the rather melancholic songs he is so famous for, the crowd seems willing to embark on the ride which turns out to be rather lighthearted and uplifting. Taking requests from an enthusiastic fan and commenting on the rather inconvenient ‘Macklemore catwalk’ in the middle of the stage, Oberst and his band visibly enjoy themselves, even playing the odd Bright Eyes song.

Biffy Clyro (★★★★★) are up next, and for the first time the wave-breaker area directly in front of the stage is filled to capacity. Starting their set with Different People, the Scots soon charm the crowd, having them chanting and cheering after and before every single song. Of course the highlight is their biggest hit Mountains which they save for last.

The rain is getting heavier but that doesn’t stop Bastille (★★★★) from continuing to entertain the ever growing Frequency crowd. Dan Smith sways, struts and jumps around on stage, passionately pounding the drum every so often and it seems he is making an extra effort to distract from the downpour. Whatever it is, it works. And it’s rewarded. When the band plays their last song Pompeii, the rain stops. People take off their plastic ponchos and proceed to swing them over their heads while eh-oh-ing in unison. Definitely one of the highlights on this first day.

The Wednesday headliners Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (★★★★★) provide the highlight though. 40,000 fans have gathered in front of the Space Stage to celebrate their very first show in Austria. As the curtain drops and the rapper steps out on stage accompanied by his band and dancers, the screams from the crowd are deafening. Starting his show with Ten Thousand Hours, it instantly becomes obvious he is setting the bar very high.After every song, Macklemore is at the very front of ‘his’ catwalk, interacting with the fans. His banters are hilarious and genuine. Everyone is dancing and singing along to Thrift Shop, before he introduces his new single Arrows which enjoys an equally excited response. A heartfelt speech about equality follows as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis continue with Same Love, once again earning thunderous applause and cheers. Can’t Hold Us is next and no, nothing can hold us. Not even the rain which makes a vicious comeback. Macklemore declares the Austrian crowd to be the craziest ever after a baby doll dressed in a jumpsuit and green wig is thrown onto the stage.

Of course, no one has a problem with that title. And We Danced has everyone, including the rapper himself, go absolutely mental. Yet he keeps coming back for more. And more. Playing Can’t Hold Us once again before saying goodnight, he proves to be not only the highlight of the day; it’s safe to say that Frequency Festival 2014 was just slayed by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

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