Les Ardentes, 7.12.08

I had sort of planned on attending this anyway, since I knew I was going to be in Belgium and, more specifically, in Liege at the time. Thus I was pleasantly surprised when my host and friend in Europe had looked it up, too, and made the plan on her own. I guess great minds really do think alike.

This festival was held in the French-speaking region of Belgium (the others being Dutch- and German-speaking), and it was clear to everyone that the city’s residents were the only ones who could actually speak the language. I, along with pretty much all of the other performers, struggled to hear the locals but found comfort in the seemingly universal enjoyment of English lyrics. The Streets stood out as the least French of the bunch; their cockney French was pathetic, charming, and completely understandable to an incompatible foreigner like me. Their set included several songs from A Grand Don’t Come For Free, which was exciting for me because theirs was the only album I both recognized and owned out of all the performers on that Saturday. (The Dandy Warhols came the next day but – alas! – I was saving up for other European consumer goods. And chocolate. When in Belgium…)

My friend insisted on seeing Nneka, and I was so glad she introduced me to this musician, because she WORKS IT. Check it. I had this stuck in my head for a good while.

The other standout (besides the WICKED DELICIOUS FOOD COURT) was Groove Armada – their light show and infectious techno-dance was probably the best way to end an exhausting but invigorating day.