After planning an early night, I got to bed at around 03h30, as did the rest of Oppikoppi, it seems. Up before 08h00, and woken up good and proper by loud music from The Mean Streets. Most people have had their first night sleeping in a tent, and most seem to have survived it. Others, like the poor couple who were looking for their tent all night and had to ask Liam at 07h00 whether he had seen 'die boom met die ligte', didn't quite make it. But everyone seems to have survived, and it only gets better from here.
A few updates from last night:
20h00: The Black Hotels, James Phillip Main Stage
Kicking off my Oppikoppi music time was The Black Hotels, whose music I have always enjoyed thoroughly. Though I can't say they are the most exciting bunch on stage, they pulled their music off almost flawlessly, and seeing as it sounded just like it does on disc we jammed just like we always do when we hear it. Bassist and vocalist Lisa Campbell has a sugar-sweet voice, and lead vocalist John Boyd has no problem pulling off his music on a live stage. Perhaps not the most memorable live performance I have ever seen, but that is their vibe and the indie beats were cool enough to keep us more than happy throughout the set.
23h00: Crash Car Burn, James Phillip Main Stage
While I can't call myself the biggest fan of their music, I was well impressed by the former Tweak boys' performance. I stood at the back, talking to strangers and old friends rather than getting right into it at the very front of the stage. But these guys caught my eye as they put everything into their show. The set was short regarding original music, but they kept the crowd happy with radio hits like Serenade. And then, to make their time on stage worthwhile, we were served a platter of covers; everything from Kelly Clarkson to Bryan Adams, and the crowd loved it! I admit the covers did get a little tedious after a while, but how often do you find a bunch of guys entertaining a crowd with Since You've Been Gone? All members rocked out from start to finish, and they loved being on stage. Whether you're into their music or not, the live performance is one worth experiencing and they're guaranteed to get you into it all, if only a tiny bit.
00h00: Bed on Bricks, James Phillip Main Stage
Last year it was a little weird seeing my History lecturer on stage at Oppikoppi. And it remains a little weird. [Yes, I may have failed History 244 last and yes, he may be my lecturer. AGAIN.] This year, bassist Schalk van der Merwe was not in a lion suit, but Bed on Bricks' performance was as good as ever. The crowd loved them as much as they always have, and they got the masses going crazy for more. Their live shows are consistent, and by that I mean consistently great. The big stage and even bigger crowd did them justice, and that is why Bed on Bricks can always be seen at Oppikoppi, playing a prime timeslot.
Things get ugly at Oppikoppi sometimes.
Today's highlights are predicted to be Taxi Violence and Foto Na Dans, undoubtedly two of South Africa's top live acts and two bands who can fill the enormity of it all without even trying. The Plastics have also made their way up north from Cape Town, and theirs is always a vibe that will get you moving your hips. Isochronous falls in with Taxi and Foto for me, and other acts I will be sure to catch include aKing, Cassette, Van Coke Kartel with Gerald Clark and the Oppikoppi blues master, Albert Frost, who has played at every single Oppikoppi since 1994 and will be joined by Riku Latti.
It's going to be a good day. But for now, I need a shower, coffee and breakfast without meat in it. Impossible? Watch me do it. More news later, I promise.
Oh, and as I write this I am asked by Ninette whether she, in Stellenbosch, should be insanely jealous. The answer is yes, and the same for anyone else who isn't here. Start saving, put in leave at work, screw varsity and get to Oppikoppi next year.
If you are in Stellenbosch, be sure to keep your radio tuned to MFM 92.6 tonight as I will be doing a quick update on Conrad and Terry-Faye's World Wide Top 40, which airs from 17h00-21h00.