Photo by Mathias Bak Larsen (via Facebook)
NS17 is upon us again – and whilst the weather predictions might be iffy – rest assured there’ll be plenty to see and do over the next three days in Ådalen. This being the 7th installment of the much-loved outdoor festival, the expectations have been very high. Radiohead, of course, is closing the weekend on Sunday – and I’m sure many are here from all over just to see ‘em ply their trade – however, who to see in the meantime? Here’s what we deem as absolutely un-missable come hell or high water.
Run The Jewels (Friday, 17:45 Green Stage)
RTJ (Killer Mike and EL-P) are probably one of the best hip-hop acts going (*enter Jeremy Clarkson voice…) IN THE WORLD. Their 3rd record came just in time to help heal both the USA’s and planet earth’s painful wounds after the Donald was elected president of southern Canada. These guys are just my speed – politically and socially charged intelligent hip-hop purveyed by one Southerner, and one New Yorker, and they also re-mixed their second joint using only samples from cats. I hate Trump, love cats, and honored to have RTJ representing on the first day.
What To Expect: Dank shit. Seriously dank shit.
Frank Ocean (Friday, 23:45 Green Stage)
Despite having canceled loads of his dates in Europe on this summer’s festival leg – we’re assured young Mr. Ocean will indeed grace the Green stage Friday. With his second record finally dropping last year (and it’s a masterpiece) and his profile rightly peaking – This is definitely going to be a highlight of the weekend. Sultry genius abounds with who might possibly be the reigning kind of R&B dropping by.
What To Expect: Chills and falling in love with an angry sky.
Ride (Saturday, 16:30 Blue Stage)
Ride are enjoying a renaissance and comeback. Even if you weren’t around to appreciate them the 1st time around, Ride were by all accords, the lords of British shoegaze in their glorious first act over 25 years ago. They’ve since recorded a new record, due out anytime soon, and been blowing away fans both new and old on the festival circuit for a few years now. Their first record, Nowhere is deemed as “essential to the genre” and Ride were purported to be one of the world’s best live bands of their (first) era. Apparently, they haven’t lost any of the knack and we’ll be fortunate enough to see so for ourselves.
What To Expect: A little Harsh noise and people of a certain age being overwhelmed with joy.
The Kills (Saturday, 17:45 Green Stage)
How would you describe The Kills? Raw, Beautiful, Loose, Tight, Trashy? Okay. One of the Garage/indie darlings, and festival faves for donkey’s years, The Kills brought out a career best last year in their fantastic record – Ash & Ice. If you think you’d like to hear some trashy guitars, knock back some beers and watch one of my favorite front-people (Allison Mosshart) do some rock n’ roll, the is not to be missed.
What To Expect: ditching your friends who want to have a cocktail and actually seeing a band.
Thomas Dybdahl – (Sunday, 15:45 Blue Stage)
If You’re not Scandinavian – you might not yet be familiar with this Norwegian fella. I’ve seen him play festival slots several times now, and each experience was remarkable. With a voice like an angel, and a back catalogue of incredible material (think: if Justin Vernon wasn’t depressed and made a record with Radiohead) this might be the one to catch if you’re looking for something with substance. His new album The Great Plains is a masterful piece of work – and I’ll be making a bead for the Blue stage, with or without my buddies in town Sunday afternoon.
What To Expect: beautiful locals swaying with their eyes shut while trying to melt away a hangover
Whether it’s your first time at Northside, or you’re an old pro and remember when there were only 12 bands and they ran out of beer – we wish you a great festival in the city of smiles. Let’s play nice, be safe and enjoy each other’s company – no matter what the weather gods chuck our way. Check in with Sound Of Aarhus for festival reportage all weekend and hit us up on your favorite social media platforms.