‘Holy shit, it’s actually happening. Frank Ocean is here, in Denmark, at Northside, right now… And he will be playing in about 20 minutes!!’ That was basically my line of thoughts, when I had placed myself in front of the stage, like 10.000 other people, urging to see the star. I couldn’t believe it! (Yes, I’m a huge fan).
But as time went by, without an Ocean in sight, I was suddenly not so optimistic anymore… ‘Maybe there’ll be an announcement in a minute saying that he couldn’t do it anyway.. That he never actually arrived, or that they were afraid that the rain would ruin his equipment or something’, I was thinking.
And people kept squeezing even more people and more friends into the crowd, even though it was impossible to find a decent spot in there. I was almost leaning up against other people all around me, when I gave up after his 40 minute delay. Everyone was extremely tense!
I left my spot, and went further back to be able to breath again. I was actually a bit pissed off. But my wet feet and freezing body might have something to do with that a well. Just as I had placed myself in a more comfortable spot, he went on stage. Of course! Just as I had left the spot with the better view. It still drizzled a bit, but there was almost a perfect night time atmosphere for Frank Ocean’s music. Fans screamed loudly, as he entered with his headphones, and started playing softly. Wow!
When people had settled, and the not-huge-fans had gone home or into a dry covered area, I managed to get near the stage and enjoy the lovely tunes and voice of Frank Ocean. I got the chills. With ‘Bike Ride’ and other songs from his new album, he quickly mesmerised his audience, as he calmly went back and forth on the platform going straight into the crowd.
Everyone was quiet, and stood there with huge eyes, taking every bit of the sounds into their hearts. It was very emotional. The rain stopped as he moved on to ‘Thinking Bout You’ from the ‘Channel Orange’ album. And people almost whispered as they sang along to the chorus ‘When I’m thinkin’ ’bout you, ooh, no, no, no..’ as they did not want to interfere with the crisp and beautiful voice of the star. He managed to hit every note perfectly, even the high notes. Not. A. Single. Vocal flaw. Tired people started leaving, making more space for the mesmerised fans enjoying the music in silence. It was very intense standing there, among thousands of other people, and no one said a word, but gave a sigh once in a while, or sang along a bit.
I did not know that Frank Ocean was one to talk to his audience, but at one point he actually poured his heart out to us ’Somehow, I kinda feel like you are ignoring me up here’… Well, Frank, we are not! We just don’t know what to say. He moved on to playing ‘Nights’, still wearing his headphones and switching between sitting and walking back and forth on the platform. And ‘Pink + White’ also from ‘Blonde’ made people smile from it’s joyful tunes and beats. Smoke came into the crowd and only made the atmosphere more mystical.
He asked if we were all okay out there? And the crowd answered positively with an applause. It was clear that he is a very introvert artist. It felt hard for him to reach out to all of us on that wet and dark field. It seemed that he was nervous to share his soul with us, and that he knew he was too fragile to face it if his hard work and intense music did not live up to our expectations. If it did, depends on how intensely you listened that night.
With ‘Pyramids’, he loosened up a bit, and the audience started dancing to the popular ‘Channel Orange’ song. And without further introduction, he moved on to ‘Siegfried’, where you could really see a calmness and quietness return to people’s eyes. Frank Ocean, the mystical introvert artist and phenomena created a beautiful ending with ‘Nikes’ without any autotune, which I enjoyed very much. Just what I hoped for. He doesn’t need it anyway.
If you really listen to his music, and his emotional lyrics, this was a magical performance. And intense indeed! If you were looking for a ‘normal’ festival concert, you might have been disappointed, ‘cause that was not what he gave us. He gave us a part of him, the way he wanted to do it, and not how drunk mainstream festival attendees might have wanted it.
It was definitely a fan experience. And since I’m one, I will give him a score of 5 for this magical experience. If I weren’t a fan, it might have been a different story. The delay did annoy me though, I have to say. But still, he made up for it during the concert.
We know, that people have had different experiences with this one, which might be due to the surround sound-system and low sound. For those who were lucky enough to be a part of the show, it truly was a magical experience. (5/6)