The second-to-last day of Sziget promised much good. Not one but two headliners were announced for the day.
The first show in the Freedome for the day started at five o’clock. American band The Aces made a stop in Budapest during their world tour. The band members all took to the stage in all-black and white attire. The white blouses made a neat impression. When their set started, hardly anyone could be found in the tent. Perhaps the band was not familiar enough to festival-goers or the time of day was too hot.
Although the turnout was very low, the band did not let up. They played an hour-long set, passing by all their best-known songs. By the song “Girls Make Me Wanna Die”, halfway through the set, the audience seemed to get a bit more into it. More and more people flocked to the band’s indie-pop sound. Although the tent itself was still not very crowded, the lawn around it was quite full. People sought shade but still enjoyed the show.
Not much later, it was time for the German band Giant Rooks. The last edition of Sziget, they cancelled their performance due to illness. This time, fortunately, nothing was wrong and they could start their set as usual. They started with the song “Bedroom Exile”. All elements on stage were painted lilac, from the drums to the elevations where the instruments were placed.
All the band members were on stage with broad smiles on their faces. Not only did they feel like having a good party, they were probably happy to be in Budapest at all. Indeed, in between songs, singer Fred Rabe told them that they had only arrived half an hour earlier. They had spent half the day with breakdowns in Austria. After Rabe thanked the crew for getting ready quickly, they moved on to the next song.
Surely the song that did best with the audience was their cover of “Tom’s Diner”. They released their own version of this song back in 2019, together with AnnenMayKantereit. Last year, the cover suddenly became a hit on TikTok, giving it a lot of attention.
The first headliner of the evening was New Zealand’s Lorde. Fifteen minutes later than scheduled, she started her set. She immediately kicked off with her mega hit “Royals”. She sang this song all the way backstage, while she could be seen on the screens. It was only with the last chords of the song that she entered the stage.
Immediately after, she put in “Solar Power”, the song with the same title as her latest album. Although Lorde’s music does not have a super fast pace, there was dancing and jumping on all sides of the audience. People were clearly really looking forward to seeing this artist. Lorde herself was also enjoying herself, dancing to it.
After playing two more songs, she sat down in the middle of the stage. She wanted to have a chat with the audience. Among other things, she talked about the moment she wrote the song “Liability”. She wanted to give the audience the message to always stay close to yourself and not change for anyone. She was clearly moved by the audience’s enthusiasm that followed. She then sang “Liability”.
A few songs later, she played a new song, “Silver Moon”. This song she has not yet officially released and has only sung a few times before during other performances. After a few more songs, it was time for the last song of her set. Especially for this, she brought Caroline Polachek on stage. This American singer was on the Main stage earlier in the day with her own set. Now the two singers sang the song “Green Light” together. With a big party at the Main stage, they closed Lorde’s set together.
The Haunted Youth
In the meantime, Belgian band The Haunted Youth started their performance not far from the Main stage. The Europe stage, one of the smaller stages on the island, had a very diverse crowd. Normally, people in the audience are very loyal to artists from their own country. Here, however, this was not the case. The band attracted a very international audience.
There was also a lot of international press present, which could perhaps say something about the international success that awaits the band. Although the band ended up playing only ten songs, they were really rock solid. The music really sounded exactly like the studio versions of the songs. Both the vocals and the instruments sounded really good.
It was also clear that a lot of people came to see this band to take it easy. As such, the band’s music is quite chill; much of the audience had sat down and enjoyed the performance from the grass.
Meanwhile, it was already time for the second headliner of the evening. Macklemore was in front of a packed lawn on the Main stage. He started his performance with the song “CHANT” from his latest album. This was immediately followed by his hit “Thrift Shop” from back in the day. Although this song is more than ten years old now, it was still a big hit with the audience. Truly everyone went wild.
Since Macklemore released a lot of songs together with other artists, he had a lot of time in between his verses. He used this time to let loose and party along. For instance, during the song “NO BAD DAYS” he grabbed a water pistol and bombarded the audience with water. After playing a few songs, the American rapper addressed the audience. He told them that Budapest was his favourite city in the world and that he was thinking about moving there. He also called Sziget the best festival in the world. He genuinely enjoyed being able to perform on this stage again.
Not only in the audience was it a big party, there was also a lot of dancing on stage. The rapper had brought a large group of people, so the stage was quite full. He had a whole band and some background dancers with him, who knew how to party. During the song “Dance Off”, there was also a real dance-off. Two people were taken from the audience. Both were given 20 seconds on stage to show off their moves.
After the song “Glorious”, everyone disappeared from the stage. A little later, they thankfully returned for another encore of two songs. For the last song, Macklemore had saved his biggest hit of all. “Can’t Hold Us” blared through the speakers. Both confetti cannon and fire throwers were pulled out for this last hit. Halfway through the song, the rapper jumped off the stage and into the audience. He was literally carried on his hands by the audience as he finished his song.
Although his set was finished after this, Macklemore did not disappear yet. He ran several laps along all the aisles. Here he gave high-fives to everyone who could reach him. After this, his performance was really finished.