What just happened? Since I work full time (how do people do this their entire lives??) my tiny two day weekends are holy as the pope himself. So even though I woke up feeling sick early Saturday morning, I dragged myself out of bed, into the shower, on a train and a hell of a Flixbus to Utrecht for the fabulous festival called Le Guess Who?
I was a LGW? and Utrecht virgin, and I fell so in love with both, I already booked my ticket for next year’s edition. Imagine a music festival spread out over a gorgeous city in autumn colours, crazy sounds and dancefloors showing up in unexpected places. I spent most of my night in one venue: the beautiful Tivoli Vredenburg, a gianormous building with so many rooms you will get lost at one point. I lost my way in the toilets. Just saying. It’s a labyrinth.
The man that inspired me to go buy a ticket and get my ass on the bus to Utrecht was the one and only Devendra Banhart, melter of my heart since 2012 when I discovered his music and used it as a medicine for heart break, writer’s block or just when I felt like getting high on songs with absurd lyrics. He curated a chunk of the festival and played a set that made me weak in the knees just thinking about it. Whattaman.
Before he performed, Anoushka Shankar worked her magic on her sitar like I have never experienced before in my life. The daughter of Ravi was accompanied by an orchestra of 27 and a man playing three hang drums at the same time. My mind and I had no idea what was going on. I got goose bumps all over my body, I couldn’t move but wanted to dance like a snake charm goddess all at once. This is what I call MAGIC.
My night ended in the best way possible: by dancing so hard I was sharing sweat with all the people who were lucky to be dancing next to me. My ultimate favourite performance of the day was by Sons Of Kemet. A hell of a saxophone player, tuba master and no less than four drummers. I didn’t know what to do with myself. The rhythms took over my own heart beat and I danced like a maniac to keep up with it. During the entire set I felt like life was making sweet but crazy fast love to me. Afterwards I felt like a butterfly, ready to crawl back into her cocoon and savour what had been shared the past hour. Do you know when you see a performance that is so damn good you can just die afterwards and feel like your life has been lived in its fullest of ways? That’s what Sons Of Kemet did to me.
But in one year, when Le Guess Who? starts again, I’ll have to rise from the dead, because there is no way I will miss out on that goodness.