The Catapulted Star
Three short months ago nobody had even heard of them. Then suddenly, and quite unexplainably, their songs are everywhere. From being A-listed on Radio 1, to being featured on literally every TV show. It becomes impossible to avoid their catchy beats & lyrics, as the catapulted star becomes the hottest property on the scene.
Cue an overinflated position on the bill and a stage surge when they start their set. Despite the obvious teething problems (this is probably the first time they’ve played live to more than 50 people) they deliver all the produced pop goodness that’s been rattling around your head for the last few weeks. Say what you like music snob, their songs are ridiculously catchy and despite the limited material (they’ve only had an EP out remember), it’s provides exactly the feel good endorphin hit that festivals are made of!
The ‘One-Belter’ Band
The Temper Trap
They’ve been around for a while, had a couple of albums and reasonable success… And then almost as if possessed by past musical deities, they release that one track that is absolutely brilliant. This is one of those ‘songs of the summer’ that you’ll remember for years, long after forgetting who actually wrote it.
Take a special note here to witness the beautiful ‘crowd split’ in all its glory; ‘mainstreamers’ will be standing looking confused for 45 minutes until the track from the radio/that advert closes the set – whilst the ‘real fans’ will sing every word of their lovable first album, gleefully cheering that B-Side they never thought they would hear live.
Whichever camp you sit in, the closing of the set will undoubtedly be the highlight. Tens of thousands of people swaying in unison and screaming the lyrics of the chorus long after the band leaves the stage… truly epic.
The Game Changer
You’ve heard a few of their songs before and, to be honest, they’re just ok. But hey, they don’t clash with anyone and your mate really wants to go see them so why not… The first track goes down well and you’re starting to feel it, and so is the whole crowd. It’s absolutely pumping from the second song and it’s clear just how good these guys are live! Even the songs you overlooked on Spotify now sound awesome on the big stage.
Did they always look this cool? Who knew these guys were so good! By the 3rd song you’re in love. You’re a complete convert and have made a very quiet promise to yourself that you will download all of their back-catalogue as soon as you get home. You’re shouting along with the limited words you know, and trying to convince the die-hard fans around you that this isn’t the first time you’ve properly given them a listen.
Whilst some artists simply can’t live up to the hype in a festival setting, the Game Changer is the completely opposite; far better than you ever imagined and you just might have a new favourite band…
The 'Uber-Niche' Artist
You heard from a friend of a friend, or an obscure music blog, that this artist was the one act to see over the weekend. However, you’re met with deflected questions and changes of subject when you try to ask who they are, and god-forbid you should ask what they sound like.
There are 2 types of people in the crowd for this one, those who literally only came to the festival to see this artist, and those who saw a relatively empty stage and fancied a shorter bar queue.
It’s sometimes hard to tell where the soundcheck ends and the artist starts, plus there is an odd mix of instruments you can’t name. But in spite of this and the very fluid rate at which people come on and off the stage, you find you’re actually having a damn good time. Cue lots of intimate moments and aspects of self-actualisation where you think you finally ‘get it’.
Despite being unsure whether you've been present for a full set or just one very long song, you feel elated with having seen something a little less mainstream and a little bit more, well, cool. And whilst, let's be honest, you still don't know exactly what the genre was, you know this artist is the very best at it. Having bared witness to them live, you leave feeling like you’ve been accepted into a secret club.
The Comeback Kings
Guns n Roses
Sure, they had some pretty big success a few decades ago. In fact they actually left the music business like 10 years ago with dignity and acclaim… But what’s this? They’re getting back together for a one-off round of touring and festival shows!? It’s for the love of the music, die-hard fans will say. Whilst deep down we all know it’s just for the cold hard cash.
But hang just a sec… they can actually still play, and you know what, you actually know loads more of their music than you first thought… didn’t this song get used as a sample on that dance track? Woah! How on earth can that 60 year old still shred guitar like that?
Soon enough you’ll realise that there’s a reason they’ve stood the test of time and you'll understand why the place is so rammed (golden oldies have this strange allure that seems to entice everyone between the ages of 5 and 95 to their stage). It’s because they freaking rock!!
They’ve earned their twilight time milking the audience, and milk them they will. They know exactly what people want, and will lay it on thick. Miss them at your peril, as whilst everyone will pretend “the Uber-Niche Artist” was their favourite act of the weekend… it will actually be these guys that steal the show and go out with an almighty bang that will ricochet & blow your mind as you reminisce for decades still to come.