Haldern Pop Review Part 1

Haldern

It was my first Haldern. But definitely not my last one. I was overwhelmed.

The fesitval started thursday afternoon. But we just arrived in the early evening.
Right before the festival started, I knew the whole weekend would stand in the name of music. On the way to the festival, we stopped at the place of a friend of mine, because he forgot his air mattress and sleeping bag. He, DJ of Melting Grooves, showed me the new single of Scarlett Johansson and Pete Yorn, Relator of the Break Up Album. He knew that I would love it.

When we arrived, we completed the team of 11 music junkies, which conisted of 6 girls (my one and her 5 friends), three strangers, and the two of us. The three strangers turned out to be some rockstars themselves. Two active and one inactive member of Stereo Inn, a German feel-good Pop Band with Folk- and Singer/Songwriter-attitude. The composition of our group was perfect.

Thursday:

I just made it to one band on thursday night. It was a little disappointing that Soap & Skin cancelled their gig, so we decided to start slowly. And the only show I saw was a Freak Show. The Irrepressibles were a mixture of alternativ music with opera attitudes. Not really my kind of music but funny. The weekend could only get better.

Friday:

The second day started incredible with 30°C and a jump into the lake. After a BBQ-lunch we went to the stage to see the first band. So basically my Haldern Pop 2009 really started with Port O’Brian. It was the first big highlight. Great accustic guitar sounds, sweet voices.
Port O’Brian was followed by Owen Pallett aka Final Fantasy on the main stage. Owen Pallett was alone on the stage but made music like a three guy band. He played violin and keyboard, and with the help of loops he was able to mix a great sound experience and sang to it. The crowd was amazed and asked for an addition, which they got.

I sadly missed Noah and the Whale. But I was back for Anna Ternheim. She was one of the acts I was really excited to see. And she fulfilled all the expactations I had. Her voice got me and after a few songs, I was freezing because I had goosebumbs for so long. After Anna Ternheim I switched into the tent, the second stage.
Thank goodness, I saw the last few songs of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. They rocked the crowd and the whole tent was celebrating. The band was new to me and but I was directly infected with an Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros-fever. Maybe the following video can convey the atmosphere a little. It is not from the gig at the Haldern Pop Festival, but it was simillar.

So, the crowd was perfectly warmed up for some funky tunes. And we got that by Colin Munroe. I was totally suprised by the mixture of guitar sound, Hip-Hop/Pop-beats, an incredible voice, and likeable stage performance. He reminded me a little of Pharell Williams.
After Colin Munroe the plan scheduled Jonathan Jeremiah, but unfortunately he cancelled the show. But nothing to be sad about, we were able to see a first few songs of William Fitzsimmons. And this long bearded man from Illinois, USA, was blessed with a beautiful voice. His voice impresses already on records but live it is a goosebumbs guarantee. The accustic, story-teller-style and this soft voice reminded me of Sufjan Stevens and I am a huge fan of Sufjan Stevens. William Fitzsimmons will be back in December and I really want to see him playing again.

The big suprise was that a guy called Denison Witmer. The Folksinger from Philadelphia was asked to visit a friend at the Haldern Festival during his honeymoon in Europe. But then he was asked to step in for Jonathan Jeremiah. So he borrowed a guitar and played a great show. Gripping voice and accustic guitar sound, definetly one of the main characters of this years Haldern Pop Festival.
I am really not regretting that I missed the shows of Loney Dear and Patrick Watson on the main stage.

More:

If you wanna read some more about friday, please visit White Tapes, their review is a little more professional.

And the my report about Saturday will follow in a few days.

And stay tune at Haldern Pop TV, where you will be able to see some live videos of the gigs.

(I have to appologize for the bad picture above but I had no camera besides my cell phone and that was the only shot I made. I will change it when I have a better one.)

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Haldern Pop Review Part 1