Electric Picnic 2013 marked the 10th anniversary of the festival's existence and summoned a crowd of 35,000 revelers strong, all ascending in earnest on the magnificent Stradbally Estate to partake in the celebrations.
And celebrate was the order of the weekend. The music and arts festival boasted many pinnacle moments to suit all tastes. Wu-Tang Clan, the most influential rap groups in music history, was a highlight of epic proportions. The undisputed heroes of hip hop destroyed the main stage on Friday night, and were received with all due enthusiasm. They utterly captivated their audience, to the point of frenzy. The musical bucket list sports one less item as a result.
Sipping a mojito on the Saturday afternoon while listening to pioneers of the 2 Tone ska movement, The Beat, singing a version of 'Rock the Casbah' and dedicating it to the memory of Joe Strummer, was indeed another highlight. This particular scenario directed me entertaining the notion that life is pretty sweet.
Sunday – highlight of the weekend
However, it got sweeter. The icing on the proverbial festival birthday cake was provided by David Byrne and St Vincent (Annie Clarke) on Sunday evening in the Electric Arena.
The dishevelment of the three day’s festivities was evident and this act provided a much needed energy injection. There is a stark contrast in both artists vocal styling that works very well together.
Talking Head Byrne is a musical performance artist, and his offbeat, almost awkward stage presence is as much a part of the performance as the music. He is also a veteran of art-rock and has experienced much experimental collaboration during his progressive career.
Clarke is an American multi-instrumental singer-songwriter. The musical chemistry between these two is electric and translates on stage spilling to the audience. This chemistry was perfectly complimented by the presence of the brass and woodwind ensemble.
This collaboration really works; classics from the Talking Heads songbook were also offered. Amongst others, ‘Road to Nowhere’ and ‘Burning Down the House’ enticed the crowd to electric heights. The structured horn arrangements brought a playful funkiness to the party. What a party! It was a mesmerising performance.