iTunes Festival 2013 - A rollercoaster of eclectic music sets

Published October 13, 2013

Last year, the iTunes Festival was the awesome tail-end of what had been a fantastic year of sport and general greatness. Mr C watched every single available minute of it, and found a whole host of new acts to like. I even liked some of it, and wrote about my findings. This year, we were excited for the month of September music, although a little disappointed in the line-up when it was announced. Free music, available to stream online, for thirty days, though. Nothing to complain about.

And thus, one month later, I think we’d both agree it was a brilliant September with some high and low-lights and, the key thing, some new finds. Here are some of my thoughts from the 2013 iTunes Festival:

  • Lady Gaga was an inspired choice for opening the show, but she was crazy late to the stage and did one of her usual weird sets. I didn’t like the changing outfits live on stage thing, and her emotional bit in the middle didn’t really mean anything to me, whilst it might have to her die-hard fans. Doing an entire set of new music seemed like a brave choice and, again, wasn’t really up my street.
  • Paramore were also a revelation. I’d never heard of them before but absolutely loved the set, particularly when the lead singer Hayley got a fan up on stage and let her rock out with the special yellow microphone. Still Into You is a great song, too.

Rizzle Kicks

  • The day that was the best for me came as a complete surprise. Eliza Doolittle was the support act, and I realised I really like the few singles she’s had, and very much enjoyed the couple of new ones she did as well. She was supporting Rizzle Kicks. My knowledge of the Kicks was the Mama Do the Hump song which I detested. But live, they were brilliant fun - full of energy, full of bounce and I really loved the set. I also couldn’t get Let’s Skip to the Good Bit out of my head.
  • I wanted to check out Robin Thicke to see if he really is as bad as they say. He is.

Justin Timberlake

  • I thought Justin Timberlake was going to be better than he was. He rocketed through the songs, with barely a break in between, and he barely acknowledged the crowd either.
  • Chic were fun. Mr C watched them first and recommended them, and I asked him what funk was and he found it very difficult to describe. But when I listened, I realised it didn’t need a description. It was just funky!
  • I loved Elton John. The opening song was a bit odd with the pole dancing background, but I was so looking forward to Rocket Man that I actually cheered in my own home when it started.

Katy Perry

  • Katy Perry finished off the month, and there was so much effort into the set, it almost put everyone else to shame. I think it was the first time she’d put some of that stuff together because there were some glitches but overall it was really, very good. I wasn’t too keen on the backing dancer’s dungarees, but then I was very impressed when Katy actually made it snow! Amazing.
  • Oh yea, and Jessie J didn’t sit down and read an excerpt from her book. Winning!

Disappointingly, I can’t find many decent clips on YouTube, which is a little different to last year where there were a lot of videos available. I’ve spotted a few full shows available, but I’m not sure there are many I would watch again all the way through. Katy Perry’s was the only one I watched twice in full. Apple made one of their emotional montages though, which is a nice bonus.

I can guarantee that some of these songs will feature in Mr C’s deliberations for top five best songs of the year in December, whilst I am busy looking forward to next year so we can do it all over again!

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