Waves Vienna Festival Day 1

The highs and lows of riding the waves in Vienna.

One of the most enjoyable and original festivals in Vienna got fully underway last night with the first real day of music from the 4 day music festival and conference. With bands playing in multiple locations across the city the anticipation was great as to how many people would actually turn up to some of the smaller gigs in the less popular venues.

Given the amount of music taking place it was simply impossible to check out everything, so here is what I opted for:

Einer Stray:

The evening started in melodic and soothing fashion with the wonderful Einer Stray in the sensational Odeon Theatre. The venue was the perfect backdrop for the band with its pantheon like pillars and echoing sound which seemed to entrance and hypnotize the silent crowd. Usually a theatre, the band were right at home with their dramatic and artistic music and fully deserved their encore. So far so good for the Waves Festival.

Next on the plan was 1984. A band I discovered a few years ago with the single Cache Cache and have wanted to see for a long time. The pouring rain on the way to the Badeschiff should have been forewarning enough of what was to come. The Badeschiff looked dark and gloomy in the dripping rain and things didn’t get much better as we went inside. A total of 10 people were waiting for the gig, including the band roadies.

Due to a lack of communication from the organizers it turned out that the Colt Silvers, who were scheduled to play at 20:15 hadn’t started yet and that 1984 would not begin until 22:30 at least. Cue planning disaster! Tu Fawning in Clubschiff or stay and support the Frenchman? We opted for the latter and overall it wasn’t a bad decision. The Colt Silvers were surprisingly good and put in an energetic and lively performance which got the rather sparse crowd moving.

1984 gave it their best try to get the slightly improved crowd going afterwards but the surreal atmosphere in the Badeschiff, where a pin drop could be heard during the breaks between songs prevented this. It was understandable that the Frenchman opted to blast through their set in quick time and all involved seemed a litte relieved when all was over. We left the Badeschiff in a rather strange mood, feeling sorry for bands that had made the journey to Vienna, rather disappointed in the music fans that opted to go elsewhere, and slighty embarrassed with the whole shenanigans.

The next stop was the Fluc Wanne, a former public toilet which is now one of the best underground venues in the city for Ghostpoet. No longer an unknown quantity, the man with the trademark glasses played his 2nd gig in Vienna after impressing in WUK last time out. The last few times I have seen Ghostpoet he has been accompanied by a full band, but this time the emphasis was very much on electro, and it turned out to be a more low-key performance from the man who looked a lot more muscular that on his last visit.

It seemed a little as if the band on stage were going through the motions at times during the set and it was only really when the drums kicked in and the more famous tunes were played that the people on the fringes of the packed crowd fully got into the performance. Not his best day at the office, but he still did enough to please the hardcore fans who knew more than just “cash and carry me home”. This for example is possibly his best tune in my opinion.

A mixed bag from day 1 at the Waves Music Festival and Conference with the smaller, less well-known bands being the major losers of the evening unfortunately. Roll on day 2!

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