Positivus helped us forget about dreadful events in Ukraine

  • 2014-07-29
  • By Antra Bertule, SALACGRIVA

This year’s Positivus festival has been a festive and joyful event. Though three days of summer, sun and beer ended just this Monday, there are still loads of Instagram photos, recorded TV shows and gopro photographs wandering around social media.

And despite the dreadful events in Ukraine, at the Positivus festival people had the chance to forget about how cruel the world can actually be.

The energy level at this year’s festival was extremely intense both before and after the event. The promotion team did everything for music fans so that, this time, a special Positivus app was available for mobile phones allowing the scheduling of which concerts you wanted to see.

Also, Positivus TV with live interviews and videos and concerts is still available on Lattelecom platforms. Therefore, we can say Positivus follows the big players’ rules and does things similarly as Coachella and other big music festivals when it comes to recorded live events.

As it sometimes happens, the most surprising acts were the ones I did not expect to attend or did not know if I would like.

Rebeka from Poland, an electronic/synth duo, sparkled with a great performance on the Red Bull Stage. This is the second time a Polish act surprises from the first glance at this festival. Previously, it was Brodka, the eccentric Polish singer, who did a colorful show on Nordea Stage.

Next, I would like to highlight Niklavz, a Latvian electronic music producer, who did an excellent Dj-ing session. And this was when I realized Latvian musicians are as talented as any other, including those somewhere in New York.

So, no wonder Niklavz was chosen as the only participant from Latvia at Primavera, in Portugal, earlier this summer. Then came Edgars Eihmanis, Edgars Rubenis and Raimonds Macats.

Both Edgars used to play as Mona de Bo, delivering energetic rock music filled with guitar and drum experimentation. This time, they played their old songs as well as some new pieces. So, it was basically the good old times on a new stage and, I have to say, it sounded as good as six or seven years ago.

Speaking of the old-times nostalgia, Tribes of The City, a band from Latvia, played as the ‘secret act.’ Years ago they were beloved musicians, and people liked them. Their music is still a full bloom of sound, with howling guitars and melancholy beats. Also, for them, it seemed important to be on stage again, as nowadays the band members live in different cities – from Riga to Berlin.

Then came Latvian band “Ne” (or “No” in English). What a pleasure to get caught in your own excitement about yet another band from Latvia! I have to be honest that I did not know them before Positivus. They played strongly: well-built math rock songs with three guitarists in the band. Saying that, I predict that they will have a great future.

Future Islands from the U.S. delivered a great show, with their lead singer acting like a crazy teacher on stage and constantly using language including “f***k.” His performance was agressive, melodic and from the bottom of his heart, it seemed. The band played hits like “Seasons” as well as songs like “Tomorrow” from their early vinyl recordings.

And, of course, Elbow from the UK, guys who have played together for more than fifteen years. The show was pretty calm and slow, but beautiful. Unfortunately, Elbow played just a few old songs from their first recordings, but, you know, a festival works for them as a promotional event for showing new songs.

SVEMA from Latvia is a great example of Russian-speaking Latvian bands (only a few in this country); they played an intimate show on Nature Stage. Though it seemed they had some technical problems with the sound, their gig was steady. It reminded me that I have to listen to more Russian music, especially those with rock roots.

Here, in Latvia, people tend to think about Russian music in the context of cheap pop music or Novaja Volna. But there is extremely more in it.

Zemlika, Splin and Bi-2 are just some examples proving that Russian music has quality and intelligence in it.

Despite the expectations for Positivus headliners, Kraftwerk seemed too long for the festival and more suitable for dedicated fans. Also, NONONO from Sweden seemed plainly boring, and I really do not understand the effect King Charles has on Latvian girls. Considering that he has been here several times and plays just medium pop songs without any specific spark in his eyes.

Other than that, Positivus has become a steady stepping stone in every weekender’s diary. We can only hope next year brings more and more exciting artists too.