"At last, we're in Poland!"
The Kills - Open'er Festival 2012 - Wednesday

The Kills saunter on stage, Jamie Hince yells: “At last, we’re in Poland!” and we couldn’t agree more. Open’er Festival, now in its eleventh year, is well and truly underway, and after a long journey to get here what better way to kick things off than with some scuzzy garage rock?

Alison Mosshart immediately catches the collective eye of the crowd (more so than usual) showing off a new fiery hair do; she whips her matted locks around, peering out at the audience. The unwavering chemistry she has with her band mate is mirrored in the way she holds the crowd’s attention; gyrating, flirting and striking rock star poses that make their set all the more alluring.

Flanked by four drummers The Kills keep things super tight, thumping out hits from their whole back catalogue. This includes ‘The Last Goodbye’, which proves that not only can Mosshart wail, she can croon with the best of them.

Next onto Yeasayer, but almost as soon as we arrive at the far end of the disused airfield, it’s time to make a move to catch the next highlight of the day. The glorious smidgen of Yeasayer we catch is just that. They’re soothing yet upbeat, with an entrancing lightshow that adds an extra dreamy layer to the already psychedelic set.

And now for the confusingly programmed main event. Bjork takes to the stage as the penultimate act, but holds on firmly to the headline slot. Everything about the tiny Icelander’s performance is huge. Big hair and even bigger noise. Her set up includes a church organ, a cage buzzing with electrical charge and an army of singers who twitch and squirm in the shadows, sometimes breaking free into the spotlight for a freak out.

The crowd fills out nicely under the evening’s full moon, but it doesn’t matter that the view is sometimes eclipsed. The screens hang high playing a journey through the elements with blood vessels, shifting tectonic plates, writhing starfish and the phases of the moon supplying a backdrop that is almost as captivating as the main act. That said, nothing’s more attention grabbing than the encore. Pyrotechnics light up the stage, but all eyes are on Bjork as she hypnotises the chanting crowd with ‘Declare Independence’.

From a distance, the crowd for New Order looks almost as impressive as Bjork’s. Moving closer, however, and weaving in between the post-punk fans, it seems that a few people have trailed off back to the campsite. This doesn’t stop New Order giving it their all, and it certainly doesn’t diminish the show for the loyal few (thousand) who have stayed for the midnight performance. The set list is littered with New Order hits and ‘True Faith’, ‘Regret’ and ‘Nineteen63’ all get an airing, while fans are also treated to a sprinkling of Joy Division favourites including ‘Isolation’.

Just as the crowd are starting to lag, the band whips out their ace and blast ‘Blue Monday’ to pick the adoring audience out of its slump. As the band leaves the stage before the encore the crowd quickly deteriorates to an almost embarrassing number. The devotees are treated to something special, however, as New Order revert back to Joy Division days for their final two tracks playing ‘Transmission’ and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.

“I hope the sun shines for you,” shouts Bernard Sumner, “hopefully we’ve brought a bit of sunshine into your hearts.”

Words by Emily Anderton
Photo by Elinor Jones

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