I attended my last music festival in Norway this past week, which was kind of a sad moment. I ended my festival run with Piknik i Parken, a relatively new festival that is hosted at the historic Vigeland Museum. The festival is quite literally a picnic in the park.
What set this festival apart from the others I have attended was the prominence of American acts in the three-day lineup. Two out of the three headliners were American musicians, those being folk/rock act Father John Misty and R&B artist Solange.
It almost seemed redundant for me to travel all the way to Norway just to see two musicians from my home country that I could easily see in concert near Fargo. I wasn’t going to complain though because these two musicians are experts in their field.
Father John Misty closed out the first night of the festival with his sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek folky tunes. Given that a good portion of his lyrical content is a critique of American society I was interested in seeing how a European act would react to his set.
I feel like the audience related heavily with the words Father John Misty sang, as they are more aware of the cultural intonations of American than an American audience would. Although, maybe this defeats the purpose of Father John Misty’s work. His songs are supposed to inspire controversy and introspection, but here in Europe his lyrics were easily accepted without much thought.
Closing down the festival the second night was Solange, an equally observant and socially conscious musician. Solange’s music address issues of race and material possessions. I don’t think any of this was taken for granted by the Norwegian audience as they are having their own experiences with race and immigration.
Solange’s wise words were delivered through an entirely choreographed set with Solange constantly busting out a move. I have never seen a live show like it. Solange, more than any musician I have probably ever seen, was able to interact with the audience thoroughly and with ease.