Sting, Kasabian were big draws at Metronome

The second edition of the Prague music festival saw large crowds

The second edition of the Metronome Festival Prague took place June 23 and 24. Some 14,000 people came on the first day to see headliner Sting, who played a set that was half songs from the Police era and half from his solo work, plus a cover of a David Bowie song. Only two songs came from his new album, 57th and 9th.

Sting, who sang and played bass, was joined on stage by his longtime guitarist Dominic Miller, drummer Josh Freese of Devo and Nine Inch Nails, and guitarist Rufus Miller, who is Dominic's son, and special guest Joe Sumner, who is Sting's son.

Aside from being very hot, the weather cooperated with this year's festival. Last year, headliner Iggy Pop had to cut his set short due to safety concerns about high winds and rain.

Summer is music festival season, but until recently all of the big festivals were outside of Prague. Metronome has brought the concept back into the city. There had been a few attempts at making big festivals in Prague in the late 1990s, such as the Sun Festival in 1997 with Sheryl Crow and INXS, but they didn't catch on.

“Our advantage is that we offer visitors a city festival with services and comfort that can be provided only by a city. On the other hand, our grounds, located partly in a green area at an amusement park, will create the right atmosphere for the festival,” the festival's Barbora Šubrtová said.

Sting's concert was the highlight of a day that featured 20 acts on five stages. Monkey Business played on the main Metronome Stage earlier in the day, putting on a high-energy funk show in matching red outfits. They performed of their more upbeat songs like “Sex and Sport? Never!” from the album of the same name.

The Slovenian pop punk band Koala Voice, led by female vocalist Manca Trampuš, was one of the early highlights on the ČT Park Stage, the second-largest of the festival stages. The band just released a video for the song “Vede premikanja.” UK band the Veils played later on the same stage. The day concluded with a three-hour set from DJ Bidlo on the Moon Stage.

The second day's main act was UK band Kasabian, promoting their recent album For Crying Out Loud. They dedicated the song “Club Foot” to Jan Palach, who died in 1969 protesting the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Their song “Stevie” was dedicated to Manchester.

The day saw 23 acts on the five stages, plus other entertainment such as a pole dancing competition.

David Koller and Friends were on the Metronome Stage earlier in the day, Koller played 11 songs. Five were from his band Lucie, including “Lajka z I.P. Pavlova” and “Chci zas v tobě spát.”

The Metronome stage also saw alternative rock duo Blood Red Shoes and Scottish hip hop act Young Fathers.

Hidden on the schedule a bit was the Pretty Things, a band whose roots go back to 1963. Two original members, Phil May and Dick Taylor, were joined by three newer members. The current lineup dates to 2008.

They mostly played older rhythm and blues from their early days, and some songs from the rock opera album S.F. Sorrow. The audience at the New Stage was young, and the band said that they have been drawing a younger crowd in recent years.

Also on the New Stage was Shells, playing some chill out music that was a counterpoint from some of the harder acts.

The Czech band Android Asteroid, which played funky rap on the Moon Stage, helping to get people in the mood for the headline act, Kasabian, which started on the nearby main stage right when they ended.

For people who stayed, solo act Justin Lavash did an impressive set on the Club Stage mixing jazz, blues and folk.

The festival closed with a three-hour set from DJ and producer Solomun.

Video on YouTube

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