After our epic Tuesday, not much else could compare. We slept late, wandered the festival, and laid in the sun. Death metal bands played on the main stage all day, but we caught Fjorden Baby! and Little Boots, both of whom were fairly disappointing live. We also saw The Virgins, who weren´t especially interesting, but this young couple stood out among the crowd with their fearless dance moves. In the end, more people were watching them dance than the actual concert.
On Thursday, we were officially tired of festival life, and took the bus and ferry to Arendal, a charming coastal town consisting of old white houses with red roofs, fancy sailboats, and mediterranean blue waters. Not only did we feel like we were seriously on vacation (which we were), we felt like we were in an entirely different country. We wandered through shops, ate healthy food at last from a charming café, and hung out by the seaside. It was a lovely change of scenery.
Little did we know how exciting the evening would be. For starters were Fujiya & Miyaji and M83, both relaxing electro bands reminiscent of The Postal Service and Mew, but less interesting. Wonderful music to listen to at home while doing other things. Live, they weren´t especially great. Losing interest, we were making our way out of the crowd when we were stopped by a hilarious tall guy with no sense of patterns or matching. He introduced us to his friends, three guys and a girl whose names I don´t recall, and together we set off towards a Faith No More concert while searching for a potential dream woman for one of the guys (who we never found.) After the show had started, the tall guy asked what my favorite male Norwegian name is. “Espen”, I replied without hesitation. This is true. I really like that name.
“ESPEN!!!!!!” yelled Tall Guy and dove into the crowd, gripping every male in sight on the shoulders and asking desperately, “What´s your name!?” It took a lot of convincing that finding an actual Espen wasn´t on the top of my to-do list, and Tall Guy eventually gave up reluctantly, with a hint of disappointment at not actually finding “Espen”. He continued to describe his angst at not being able to offer his future girlfriend either a private jet or a separate house in which to keep his nonexistent servants and gardeners. Quite the character.
We soon left the group and headed over to see Rye Rye, an American DJ with some seriously catchy club tracks. We danced like crazy, met up with a girl we knew, and suddenly it was midnight. The Prodigy, the closing show of the festival, was starting. Thousands and thousands of people packed the amphitheater, and just making our way to the bottom of the sloped seating area was a challenge. After a few minutes, we found ourselves packed in the middle of this:
It´s worth noting that despite our constant fear of getting bitten by a tick and our frequent use of insect repellent, I am proud to say the closest we got to being bitten by anything was the drunk guy who, amid the chaos of The Prodigy, began nibbling Nina´s shoulder in his drunken confusion (the poor thing). Nina looked very alarmed; I, the shorter one, was too busy being tossed about, knocked down, and stepped on to do anything. A fight broke out nearby, and people were sent flying. Every time I tried to stand up, somebody´s dancing, jumping limb smacked me back down. Drunk guy continued to harass Nina, and my shouting went unheard. What to do?
Suddenly, someone fell literally out of the sky. The fact that we got a picture is an insane coincidence.
This guy, referred to now as Sweet Guy, leaped from his friend´s shoulders and into the crowd, pulling me to my feet and asking me if I was okay. “Is that her boyfriend?” he asked, gesturing to Nina and the drunk guy. I told him no with some concern, and he approached Drunk Guy, instructing him to “get away from his girlfriend”, that was not acceptable behavior, etc. Anyone sober (i.e. us), upon noticing Nina´s height of about 1,5 feet taller than Sweet Guy, would not have believed it. Luckily for us, he bought it, Nina and I were reunited, Sweet Guy disappeared, and we escaped to a peaceful hilltop, where we watched the rest of the show. It was an intense 2 minutes, and a good learning experience. No more unassisted raves for us.
By the way, Nina found a hippie.
The next morning we packed our things for Narvik, and I have been exhausted ever since. What a week! What an experience!