The Pstereo festival 2014 is over, the sound has died and all the people in front of, on, and behind the stages have left. I have attended the festival every year since 2009, and this year was the overall best. Not necessarily the best artists, but the whole atmosphere, the setup and the attitude. Here are my best shots of the bands I saw at the festival. (Picture above: Ingrid Helene Håvik from Highasakite.)
My first concert Friday was with guitar ace Hedvig Mollestad and her trio. A great concert, as usual, and the trio gets better and better.
After Hedvig Mollestad, I saw Stein Torleif Bjella. He is a singer songwrter with lots of dark humor in his lyrics. His songs are mostly about the hardship of being a man. Great songs, great delivery.
Skambankt is the band of former Kaizer Orchestra guitarist Terje Winterstø Røthing. They are a hard rock band which has existed for 20 years, with catchy melodies and hard riffs plus Norwegian lyrics. They are well worth checking out, both on CD and live.
Warpaint was a new band for me, a female quartet from LA. Their music is indie pop with a good mix of pure pop rock and some electronica. I liked them.
St. Vincent, or Annie Clark, mixes many different styles into her music. You can read more about here here.
Shitrich is a local rapper from Trondheim who stepped in at the last minute when Action Bronson had to cancel.
The headliner Friday night was Biffy Clyro. They have headlined numerous festivals, and deliver the goods every time. Biffy Clyro live is even better than on CD, and I have enjoyed every concert I have seen with them.
After the last act, I went to an after show with Spidergawd, a super group with two members from Motorpsycho, Bent Sæther on bass and Kenneth Kapstad on drums, plus Per Borten on guitar and Rolf Martin Snustad on saxophone. Their excellent musicianship and catchy songs was a perfect way to end the first festival day.
I started out with johndoe on Saturday. They have had a comeback this year after a long hiatus. The band is still good, they rock hard, and I hope they keep on playing.
After johndoe I saw one song with The Dodos, without being too enthusiastic about it.
I ran over to The Fjords who started on another stage at the same time as the Dodos, but didn’t really get it with them, either. It might be me.
Kvelertak were next, and the first band to really catch my interest Saturday. They are getting better and better, and after international tours with big names, they have got a confidence on stage that puts them on the same level as the best Norwegian metal bands.
Cult of Luna is a Swedish sludge metal band, and this was the first time I saw them. They played massive, droning metal with great dynamic outbursts. I liked them and will definitely check them out again.
Highasakite was next, and they have now become one of Norway’s best live acts. I have almost lost count of how many times I have seen them this year, but I still am amazed by their songs and their live performance. The concert at Pstereo was no exception.
Danish electro pop artist Mø was next. I have seen her a couple of times before, and she is an interesting stage artist, even if her music isn’t on my favorite list. I have to say that the lightning was horrible for photography with strong backlight and almost no front light.
Franz Ferdinand was the headliner on Saturday, and even if they played their hits, and played them well, I got a strong feeling of listening to a slightly outdated band. I saw them at the Oya festival in 2005, and found them more vital and interesting then.
All in all this year’s version of Pstereo was the best so far, Both days were sold out, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The festival is very well organized, and the booking is generally high class. To me Friday was the best night, with only Shitrich that didn’t get to me, while Kvelertak, Cult of Luna and Highasakite were the best concerts Saturday.
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.