As One in the Park 2013
With a promising line-up of headliners for the As One in the Park 2013 festival, it’s surprising that only Rita Ora, Katy B and Grace Savage stood out amidst so much talent.
Savage opened on the main stage, following Gaydio DJs, and although the crowd was minimal, her vocals, the band’s acoustic guitar and bass accompaniment and her tiny loop station create the most stimulating beat-boxing synthesis. You find you’re incapable of not moving to the rhythm she creates. If you were not watching live, you wouldn’t believe that one woman could produce so much sound. From soul to folk to rock sounding mixes, with a mash-up of popular lyrics from Got Your Money by Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Bang Bang by Nancy Sinatra, her short, wide-ranging set proves more engaging than most of the more mainstream acts.
Union J were quite disappointing, playing a five-song set, with four covers, including the overplayed and mind-numbing, Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen and Taylor Swift’s Juliette. However, their style and high vocal range brought back memories of 90s boy bands that left you feeling somewhat nostalgic.
When Katy B jumps on stage mid-evening, the crowd runs front and centre for her dance style anthems with soft vocals. She plays some of her popular tracks including Perfect Stranger and a mash-up of Aaliyah’s More Than a Woman and Try Again, hits that really get the audience singing aloud. And even though the performance is minimalistic, with two backup dancers dressed in grey, the vibe they bring is bubbly and this act is the first to really get the crowd moving.
Ora is the performer everyone has been waiting for. For the first time, the grass area is packed and her set brings more effects and drama to the stage than all others combined. She opens with a robotic, techno-style, intro and four backup dancers accompany her on stage in biohazard containment suits, spraying fog everywhere. She plays a lot of her more well-known material including Hot Right Now and How We Do (Party) and her fans are ecstatic, screaming the lyrics: “party and bullshit and party and bullshit,” repeatedly to one another. The reception to the newer song, Out of Love, is less enthusiastic but the bass thunders through the ground and keeps the energy high. With lights flashing, Ora takes a bow and ends the night on a high note – scarcely felt throughout the day.
Photos: Bartek Odias
For further information about the As One Festival and future events visit here.