Optimus Alive Festival – Day 1 by the numbers
Day 1 of Optimus Alive was full of sun (and then cloud, and then some drizzle), situated on the water in Alges, not too far from the heart of Lisbon. The festival features several acts that are also playing at Bilbao BBK Live, also happening this weekend. Check out the Bilbao review from our friends at PPSF, who are there all weekend long, and blogged about Robert Smith’s impromptu 3 song acoustic set for The Cure.
I had great first impressions from Optimus Alive (despite the poor signage once you get off the train). The guy at the ticket booth was friendly and understanding of my situation (someone else signed for my delivered tickets and I never got them). When we queued up to enter around 5:00, we were greeted by a band playing about 100 feet in the air, as part of the Optimus Alive entrance decoration. Very cool and very innovative.
The beer was reasonably priced (€3.50 for 500 mL Heineken) and food was also reasonable (although not the tastiest). There were booths set up for Durex condoms (Rock Sex – and I thought rockers didn’t have sex), a speed dating research booth (cleverly located close to the condom booth, as well as arts and crafts, a crane that lifted people up for a view of the site (and had an abnormally long queue), and plenty of food options (Pizza Hut and KFC – really?!).
Enough boring preamble, let’s talk bands. And now it’s time for Optimus Alive – By the Numbers.
Number of hours we decided to drink beer before seeing bands: 2ish. Sorry , Danko Jones!
Number of Dum Dum Girls Wearing All-Black: All 4. But fans of the band already knew that.
Number of Dum Dum Girls Wearing Shades Inside the Tent: 2 – it’s never too dark for sunglasses. Except this look only last one song. The bass drum was a touch loud (I’m not old, honest!). A crowd pleasing set, with stand out tracks including Always Looking and Wasted Away. Props to the fans with the Dum Dum Girls flag – very cool – and it even made it into Dee Dee’s hands on stage.
Number of brand new songs: 1 – Lavender Haze. Sounded like a Dum Dum Girls song.
Number of cool t-shirts spotted: 3. “Music sounds better with you”, “I prefer the drummer”, and “You looked better on Facebook.”
Number of homemade t-shirts spotted with LMFAO lyrics on them: >5 – Lame!
Number of condom balloons floating around during various sets: Lots! Thanks, Durex!
Number of guys pretending not to sing during Snow Patrol’s set : Lots. A big turnout that wasn’t just people camping out for the Stone Roses. Excellent vocals and some good visuals to boot had this blogger singing along (at least to Run).
Percentage of people not singing along during Chasing Cars: Probably <1%. Also rounding out the singalong set were favourites Run and Shut Your Eyes. Number of Stone Roses t-shirts being worn: Dozens and dozens. It was clear who the crowd were here to see.
Number of seconds to win the crowd over : <10. Once I Want To Be Adored started, the crowd couldn't believe they were finally seeing the band. Number of songs until the Stone Roses lost the crowd : 4, maybe 5. A lack of crowd favourites, mixed with uninspired stage presence from Ian Brown meant crowd chatter where I was, and a far subdued response compared to the anticipation.
Towers of amps that Justice had: 2. 3×3 stacks either side of the turntables with the infamous cross. The amps were eventually used in the light show.
Breaks that Justice took : 0! They ripped through songs from both albums, and even blended songs from both album into 1 sweet mix at times. The crowd dance factor was pretty much a 10.
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