by / September 6th, 2011 /

Electric Picnic 2011: Little Green Cars, Foster The People, Warpaint & DJ Shadow

Little Green Cars, Electric Arena

An acclaimed set at this summer’s Oxegen festival further sparked an already growing interest in Little Green Cars for many, and really they’re the kind of act who are better suited to Stradbally than Punchestown – so it’s no surprise that they’ve drawn a fairly decent crowd into the Electric Arena for their set, in spite of the early kick-off. And they’re certainly out to impress, displaying tightly honed musicianship, flawless vocals – in particular, those of Faye O’Rourke, whose voice is in top form today – and those irresistible multi-part harmonies. The band have a bank of impressive songs to their credit even at this early stage of their career – but it’s most recent single ‘The John Wayne’ that stands out from the rest, a real festival anthem in the making.

Foster The People, Cosby Stage

Mark Foster & Co. descend upon the Cosby Stage to a rapturous reception, and from the moment the first chord is struck they have capacity crowd at their mercy. Not without good reason, of course – the trio have fantastic stage presence, and the impossibly catchy songs of debut album Torches give off an extra spark when performed live. The brilliant ‘Helena Beat’ stands out, but unsurprisingly it’s an emphatic rendition of ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ that steals the show. Given the large crowd who had no choice but to circle the exterior of the tent to catch the set, Foster The People could’ve easily packed out a stage twice the size. A fantastic debut Irish performance from the band, and much talked about around Stradbally in the aftermath as one of the standout sets of Electric Picnic Friday.

Warpaint, Crawdaddy Stage

Warpaint’s Electric Picnic set is the last gig of the current European leg of their tour – and unfortunately, it seems like they’ve already wound down. Warpaint have proved themselves to be a quality act, of that there is no denying – one of the biggest ‘buzz bands’ of the past year, acclaimed debut album The Fool is worthy of every ounce of praise it received, and sold-out live shows in Crawdaddy and Tripod in the past 12 months very much ones to remember. However, they quite simply just don’t work as well in a festival setting. The intricate and almost psychedelic guitar riffs, driving bass and drum rhythms, and dreamy vocals which would captivate in a small venue are somewhat lost on the Crawdaddy Stage. An extended rendition of the brilliant ‘Undertow’ is the standout, but played within the first half hour it makes for an early peak and the rest of the set just doesn’t hold our attention.

DJ Shadow, Electric Arena

Night-time has fallen over Stradbally, and those ready to seriously party have descended on the Electric Arena to worship at the altar of Josh Davis. And what an ‘altar’ it is – the hour between Santigold and DJ Shadow’s sets in the tent has been a productive one, a giant sphere installed on stage which becomes the main focal point of the show. Playing host to mesmerising visual projections for the duration of the set, it makes for quite the spectacle throughout. There is somewhat of a disengaged reception for the tracks of brand new album The Less You Know The Better due to lack of familiarity, which was to be expected – but for the most part DJ Shadow offers up a stellar set, and the atmosphere is buzzing. Genuinely humbled by the reception he received, Davis declares that it’s “the best crowd of the whole tour” before a storming rendition of the formidable ‘Organ Donor’ sends the Electric Arena revellers into an absolute frenzy. The perfect way to close out Electric Picnic Friday.

See Friday’s full gallery of photos by Damien McGlynn here.