Optimus Alive Day 2 – By the Numbers
Another sunny day and a nice Justice (and 10+ beer) induced hangover and we’re ready for Round 2, even if Florence isn’t. Here is Day 2 of Optimus Alive by the numbers.
Number of clouds in the sky: 0. Eat your heart out, UK festivals (I’m looking at you, Isle of Wight)
Number of black, Optimus cowboy hats given to the crowd as they entered the festival : Thousands. A very practical (and free!) entry gift. Hats off (yup, I went there) to the organizers.
Number of drummers Big Deal has in their band : 0 (and you were expecting a big number). Not to hate on their shtick, but they probably could’ve used 1. An East London twosome with a guy and a girl, the crowd seemed to use their set as more of a refuge from the sun, with about 80% of the tent sitting. I saw them open for Florence + the Machine at Royal Albert Hall, and my opinion is that they seem rather anonymous.
Number of band members from Noah and the Whale wearing a full suit and tie : All 5. In this Lisboa heat, too.
Number of fiddles needed for a mini dance party: 1. Noah and the Whale had the crowd moving for the latter half of their set, breaking out songs such as Blue Skies, Tonight’s the Kind of Night, and L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. (featured in our Songs of 2011). A solid, crowd-pleasing set.
Number of I Love (various cities) t-shirts: More than 1. Very weird. Examples includes I Love NY, Paris, Barcelona, San Francisco and Andorra
Number of seconds of the Antlers set that I heard during a dinner break that had me ruing the scheduling conflict: About 5. I love No Widows and thats what I heard as I grabbed some grub at the Taste of Portugal (which was serving up some good food). I managed to hear a couple of other songs, including I Don’t Want Love. Next time, boys.
Numbers of bands who said it was their first time in Portugal: 3. Thanks Optimus Alive!
Songs until the crowd were going nuts for Mumford & Sons: 2, since the first was a new one. What followed were heavy hitters Little Lion Man, Winter Winds, and White Blank Page. The mix of stand up bass, trumpet and banjo definitely adds to the live show and the crowd loved it.
Words of Portuguese spoken besides “Obrigado” by Mumford & Sons: >30. The most Portuguese from an English band yet and the crowd loved it. I’m not sure why it’s there, but I liked the Canadian flag sticker on the keyboard, with Vancouver written underneath.
Number of new songs played by Mumford & Sons : 3 by my count. Although none seemed to have the catchiness of the singles from Sigh No More, they were well received. Bring on album #2!
Number of broken hands that Marcus Mumford played with: 1. They almost cancelled their gigs but recruited other people to play with them instead. A well welcomed decision!
Number of people I don’t envy : 6 – the members of Morcheeba, who stood in for an ailing Florence + the Machine. They started strong, with Down By the Sea. The crowd was perhaps obviously subdued, which was even acknowledged by the band (who only found out Friday at 2pm that they were playing). They played some new stuff, and old stuff like Blindfold. Hell, they could’ve played all of Big Calm and I would’ve been a very happy man – that album is trip hop at its finest. Anyway, an admirable set from the London group (4 London groups in a row!)
Number of minutes of headliners The Cure I listened to : 0. I’m not a huge fan, I’m not on assignment, and apparently it gets cold after the sun sets and wearing shorts/t-shirt makes one cold. However, as a kind of consolation to you, The Cure also played Bilbao BBK Live a couple of days ago, and our friends at PPSF have a review and videos for The Cure super fan in you.
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