The Strokes & Glasvegas unleash a truly memorable performance on opening day of Oxegen

Oxegen 2011 review

published: Wed 13th Jul 2011

Glasvegas

Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July 2011
Punchestown Racecourse, Naas, Co Kildare, Eire, Ireland
224.50 for 3 day including camping
last updated: Thu 30th Jun 2011

Upon arrival at Oxegen I was directed to the green campsite, my home for the next three days. After pitching my tent and doing some site reconnaissance I ventured into the festival and immediately recognised the band blaring from the Oxegen Main stage. It was Weezer, one of my favourite bands from my formative teen years.

Formed in 1992 and now consisting of Rivers Cuomo, Brian Bell, Scott Shriner and Pat Wilson the band have enjoyed considerable success both in the United States and Europe. Drawing influence from the likes of Nirvana and the Pixies I would classify them as an alternative rock band with constant nods to both the punk, grunge and pop genres. Anyone who has been to the Oxegen festival will know that the atmosphere is already at fever pitch. Playing the hits that have made them famous around the world including 'Hash Pipe', 'Island in the Sun' and finishing with 'Buddy Holly' they thoroughly entertained the already buzzing Irish crowd. They also played songs from a few other artists including 'Teenage Dirtbag' by Wheatus. I recall a few of the people around me asking what songs Weezer had, moments later they were singing along, this is a testimony to the bands success as both an act on the night and in general.

Next up on the Main stage were My Chemical Romance, again an alternative American rock band. Playing a mix of gothic/glam rock and popularly referred to as an 'emo' band I would freely admit that I was not particularly excited about seeing them. Nevertheless it was clear that many in the crowd had come to Oxegen with My Chemical Romance as number one on their list of bands to see. I would compare them with bands like the Misfits and possibly even Queen. The song 'Welcome to the Black Parade' was a highlight.

The Strokes
The Vodafone stage played host to New York band The Strokes who delivered a blistering set full of their biggest hits. Julian Casablancas was kitted out in leather and sunglasses and in true rock star style quite literally blew the crowd away. The set was littered with hits including 'The End Has No End', 'New York City Cops' and 'Last Nite' which was the penultimate song. When 'Last Nite' started it's fair to say that the crowd went absolutely bonkers, crowd surfing and moshing. The stage set up is also worth a mention with an eclectic screen showing retro 80's videogames. I wouldn't have classified myself as a big Strokes fan prior to the performance but they won me over with their garage type rock, slurred vocals and uncanny ability to maintain an intimate connection with a crowd full of drunken Irish rockers. It was without question a truly memorable and awesome performance.

After The Strokes I was on a high and strolled happily through thousands of happy festival goers to catch the tail end of Noah and the Whale and the headliners of the 2FM Hotpress stage Glasvegas. Anyone listening to the radio over the last few months will no doubt have been dumbfounded and aggravated in their attempts to decipher the chorus of Noah's most recent hit 'LIFEGOESON'. I am a big fan of Noah and the Whale and was torn in my journalistic duty to cover bands. I will say the tail end of the show was very enjoyable. The band comes across as somewhat serene but they have a cheeky and playful style of live performance which was both a surprise and a pleasure to watch.

Glasvegas
Topping off my night were the Scottish rockers Glasvegas and their enigmatic front man James Allan complete with sunglasses. Initially I was entranced by the stage set up. A GLASVEGAS sign flashed every other second accompanying Allan's emotionally charged lyrics; the closest thing I can think of to describe it is Dirk Diggler's flashing neon sign in the film Boogie Nights. 'Daddy's Gone' and 'It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry' were delivered in Allan's Scottish drawl that has gained the band its considerable cult following. He possesses tremendous stage presence and listening to him I believed what he was singing. It was an emotional and powerful end to an awesome day.
review by: Gary Feeney

photos by: Andrew McLaughlin

Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July 2011
Punchestown Racecourse, Naas, Co Kildare, Eire, Ireland
224.50 for 3 day including camping
last updated: Thu 30th Jun 2011


latest on this festival

Oxegen
festival home page
last updated: Tue 8th Sep 2015
Oxegen returns with Guetta
video of the day
last updated: Sat 3rd Aug 2013
Oxegen 2013
festival details
last updated: Wed 22nd May 2013