Roskilde Festival Review: Moor Mother, Irreversible Entanglements, Kacey Musgraves, Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa, Phoebe Bridgers, June 30


During his early afternoon set on the second day of Roskilde, English rapper Sam Wise was definitely feeling the appreciation of the crowd. “This is what im talking about! Good music and good people” he said, and really, those words are as good an encapsulation as any of what Roskilde is all about.

As far as the ‘good people’ part of that equation goes, it was not uncommon to hear the performers comment over the course of the festival’s four days on how great the crowds were. And as for the music, I can’t think of too many festivals with as solid and varied a lineup as Roskilde. After all, it’s not just any festival that can open up the day with an early morning set of ragas and end end things off with a late night set from a power violence/grindcore band, but that’s exactly what Roskilde’s programmers had scheduled for us on the second day of the festival. There’s room at Roskilde for everything, from the massive pop stars like Dua Lipa and Megan Thee Stallion to more esoteric fare. And on this day, great moments were to be found at either end of this musical spectrum.

The standout performer of the day for me personally was Moor Mother, who appeared not once but twice on the lineup, first as part of jazz combo Irreversible Entanglements and later on in the evening as a solo performer. And both sets were compelling and powerful.

Taking to the stage alongside her bandmates, Moor Mother delivered some impassioned spoken word over the frenetic and experimental jazz instrumentals provided by her Irreversible Entanglements comrades. While they may be a jazz band, there was a real punk rock energy to their set. Incredible stuff. Following that, Moor Mother returned to the Gloria stage later that evening for a solo set that was different than her set with the band earlier but no less intense and no less compelling. At multiple times during her set, she went down to perform amongst the crowd, bringing her message more directly to the people.

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While smaller scale shows like the ones at the Gloria stage often make for the most unique and memorable moments at Roskilde, the bigger moments on the festival’s Orange stage can be just as memorable. Texan country/pop singer Kacey Musgraves put on an entertaining show to open up the main stage for the day, delivering a set full of songs from throughout her career that made for the perfect soundtrack to a sunny day.

While tracks like “Cherry Blossom”, “Butterflies”, “Space Cowboy” and “Rainbow” stood out as highlights, some of the most memorable moments came in the form of a pair of cover songs. A lovely version of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” had the whole crowd singing along while the follow up to that song, a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”, kept the “Kacey-oke” moment going, with actual karaoke-style lyrics scrolling across the big screen as she and her band played. Following the Elvis cover/mass singalong, Musgraves expressed he appreciation for the crowd. “If y’all arent careful you’re gonna make me want to move out of America … America sucks. And you can tell ’em i said that.”

Also commenting on the state of The States was Phoebe Bridgers, who took a moment to call out her “mess of a country” and also mentioned some abortion funds that people could donate to if they felt like doing something. “We may need some help from outside” she added.

Bridgers put on a great show, drawing mostly on songs from her latest, Punisher. She did, however, throw a bit of a curveball, delivering a solo version of her boygenius tune “Me & My Dog” once she realized she had some extra time as her set was drawing to a close. “I saw a sign for this song, which rarely gets requested,” she said. “So I’m gonna do it.” Following that, she ended off her set with “I Know The End” which culminated in the crowd joining her in the cathartic scream at the end.

While Roskilde may be all about the good music and good people that Sam Wise referred to earlier, sometimes it also just feels right to end your night off with a good scream.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts