Are you alive? was the Optimus Alive Festival’s slogan. Are you alive and strong enough to see a lot of great bands in three days like if they were the last three days of your live? If you are and then you want to spend some days in the beautiful Lisbon and its coast surroundings this is definitely your festival.
The line up was composed by artists like Stone Roses, The Cure, Radiohead, Mumford & Sons, Florence+The Machine, The Kooks, Justice and many others. It took place in Algés (Lisbon, Portugal) the 13,14 and 15th of july. This was the 6th edition and in previous ones artists like Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Metallica, Bob Dylan, Rage Against the Machine, Ben Harper or Faith No More have participated in it
I had tickets for the saturday 14th july. Groups like The Cure, Florence+The Machine (who finally cancelled their gig because a Florence’s voice injury and were replaced by Morcheba), Mumford&Sons, Noah and the Whale and We trust played in the main stage. But other artists like Lisa Hannigan, Tricky, Awolnation, The Antlers or James Murphy played in the secondary stage (Heineken stage), and this one gave me some good surprises.
My festival day began in the Heineken stage with Lisa Hannigan. She started her carreer singing with Damien Rice and, in 2011, her second album “Passenger” was a success so she decided to tour on her own. She is really full of life and eagerness to have fun playing and to make the audience enjoy. The concert was brilliant. Technically perfect, nice vocal harmonies, passionate and funny. Lisa really had a good time on stage, so we did.
Thetour continued with We Trust, a local portuguese band, that played a kind of new-age-pop mixture. It was not a surprising show but they sounded ok.
After them came Noah and The Whale. The audience seemed to like the gig and their music is lively and easy-listening so it was a nice hour. But for me it was nothing more than that.
When the sun was going down Mumford&Sons appeared on stage. Personally, they were the main ingredient of the line-up after Florence+The Machine. The show was great. Their sound was awesome. People were singing and dacing like crazy with their songs. They cheered up the audience playing in a pure and professional way. They are clearly one of the main candidates for a successful festival.
Then I moved again to the Heineken stage to see Tricky. I did not know him and he was with Lisa, one of the big surprises of the day. He was not alone on stage. Besides his musicians, he came with a italian female vocalist called Constanza Francavilla whose voice was amazing. This was really a SHOW. He really made the audience participated in it.People went up on stage with him and they danced and singed with the english artist. The sound was enveloping, revitalizing, like a drug. Trip-hop is not easy to describe, as it is not Tricky’s style, but I have to say that, for me, was one of the greatest gigs of the festival.
The cherry on the cake for a lot of people that came to Optimus Alive was The Cure. I am not a big fan of them, although I recognise they are a mythical band and their music was a leading influence of the post-punk and new gothic rock 80’s panorama. Personally I was a bit disappointed with the gig. Their sound was correct, but I miseds kind of hustle and strength on it. For me the played apathetically, but maybe this is the key of their original sound.
Summing up the festival was a really nice experience. The space was big, near to the beach. Not excesive prices on drinks and food. Sea breeze, lively atmosphere and good music. What else?
Optimus Alive 2013, maybe we will see each other again next year.