Search results: "sasquatch" (page 1 of 2)

Arctic Monkeys Announce Post-Sasquatch US Tour Dates

Arctic Monkeys

The Arctic Monkeys have announced a handful of tour dates in America this coming May directly on the heels of their Sasquatch! appearance. Check Out those dates below, and try and see these dudes. They rock. For more information about pre-sales and stuff, click here

Arctic Monkeys May Tour Dates:

May 24th// Sasquatch Festival, George, WA
May 25th // Wilma Theatre, Missoula, MT
May 26th // Knitting Factory, Boise, ID
May 28th // Ogden Theater, Denver, CO
May 29th // Sunshine Theater, Albuquerque, NM
May 31st //House of Blues, Dallas, TX

Sasquatch! Festival 2013 Lineup Announced

SASQUATCH_2013_blue

 

The Sasquatch! Festival 2013 lineup has just been announced at the official Announcement Party at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle. The four night party over Memorial Day Weekend at the Gorge Amphitheatre always promises to be a good time and this year looks to be no exception.

Cody ChesnuTT came out to start the night, the first artist confirmation of the Festival. After his short set came “surprise guests” Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who confirmed their own Gorge set for May after performing Thrift Shop, Same Love and Can’t Hold Us.

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(Macklemore live at the Neptune Theatre lineup drop)

After those the official lineup video was played for those in attendance (and those streaming online), the full lineup came to fruition:

Mumford & Sons
The Postal Service
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Sigur Rós
Vampire Weekend
The xx
The Lumineers
Arctic Monkeys
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Cake
Primus 3D
Empire of the Sun
Imagine Dragons
Bloc Party
Andrew Bird
Grimes
Dropkick Murphys
Built To Spill
Alt-J
Steve Aoki
Wake Owl
Disclosure
Toro Y Moi
ODESZA
Kingdom Crumbs
Theoretics
Nissim
Nancy & Beth
Youth Lagoon
Baauer
Lusine
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Beachwood Sparks
Menomena
The Barr Brothers
Brown Bird
Luke Sital-Singh
Brett Gelman
Jenny Slate
James Adomian
The Presets
Azari & III
Bombino
Brothers From Another
Divine Fits
ZZ Ward
Four Color Zack
Nacho Picasso
ScHoolboy Q & Ab-Soul
Mike Birbiglia
Let’s Talk
OC Notes: “Golden Gods”
Danny Brown
Brody Stevens
Jon Daly
Hundred Waters
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
Reignwolf
Holy Ghost!
JJ Grey & Mofro
Knowmads
Kyle Kinane
Laidback Luke
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Joe Mande
Nick Offerman
Rose Windows
RA Scion
Devendra Banhart
Sean Nelson
John Talabot
Red Fang
Peace
Willy Moon
Youngblood Hawke
Ryan Bingham
Azealia Banks
Telekinesis
Yppah
Indians
Atlas Genius
Japandroids
El-P
Matthew Dear
CHVRCHES
Robert Delong
Earl Sweatshirt
Killer Mike
Shovels & Rope
Radical Face
Shad
Wild Belle
P.O.S
Michael Kiwanuka
Deep Sea Diver
Death Grips
Twin Shadow
Torche
Dirty Projectors
Tame Impala
Solange
Surfer Blood
Suuns
The Tallest Man On Earth
DIIV
Caveman
Baths
Fang Island
Akron/Family
Father John Misty
Porcelain Raft
Shout Out Louds
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Elliott BROOD
Jherek Bischoff
Sea Wolf
Capital Cities

Photo Gallery: 2012 Sasquatch Music Festival

You could use a ton of clichés to describe our pal Phishbeard. Let’s just say homeboy marches to the beat of his own drum. A nomad, a free spirit, someone who shoots first and asks questions later. Homeboy spent Memorial Day weekend at the Gorge enjoying the 2012 Sasquatch Music Festival. He took no less than 1200 photos. Here are the best ones. We hope you enjoy.

Sasquatch! Festival 2012 Preview – A Letter to You From thenaturalstoner

Dear concert going friends,

I know you and I go way back (hope all is well!) and it has been a long time since we have talked, but there is just something extremely exciting that has built inside of me about what is going to happen this weekend at THE GORGE for the 2012 version of the Sasquatch! Festival that I must tell you about.  Last years Festival set the stage for a year of great memories and the need to “go back every year no matter what”.  We’ll see if that every year thing happens, but the terrible trio of thenaturalstoner, Phishbeard and Mr. Sparkly made it at least one more year and are ready to dominate every single thing about the next several days. I feel like last years performances by Chromeo, Modest Mouse, Foo Fighters, Sleigh Bells, Major Lazer and more have planted a seed at the Gorge that is about to sprout like a f’n weed and engulf all 20,000 of us that are going to be there for the entire four days.

But really who gives a shit about last year anymore.  I know you don’t.  We are talking about 2012 and hooolllllly shit does it look exciting. I will be heading in pretty early Friday night to see Of Monsters and Men kick off the Fest. Maybe even a little earlier for Allen Stone if I get the urge, but I have been hooked on that Of Monsters and Men album for a long while now.  Most of Santigold will follow, and then one of the sets I am looking forward to most all weekend, Starfucker!! Sadly this means I have to skip the Mark Lanegan Band, which is a bummer, really wanted to see that one. Half of Girl Talk and then another performance to be VERY excited about, Explosions in the Sky. I have been told numerous times that their last Sasquatch! Festival set absolutely owned the Festival and was a “life changing experience”.  I don’t want to get hopes too high, but that portion of Friday sounds amazing.  Then Pretty Lights to take the night home aka into the raucous Gorge Campground to continue the party late into the evening.

Saturday looks to be my longest day inside the venue by far. Ideally I will make it in bright and early at Noon to see Reptar > Charles Bradley while Pickwick will be hitting hard on a different stage. I may still be asleep at this time however and might not make it into The Gorge until Blitzen Trapper at 2pm.  One of my only conflicts of the entire weekend is after that, The Civil Wars vs. The Alabama Shakes vs. Portlandia.  This is a game time decision friends. I know Mr. Sparkly and I will be at Jamey Johnson at the Sasquatch Stage afterwards, and then I will either see Childish Gambino or AraabMuzik.  Seeing Gambino a few weeks back makes this a tough decision as I really like the AraabMuzik jams I have heard. Some free time where I will see an interesting mix of Metric, The Shins, St. Vincent and tUnE-yArDs continues the evening.  Probably my most anticipated set of the weekend, Jack White, followed by The Roots late night (HELL. YES.) caps off a Saturday for the ages.

I hope all is well back home. How is the family? Still got that pet, what’s its name?  Come visit us sometime, we miss seeing you up here.  Sparkly might be getting a new house, Phishbeards over in Oregon, I got an air mattress, come on up!  It will be like old times.

Back to the music.  Sunday to me is a complete free for all-except for the very end of the night.  I don’t really have much I MUST see this day, but there is an interesting assortment of bands playing: Trampled by Turtles, Blind Pilot, The War on Drugs, Chiddy Bang, M. Ward, Deer Tick, Tycho, The Head and the Heart and We Are Augustines are all early in the day.  I will be a roamer for sure (you remember how I do!). I might check out Apparat or Beirut before definitely catching half of Little Dragon.  My highlight of Sunday, a James Murphy DJ set up in the Banana Shack promises to be off the charts.  I’ll probably head over to get one song of Bon Ivers show on video so ConcertConfessions gets some web hits, and then its off to Feed Me (with Teeth!!) to dance the rest of the night away.

Monday will be somewhat bittersweet. A great day lined up to close out another long Memorial Day weekend full of memories (like back in the day when we were hangin’). I might get in there early for that Grouplove set, I don’t know. Gary Clark Jr. will be a for sure, especially after just watching his Hangout Festival set webcast, and then a little more free time for the MC.  The Joy Formidable, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, Cloud Cult, fun., Feist, Shabazz Palaces, and Shearwater are all early afternoon and I will bounce around the place. John C. Reilly and Friends over at the Yeti Stage will be a great time, but I will have to sadly miss The Cave Singers and most of Silversun Pickups because of it.  Then my only other real big conflict awaits. I am certainly going to see the start of SBTRKT in the Banana Shack, and will have to miss all of Spiritualized.  However, one of your favorites, Tenacious D, is playing shortly after SBTRKT starts and I will have to decide if staying for them is worth missing half of The D. Another decision that will be made on the spot. I will at least see the end of Tenacious D before getting just a small part of Mogwai in. I wish I could see more but the great Beck is closing out the Festival over on the main stage.  I have been wanting to see him for almost TWENTY years now, and this will be my first time getting to do so.  Remember listening to Mellow Gold on end back in the day?  I hope it’s amazing. It sure seems like a great way to end a Festival, way better than Wilcos tame set last year.

So that’s basically what I am up to these days. Nothing else is really going on. I hope you guys are all good over there and your mom and dad are well.  Tell your sister thenaturalstoner says hello, she’ll remember.

I will talk to you soon. You should try to come up for Quatch ’13.

thenaturalstoner

 

Video highlights from 2011 Sasquatch! Festival:

Chromeo

Sharon Jones introduction and ownage!

Modest Mouse

Flogging Molly fun, near the end of the clip I get told “Vomit’s running down onto your bag”! Hahahahahahaha

Sasquatch 2012 Lineup Announced!

Sasquatch 2012 Lineup Announced!

 

Sasquatch is one of Washington’s most widely regarded music festivals. Held annually at the beautiful Gorge Amphitheater, Sasquatch is known for hosting big name acts like Jane’s Addiction, Kings of Leon, Bjork, and Flaming Lips. Well this year, they’ve got a treat for you.

Here is the full lineup in order as it says on the website:

Jack White, Beck, Bon Iver, Pretty Lights, Tenacious D, The Shins, Beirut, Girl Talk, The Roots, Portlandia, Feist, Silversun Pickups, Metric, The Head and the Heart, Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, Nero, M. Ward, John Reilly and Friends, Childish Gambino, St. Vincent, The Civil Wars, The Joy Formidable, Little Dragon, tUnE-yArDs, Beats Antique, Wild Flag, Blind Pilot, Wolfgang Gartner, Apparat, The Walkmen, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Mark Lanegan Band, Spiritualized, Blitzen Trapper, The Cave Singers, Shabazz Palaces, Jamey Johnson, fun., Grouplove, Tycho, SBTRKT, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Deer Tick, Imelda May, Dum Dum Girls, The Helio Sequence, Kurt Vile, Cloud Cult, Ben Howard, Here We Go Magic, Zola Jesus, The War on Drugs, Shearwater, Cass McCombs, Active Child, Trampled by Turtles, AraabMuzik, Star Slinger, LA Riots, Com Truise, Unknown Mortal, I Break Horses, Walk the Moon, Dry the River, Allen Stone, Hey Marseilles, Gary Clark Jr., Alabama Shakes, Purity Ring, Yellow Ostrich, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, Nobody Beats the Drum, Electric Guest, Coeur de Pirate, Lord Huron, Pickwick, STRFKR, We are Augustines, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, Beat Connection, THEESatisfaction, The Sheepdogs, Hey Rosetta!, Said the Whale, Howlin Rain, Gardens and Villa, Felix Cartal, Craft Spells, Vintage Trouble, Poor Moon, Black Whales, Gold Leaves, Greylag, Awesome Tapes from Africa, Dyme Def, Fresh Espresso, The Physics, Sol, Metal Chocolates, Grynch, SPACE3MAN, Don’t Talk to The Cops, Scribes, Fatal Lucciauno, Fly Moon Royalty, Katie Kate, Nick Kroll, Todd Barry, Beardyman, Rob Delaney, Pete Holmes, John Mulaney, and Howard Kremer.

BEST OF THE BEST: Well it appears that Jack White will be making his solo US debut here at Sasquatch a month after the release of his debut solo album. That is certainly something to watch for.

With Beck, you should always expect the unexpected, so whatever he does will most likely be some sort of garage-punk/funky-pop weirdness explosion.

The self-described “greatest band in the world” Tenacious D will be returning to the stage after five long years, to coincide with the release of their new album.

Girl Talk is a mashup artist that can combine everything from War Pigs, to Teach Me How to Dougie, to 99 Problems, all without being sued.

Portlandia, a show led by Wild Flag’s Carrie Brownstein (who will also play the festival with that group) and SNL’s Fred Armisen. It’s an amazingly funny and amazingly bizarre sketch comedy show that sold out crowds across the US when they brought it to the stage. Definitely something to see if you watch the show.

If you’re looking to relax after a long day’s festival, Explosions in the Sky should help (not Bon Iver). This post-rock emotional explosion of instrumental beauty is like a symphony of guitars that will put you to sleep in the best sense of the word.

Childish Gambino, or as Community fans know him Donald Glover, is a brilliant lyricist and deliverer of rap music. He’s also wicked funny. So whether he does something comedic or something serious, it should be brilliant.

Blitzen Trapper are Americana-folk at its best. With Sub Pop signing more folk bands like Fleet Foxes, Blitzen Trapper hopped on the first train out of Portland to play magnificent folksy music. It’ll be like a portal to another world, a world where all you should care about is not getting anyone’s vomit on your shoes.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Grouplove, fun., SBTKRT, Dum Dum Girls, Wild Flag. AraabMuzik, Gary Clark Jr., Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, STRFKR, The Sheepdogs.

Great lineup this year, if you ask me. Enjoy the show, all who are going!

Sasquatch! Festival Top 10 Review

Review and picture by thenaturalstoner

 

Prior to the Sasquatch! Festival I had created a preview for this site, and a couple of days later I am ready to look back and see how I did. Lots of moving and shaking going on in the table below.

It appears that the biggest surprise of the weekend for me was Major Lazer and the biggest drops were The Flaming Lips and Iron and Wine.

 

Preview Top 10 Post-Fest Top 10
1. The Foo Fighters 1. Modest Mouse
2. The Flaming Lips 2. Chromeo
3. J. Mascis 3. The Foo Fighters
4. Iron and Wine 4. Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings
5. Bassnectar 5. Major Lazer
6. Modest Mouse 6. Flogging Molly
7. Chromeo 7. Rodrigo y Gabriela
8. The Decemberists 8. J. Mascis
9. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings 9. The Decemberists
10. Flogging Molly 10. The Flaming Lips

 

Just missing the cut would be 11. Pink Martini and 12. Iron and Wine

Honorary Top 10 Member: Sleigh Bells. If I had only seen more than 2-3 songs, they could have been top 5 (or higher) for sure.

 

Thank you Sasquatch!

Sasquatch! Festival – Monday 5/30/11 – The Gorge Amphitheatre

Sasquatch! Festival – Monday 5/30/11 – The Gorge Amphitheatre

Review, pictures and video from thenaturalstoner

 

Monday morning was a little bittersweet.  Of course we started with a morning drink, but Mr. Sparkly was already gone for a couple days and Phishbeard was unable to stay for one last blow out, so I rocked Monday at the Gorge solo.  I had company from our neighbors of course, and the day turned out to be a total success.  I got to meet an artist I really like, we had some crazy weather, and some totally awesome tunes made the last day of Sasquatch! 2011 one to remember!

I went into the venue solo, but eventually met up with my Calgary crew in time to see Chromeo on the Main Stage.  I saw a couple Noah & the Whale songs on my way down to the Chromeo set, and they sounded good.  Unfortunately there was no time to waste before my show and I couldn’t stay.

I just want to say that Chromeo was easily the best act on the Main Stage all day, although Sharon Jones gave them a run for their money.  After watching the Coachella webcast, I was determined to see this performance.  It was quite an odd placement at 2:45 in the afternoon but the Gorge boogied as hard as it had all weekend.  Of all the 45 minute sets, this one was easily my favorite of the four days. “I-WANT-MY-CHROMEO”

Guided by Voices was next and the crowd really thinned out. Odd planning there.  The reunion tour was fun for some, but many in the crowd decided it was time to check out other acts.  After a few songs I left and saw one White Denim song (wish I had seen more) on my way to watch Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings close on the floor.

Sharon Jones brought the HEAT to the Gorge.  Her energy is amazing and she had that crowd on its feet from the very first second she was on the stage up until she left one hour later.  I took the opportunity afterwards to go to the meet and greet and say hello.  Sharon was very gracious and I got a picture, a kiss on the cheek, and the chance to ask her about signing with my favorite band Phish.  It was a great moment for me.  She also got a fan out of the crowd and danced and sang with him on stage during her set!

I had to sacrifice Best Coast to catch almost all of Rodrigo y Gabriela, who was amazing.  This is one band that turned me into a little bit of a fan, and Gabriela kicks ass!  The first poor weather (except for the wind) began during this set as rain would start to come down.  Some thought it added an element of fun to the set and were tired of baking in the heat for four days, so it wasn’t all bad.  After Rodrigo y Gabriela the weather did take a little twist, as we were greeted to many lightning blasts during The Decemberists and Wilco.

The Decemberists were a lot of fun, pretty darn good actually.  I like these Portland, Oregon folks a lot and their set did not disappoint.  I equate them to Iron and Wine, and I thought The Decemberists set was more fun.  They opened with The Infanta and played many that I like.  I remember Down by the Water, The Crane Wife 3 and others standing out and they finished with a fun version of The Mariner’s Revenge Song, a perfect song for the Pacific Northwest.  The Decemberists said this was their last show for awhile, so I hope you saw them when you could.  The weather got worse, not rain but lightning, during the set and got especially nasty for a little while before Wilco came out.  I thought there was a chance the storm would go right over us, but we were spared!

I had a dilemma all day, a few days actually, about what to do with the Wilco/Major Lazer conflict.  I didn’t want a repeat of the Sleigh Bells miss earlier in the week, but there was potential for Wilco to be amazing, and I certainly didn’t want to miss that.  So I did what I ended up thinking was near perfect, and watched the first few Wilco songs, busted over for one quick Deerhunter song (it was cool too, I think I missed something good there), and then saw the last 45 minutes of Major Lazer before returning to the floor for the end of Wilco and the Festival.

Major Lazer was crazy.  All that I had imagined and a little more.  I don’t love this style of music, but they have insane energy and the party up in the Banana Shack was undeniable. Thank goodness I saw most of this set, as it was FUN.  Lasers, crazy dancing, people having a blast and the dude on stage jumping from a ladder into the crowd (and other antics) made this set great!  I wouldn’t mind going to another Major Lazer party, that’s for sure. “I love it here in Washington! I don’t ever want to leave. Will someone let me stay in their basement!?!” he said.  A dance party with tons of chicks from the crowd up on stage and only the second collaboration I saw all weekend ended the set. Skrillex came out and they performed a demo that they have been working on (first time ever played) and the set ended with everyone in the crowd pumped!

After Lazer, the end of the Festival was near, and that was a bit sad.  I headed down to Wilco, ran back into my Calgary buddies which was awesome, and finished the set with just Calgary Phil and I being the last of our crew there.  The Wilco set was fun enough, it didn’t convert me into a fan like Modest Mouse did the night before, but the jams were cool and it seemed like a good way to close the show.  Phil and I walked back to the Campground, had one of the funniest conversations of my life along the way, and then drank some beers before officially calling Sasquatch quits.  The next morning came, camp was broken down, emails exchanged and goodbyes were said for all.

I’d like to personally thank Sasquatch! 2011 for being an epic blast and I hope next years lineup makes me want to go the whole three (or four?) days again.

 

Random Notes:

In some of the worst scheduling I have ever seen, Chromeo had the largest crowd all day on the Main Stage and got stuck with the 2:45-3:30 spot.  Once they left so did the crowd.  The floor was EMPTY for Guided by Voices who followed.

In lame joke of the weekend news: Jeff Tweedy, after egging the crowd on to throw as many glowsticks as possible at him (and I am paraphrasing): “You all suck! That’s probably why the Mariners are so bad too. Ohhh low blow, sorry.”

Sharon Jones is epic.

I heard the Skrillex set up in the Banana Shack was one of the best. Bummer to miss that. Also bummed to miss Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

I will see you again Sasquatch!!!!!!!

 

Monday Video of the Day:

With a cameo from Phil at the 1:50 mark!

 

Monday Video list:

Chromeo – Banter and You’re So Gangsta

Chromeo – Out of Sight

Chromeo – Tenderoni

Guided by Voices – Over the neptune-Mesh Gear Fox (A Rock Anthem)

Noah & the Whale – Blue Skies

Rodrigo y Gabriela – 5-30-11 – Sasquatch Festival – The Gorge

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings – I Learned the Hard Way

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – If You Call

The Decemberists – Calamity Song

The Decemberists – The Mariners Revenge Song – Encore

Wilco – Bull Black Nova

Sasquatch! Festival – Sunday 5/29/11 – The Gorge Amphitheatre

Sasquatch! Festival – Sunday 5/29/11 – The Gorge Amphitheatre

Review, pictures and video from thenaturalstoner and Phishbeard

 

Sunday morning started off much like Saturday, with a whiskey and coke.  We battled wind the night before and made it through unscathed, but Sunday night would be an entirely different beast.  The shows Sunday were great, possibly the best day musically, but the aftermath was about as lame as it gets. Read on….

We had a tough decision to make in the afternoon, and it was unfortunate, but we decided to stay in the campground, rest-up (much needed!) and then prefunk of course, instead of checking out Reggie Watts in the comedy stage early in the day.  The sound issues the day before for the Trailer Park Boys had an affect on this decision as well, as did not wanting to pay $9 for beers all night.

Cold War Kids was the first act we were able to see, and they were decent.  They had a pretty perfect time slot for them, before the big three Sunday night, and had many of the crowd on their feet. They played the one song of theirs I know, Hang Me Up to Dry, so that is all I really needed.  A decent, fun little set.  After the Kids we saw a couple Das Racist and Archers of Loaf tunes on the side stages, on our way to get ready for Flogging Mollys set to really kick off the night.

I just want to say that I thought Flogging Molly was amazing.  We started the set up on the hill which we quickly discovered was a bad decision. Instead, we made our way down to the floor to get much closer to the action.  Upon running into our Calgary campground neighbor friends, we watched the rest of the set with big grins on our faces.  Not even when I was informed puke was running on my bag, which I have on video (check it out!), did I have a bad time.  This set was one of the more fun ones with a rowdy crowd adding to the show.  Once the set was over we decided to get a little closer on the floor for the next act, one I was pumped for, The Flaming Lips.

Wayne Coyne and company are a bunch of weirdos!  The backdrop videos and the face camera and all the antics are just bizarre, but I like em!  The Gorge got one of the Lips’ “Soft Bulletin” shows, and also a fun rendition of Happy Birthday for the 10th Anniversary of the Festival.  A birthday cake made from the TV crew Ace of Cakes was brought our during the song, but it didn’t take long for Wayne to break it apart and throw it into the crowd.  The only problem is this was all done mid set, a seemingly very odd placement.  Wayne talks a lot too, and I left this set thinking that if Wayne would just shut up and play we could’ve seen a few more songs.  A nice tribute to Elliott Smith brought the tears out of Wayne, and a few in the crowd (Phishbeard!! Hahaha). They ended the show with Feeling Yourself Disintegrate.

After the Lips we were in for what I think could be the single best set of the weekend, at least for me.  I loved the Foo Fighters and J. Mascis sets, and Chromeo is a major ‘Best of’ contender, but to me Modest Mouse made me feel different from the others.  I had EXPECTED to have a good time at the Foo, Chromeo etc.  I had ZERO expectations for Modest Mouse and they were one of the few bands over the weekend that turned me into a fan.  Opening with Shit Luck was a treat and after that we were in store for almost 2 hours of great.  I remember This Devils Workday, Here it Comes, Bukowski, Lampshades on Fire (new song I think) and more all being top notch.  Like I said, I was waiting for a band all weekend to turn me into a fan and this is the best example of that.

I left Modest Mouse feeling great.  It can take awhile to get from the venue to the campground, so we were able to feel great for about an hour before we got back “home” and saw the damage.  Some complete fucking asshole(s?) decided to vandalize or area of the campground, breaking into cars and tents and causing all kinds of damage.  Phishbeards tent was cut open and his cooler dumped out inside. Others around us had their ipods and cell phones stolen, among other things.  Why some dicks want to ruin the times of others at something as fun as Sasquatch! is something that I will never understand.

We still had some post show beers, but the party certainly wasn’t the same as the couple of nights before.

One last day of fun awaits.

 

Random Notes:

Flogging Molly > The Flaming Lips > Modest Mouse was one of the funnest 1-2-3 combos I have seen.

Really bummed about missing Reggie Watts, sigh.

Lots of people were talking about how good the smaller stage acts were. Some I heard were great but missed were MSTRKRFT, Yeasayer, Flying Lotus, Ratatat, Sam Roberts Band.

Not very much hiphop here at this fest, but Das Racist was pretty sweet!

The wind up on that Gorge hill can be brutal…

 

Sunday Video of the Day:

3:13 into the video “Vomits running down onto your bag”!

 

Sunday Video list:

The Flaming Lips – Intro

The Flaming Lips – Intro and Race for the Prize

The Flaming Lips – What is the Light

The Flaming Lips with Reggie Watts – Happy Birthday Sasquatch

Flogging Molly – Don’t Shut Em Down – With Vomit commentary at end

Flogging Molly – Tobacco Island

Modest Mouse – Baby Blue Sedan

Modest Mouse – Bukowski

Modest Mouse – Float On

Modest Mouse – Here it Comes

Modest Mouse – Shit Luck – Set Opener

Modest Mouse – Spitting Venom

Modest Mouse – The View

Modest Mouse – This Devils Workday

Modest Mouse – Wild Pack of Family Dogs

Modest Mouse – World at Large

Sasquatch! Festival – Saturday 5/28/11 – The Gorge Amphitheatre

Sasquatch! Festival – Saturday 5/28/11 – The Gorge Amphitheatre

Review, pictures and video from thenaturalstoner and Phishbeard

 

Waking up on a Saturday at the Gorge Campground is about as great of a feeling as one can possibly imagine.  If it weren’t for the hangover from the night before and a tent in shambles, I would have been feeling great!  So of course as soon as I got up it was time for the Gorge breakfast of champions AKA whiskey and coke!  Drinks were plentiful and everyone was having a blast all day in anticipation of the full day ahead (compared to the night before where there were many less bands).

I will be honest, I think Saturday was my least favorite day of the four.  Mechanical problems and mellow vibes (when I wanted to party) brought an interesting atmosphere to this day.  Of course there were some awesome points as well, and we will touch on those, but as a whole Saturday fell a little short in my opinion.

We made it into the Gorge in time to catch the Trailer Park Boys up in the Banana Shack, a tent that doubled as a comedy stage during the day and a dance tent at night.  The Boys weren’t performing a standup act though, it was more of a performance of a Trailer Park Boys episode.  From where we were in the tent the sound was pretty terrible, so we bailed in time to check out souvenirs and get some $9 beers.

We headed over to the Yeti Stage to see J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. at 4:35.  This was a set that I was extremely looking forward to, and we got to about 4th row in the crowd.  As mentioned above there were mechanical problems on Saturday during a couple sets, and this one had a few.  The music was great, but there were some big pauses and tunings between songs and some loudness/feedback that wasn’t supposed to be there.  Also during this set, the kid on the rail three people in front of me was hunched over, apparently asleep/way too wasted on whatever drugs he was on.  Security came over a few times, doing nothing of course, and then eventually they got the kid to wake up and head off to the side. It was an interesting and funny sight watching these big security guards confused.

After Mascis we went over to the huge lawn of the Gorge and watched Pink Martini.  This was one of the surprises of my weekend, as they were unexpectedly excellent!  I really enjoyed what they played and wished I could have seen more of their set-I think we got about half of it.

Phishbeard and I then took the long walk down to the floor and got close for Iron and Wine. Sam Beam and backup crew played for an hour and brought a cool vibe to the crowd. I like Iron and Wine a lot and thought they played great. They opened with Boy with a Coin and closed with Tree by the River, a fitting song as we watched the Columbia River flow behind the stage.  Walking Far From Home and Summer in Savannah seem like highlights, memory is a little foggy here.  After Iron and Wine we walked up to the Bigfoot stage and caught a few songs from Matt and Kim.  I liked these two a lot and this is another band that I wish I could have seen more of. Instead we made a bad decision and went over to the hill and watched the start of Bright Eyes, which I absolutely could not get into at all, and then went over to see Robyn party it up.

Robyn cancelled her fan meet and greet earlier in the day and came out over 25 minutes late for her set.  I am not sure what the deal was, but she was the artist I would consider the least timely of the weekend.  We watched a few songs and then went to watch Death Cab for Cutie.  This is where the possible worst decision of the weekend was made.

Instead of going to see Sleigh Bells we decided to give Death Cab a shot for about 30 minutes.  Like Bright Eyes, Death Cab was another band I just couldn’t find an appreciation for.  It was too quiet of set for what I wanted.  Eventually we went over to see the end of Sleigh Bells and that was possibly my favorite part of the day.  We only got 3 songs but they were a freaking blast and I really wish I could’ve seen more.  I will definitely put Sleigh Bells on my concert watch list.

The night ended when we went over to see the late night set of Bassnectar.  Another party I was looking forward to for a long time had an up and down go of it.  The power went out three separate times, including immediately after announcing “We are back!” and Bassnectar could only keep going (even though no one could hear anything) and pray to the Bass Gods (which he actually did) and hope the power would stay on for the remainder.  The glowstick war I was promised was nice, but I have seen better; see Phish performing Loving Cup on 10/31/09 in Indio.  The last hour of Bassnectars set went off without a hitch and I can see why the kids these days like to dance.  I had a pretty good amount of fun standing near the back of the crowd watching the crazies get their groove on.

The concerts ended at 12:30, but of course there is the long trek back to the Campground and then the party that awaits there.  Like I said, there were some great moments Saturday, but if I had to throw one of the days back in the water it would have been this one.  Maybe if I had seen all of Sleigh Bells I would think differently??

 

Random Notes:

Getting four people from the stage at J. Mascis was the closest we got all weekend, except for future ConcertConfessions contributor Mr. Sparkly who got two people from Death From Above 1979 and the Foo Fighters the night before.

Choosing Death Cab for Cutie over Sleigh Bells goes down as the weekends most epic fail.  Unlike Sunday with Major Lazer and Wilco (which I feel I managed almost perfect), I should have balanced Death Cab and Sleigh Bells much better.

Pink Martini goes down as possible surprise of the weekend.  A really fun set that seemed to come out of nowhere!

Shoulda saw more Matt and Kim.

 

Saturday Video of the Day:

 

Saturday Video list:

Bassnectar – Intro, glowstick war, and Mix

Bassnectar – Intro 2nd version

Bassnectar – In Bloom Mix

Bright Eyes – Shell Games

Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Possess Your Heart

Iron and Wine – Freedom Hangs Like Heaven

Iron and Wine – Walking Far From Home

J. Mascis – Listen to Me

J. Mascis – Not Enough

J. Mascis – Repulsion

J. Mascis – Thumb

Sasquatch! Festival – Friday 5/27/11 – The Gorge Amphitheatre

Sasquatch! Festival – Friday 5/27/11 – The Gorge Amphitheatre

Review, pictures and video from thenaturalstoner and Phishbeard

 

Since we have 4 days worth of Sasquatch! content to post, I thought it would be best to put each days items up on ConcertConfessions.com individually.  Friday was the opening night of the Festival, and it was a super rocking good time.  There were less bands on Friday, and we were testing out our camera access limits, so the Friday content isn’t as voluminous as the rest of the days (we have a couple of HOURS of footage from Saturday-Monday!), but the party was just as strong!  I think for these reviews I will talk a little about each band I saw, whether it be for a full set or only one song. Obviously I had to make decisions on whom to watch, so my review could be quite different from someone elses who was at the Fest.

We arrived at the beautiful Gorge Amphitheatre on Friday afternoon to a wind storm of epic proportions.  Over the weekend we lost both of our tents and another shade tent, and we weren’t the only ones.  Eventually everything settled, we met our neighbors (hey Phil!), got a solid buzz on (when I say solid, I mean SOLID), and we went in for the opening festivities.

Bob Mould opened my Sasquatch! Festival and the floor of the Gorge was pretty open, so we went close and got a great spot.  The set was nice, a little more mellow than I was expecting, but good.  I had been looking forward to this set and it went about as I expected, although I wish it was longer.  Bob would also make a guest appearance (one of only two I saw all weekend-weird) later in the night.

After Mould, Phishbeard and I decided to walk up the hill and check out some of the smaller stage acts.  Against Me! was playing on the Bigfoot Stage, the second largest Gorge stage, and we caught a few of their songs.  I don’t know these guys at all, but their songs were good enough for my ears.  Eventually we decided to go to the Gorge lawn and check out the end of The Bronx set.  Again we only caught a couple songs (and we missed their ‘Mariachi el Bronx’ set on the Yeti stage), but they were fun and set the scene for the nights two biggest acts.

Death From Above 1979 was the second to last act on the Main Stage and we decided to go to the floor and get as close as we could for their set.  We got a decent spot, but not as good as our friend and future ConcertConfessions reviewer Mr. Sparkly, and rocked the hell out for a solid hour of tunes.  I have been hearing a lot about DFA1979, so I was looking forward to this one.  It was a lot of fun and my ears may still hurt from their awesome sound.  After an hour, DFA1979’s set was over and the stage was clear for the biggest name of the Festival to rock us home, The Foo Fighters.

The Foo Fighters are one of my favorite acts in the world, and one of the few bands that I love but have not seen live.  I was looking forward to this set the very most all weekend, and the boys brought everything they could for over two hours. Bridge Burning opened the show and went into a loud Rope.  Another new song came and then they opened up the setlist for some of the older stuff.  I think my personal highlight was Hey, Johnny Park! > Monkey Wrench, which was unbelievably perfect, but the show was pumped full of hits.  Times Like These, My Hero, All My Life, Learning to Fly, I’ll Stick Around and more blew the non-existant roof off of the Gorge.  They got my favorite off the new album, Walk, in there, and brought Bob Mould out to sing on Dear Rosemary (a tune he sings on The Foos new ablum).  An Everlong closer was the perfect way to send us back to the campground for an even longer night of drinking and general debauchery.  I thought the Foo set was A+, but little did I know the best of the weekend was yet to come….

 

Random Notes:

Foo was amazing! Probably a top 3 set of the entire festival for me.

I was a little too drunk this night.  Not terrible, but a little more than I was going for.  This contributed to the lack of video. My apologies.

Anyone who showed up Friday early afternoon to set up camp had to deal with one of the suckiest wind storms in a LONG while.  I can’t believe my tent made it all 4 nights (but eventually lost the battle).

There was a Sasquatch! Festival birthday cake made from the Ace of Cakes guys from TV.  They rolled it out Friday and then again during the Flaming Lips set on Sunday. During the Lips set we all sang Happy Birthday and then Wayne Coyne threw much of the cake into the crowd.

I would guesstimate that the Sasquatch! crowd was easily 50% Canadian.  Could have been more like 66%.  I asked my new friend Phil from Calgary why there were so many Canadians at the show and he said ‘Unless you are in Vancouver, there’s nothing else to do up there”.  The “GO CANUCKS GO” chant got VERY old however.

I wish Bob Mould would have been a bit more rocking.

 

Friday Video of the Day:

 

Friday Video list:

Death from Above 1979 – Turn It Out

 

Sasquatch! Festival 2011 Preview – The Gorge Amphitheatre, George, WA

Sasquatch! Festival 2011 Preview

By thenaturalstoner

It’s hard to believe that out of over 100 bands performing at this years Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre, I have only seen two.  I go to a lot of concerts, and like a lot of these bands, so it’s really freaking odd to me that I have only seen the Old 97’s (at an old Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, approx. 10 years ago) and Sharon Jones, although I didn’t see her with the Dap-Kings, only as a backup performer to Phish at their legendary Festival 8.  With that said there are some amazing acts this year, and as always, Sasquatch! is plum full of up and coming bands we will all love in 2-3 years.  This preview will look at my favorite acts I am looking forward to, and why.  There are lots of different reasons that these bands appear on this list, and after the Festival I am sure some of my favorite sets from the event won’t be any of these listed, but these are the top bands I am most looking forward to seeing perform live (ALL for the first time!).

 


10. Flogging Molly: While “celtic punk rock” isn’t my favorite genre, it certainly jumps up big on the list after a few cold beers.  So Sunday night’s Flogging Molly set on the Main Stage at the Gorge should be epic (so should The Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse to follow on the Main Stage-what a way to start the night!).

9. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: As mentioned above, I have seen Sharon Jones once before, backing up Phish at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio. This will be a nice treat seeing her with her own band. Sharons throwback funk/soul sound gets me going every time and her voice is amazing.

8. The Decembrists: I will admit, an ex-girlfriend got me into this band. Usually the kiss of death, but I have always kind of liked their sound (their 2011 album The King is Dead is a lot of fun) and these guys will be great at the Gorge.

7. Chromeo: When the initial Sasquatch! lineup was announced, I asked concertconfessions own Rev. Justito to give me some names of bands to check out that I might not be familiar with. I’m pretty sure Chromeo was on his list because they made it onto my iPod, but after a couple listens it really wasn’t for me. However, I decided to give their recent Coachella Festival webcast a chance, and after watching the ENTIRE set, this Prince-meets-Devo funky pop band is something I am really excited about seeing. I can only imagine the dance party that awaits.

 

6. Modest Mouse: The great Northwests own Modest Mouse, returning to Sasquatch! for a night for the ages.  Sunday nights headliner is a band that I like (not love), but maybe that will change as this will be my first Modest Mouse show.  I have heard their concerts can be hit or miss, especially these days, but I have to think the Sunday night magic of Sasquatch! will leave the Gorge Amphitheatre in awe.

5. Bassnectar: Dubstep, a genre I am a total noob about, is intriguing to me. And Bassnectar is one of the best blowing up right now.  After hearing about the legendary glow stick wars (that supposedly put my band Phish’s to shame) and seeing some YouTube clips, I have a sneaking suspicion that this late night set could be one of the best of the entire Festival.

4. Iron & Wine: Another ex-girlfriend introduction for me, but I thank her greatly for it.  Iron & Wine (traditionally a one man band, but I have heard he sometimes tours with a group) is one of my favorite mellow “rock” acts.  The Main State of the Gorge will be a perfect setting for a Saturday night dusk time set and the new album is super, so the tunes should be great.

3. J. Mascis: The front man for legendary alternative band Dinosaur Jr. will be at Sasquatch! performing a solo set.  J.’s past solo performances are great and his latest all-acoustic album “Several Shades of Why” is fantastic.  This will be a small side stage act not to be missed!  I think I just pee’d my pants a little thinking about it.

2. The Flaming Lips: Not sure how I have not seen this band before, but am SUPER excited for this set.  The Lips will be performing their 1999 epic “The Soft Bulletin” in its entirety, plus other additional songs to follow.  I’ve been told a Flaming Lips show can be life changing, so Sunday May 29th may be my last “normal” day as thenaturalstoner.

1. Foo Fighters: The first band announced for this years Festival is the one I am looking forward to the most.  Nirvana was always my favorite band growing up, and to have the opportunity to see Dave Grohl and Pat Smear play together will rock my mind and soul.  Nirvana Bassist Krist Novoselic performed on the Foos new album “Wasting Light” (as did Huskur Du’s own Bob Mould, also at the Sasquatch! Fest), so who knows, maybe a Nirvana reunion will rock Central Washington in May.  Regardless, this is one set I have been looking forward to for months on end.  I had the chance to see the Foos only one other time, also at the Gorge with Kool Keith and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and some mishaps along the way caused me to miss the show.  That will NOT happen this time.

 

 

Just missing the cut: Death Cab for Cutie, Death From Above 1979, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Washington state hip-hop represent!), Bob Mould, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Trailer Park Boys, Reggie Watts, Wilco.

Things I am pissed about:  J. Mascis and Chromeo only scheduled for 45 minutes; The Decemberists, Iron and Wine and Bassnectar only scheduled for an hour; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis/Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings scheduling conflict.

So that’s my list.  The best part about Festivals, especially 4 day long ones, is that your list will differ greatly from mine.  I can’t wait to check these bands out (plus 90 others!) and report back on who was amazing and who failed to live up to expectations.  George, Washington, here we come!!!

For those who can’t make it – NPR will be broadcasting live from the festival all weekend long.

Sasquatch! Festival 2011 Full Lineup:

Friday, May 27

Foo Fighters

Death From Above 1979

Against Me!

Biffy Clyro

Rival Schools

The Bronx

Bob Mould

Saturday, May 28

Death Cab For Cutie

Bright Eyes

Iron & Wine

Bassnectar

Robyn

Pink Martini

Wolf Parade

Local Natives

Matt & Kim

Trailer Park Boys

Sleigh Bells

The Thermals

Jenny & Johnny

The Head & The Heart

K-os

The Radio Dept.

The Antlers

Sharon Van Etten

Aloe Blacc

The Secret Sisters

Wye Oak

J. Mascis

Tig Notaro

Alberta Cross

Seattle Rock Orchestra

Washed Out

Dan Mangan

The Globes

Rebecca Gates & The Consortium

Pepper Rabbit

DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid

Matt McCarthy

The Glitch Mob

Sunday, May 29

Modest Mouse

The Flaming Lips

Flogging Molly

Cold War Kids

Ratatat

MSTRKRFT

Yeasayer

Beach House

Flying Lotus

Tokyo Police Club

Fitz & The Tantrums

Archers of Loaf

City and Colour

Reggie Watts

Gayngs

Tim Minchin

The Drums

Sam Roberts Band

Villagers

The Moondoggies

Smith Westerns

Das Racist

Wheedle’s Groove

S. Carey

Typhoon

Gold Panda

Cotton Jones

Mad Rad

Basia Bulat

Other Lives

Talkdemonic

DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid

Hari Kondabolu

Monday, May 30

Wilco

The Decemberists

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Old 97’s

Chromeo

Guided By Voices

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Deerhunter

Major Lazer

Skrillex

The Scott Aukerman & Paul F. Tompkins Show

!!!

Best Coast

Surfer Blood

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Bonobo (DJ Set)

Young the Giant

Stornoway

Black Mountain

Noah & The Whale

Wavves

GIVERS

Twin Shadow

Foster the People

White Denim

Axis of Awesome

Jaill

White Arrows

Head Like A Kite

The Young Evils

DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid

Sasquatch Festival 2011 Set To Rock George, WA

Sasquatch Festival 2011 Set To Rock George, WA

As we reported late last year, the Sasquatch Music Festival is set to return to the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, WA. As we already reported, Foo Fighters will be headlining one of the four nights. Also on the bill are Modest Mouse, Death Cab For Cutie, The Flaming Lips and a lot more. Four day passes are on sale now and single day tickets will go on sale on Feb 14th.. For all the details on this festival (which we hope to have our very own Thenaturalstoner attend) please click here.

Foo Fighters Set To Rock Sasquatch Festival in 2011

Foo Fighters Set To Rock Sasquatch Festival in 2011
News posted by: thenaturalstoner

It’s never too early to get excited for the best festival in the West.  Held every Memorial Day (in May, for the holiday challenged) Weekend it’s the Gorge Amphitheatres own Sasquatch Festival.

The festivals official site has announced intial plans for this years run, and the early news sounds excellent:

1. A 4th night (Friday) has been added to the Festival!!

2. Early headliner announcement: The Foo Fighters!  The Footies will be headlining the new Friday night freak out…. Concertconfessions is very excited about this early news.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiYzQx4HLXM

Check back to http://www.sasquatchfestival.com/ or http://www.concertconfessions.com or more Sasquatch news as it comes.  TONS of bands will be added, and this Fest will be one not to miss!

Shovels and Rope – 4/19/14 – The Bartlett, Spokane, WA

Shovels and Rope with Parker Millsap 4/19/14 – The Bartlett, Spokane, WA

Review, photos and video by thenaturalstoner

 

Shovels and Rope brought their fantastic husband and wife band to one of Spokane, Washingtons newest music venues tonight and had the sold-out crowd dancing and jumping and hootin’ and hoolerin’ along for a solid 90 minute release of folk-country-rock energy.  We got to The Bartlett around 7:30pm for the 8 o’clock show and opening act Parker Millsap and bandmates Michael Rose and Daniel Foulks came out to start the night soon after. Millsap is a young man from Oklahoma that has a fantastically weathered voice and stage presence that helps keep the audience easily captivated.  My group was able to get a spot nice and close to the stage without feeling too cramped and Parkers set was longer than I expected it to be, getting about 9 or 10 songs in before exiting behind the stage.  His soul, folk and blues songs kept me entertained and really had the other people in the room focused in as well.

Shovels and Rope 8

Around 9:30 Shovels and Rope (married couple Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst) came out and the sold-out 150 person venue erupted as loud as they could.  The audience packed in much tighter for this set, and the ballroom definitely felt a bit smaller than it had during the opener.  For the most part the crowd was on their best behavior and full of fun energy tonight.  The Bartlett is a pretty nice little place, and should be applauded for their decent selection of beers readily available at two different spots in the building.

Shovels and Rope is a band that I have been wanting to see live since first hearing about them on the Sasquatch Music Festival lineup a couple years back (on a year that I could not attend) and seeing them perform on the David Letterman show.  Since missing that Memorial Day weekend in George I have waited for an opportunity to see this duo perform, and they did not disappoint tonight in Spokane.  The hour and a half set mixed in songs from both of their prior albums, Shovels and Rope and O’ Be Joyful, plus some new material from an album they are currently working on.

I heard people in the crowd saying they traveled from as far away as Edmonton (over 600 miles) for this show, and everyone seemed to have a great time on that crowded dance floor.  Musical highlights of the set included Hail Hail, Keeper, Boxcar and version of Birmingham that was slowed down and different than any version I have heard, which closed out the set.  I thought all of the new songs sounded great as well.  The band would leave to a huge roar, and came back for an encore that included a cover of Bruce Springsteens Nebraska track Johnny 99.  Trent and Hearst traded instruments many times throughout the night and watching them bounce riffs off of each other and gaze into each others eyes while performing is a pretty neat thing.

If you like Americana music do not miss the chance to catch a Shovels and Rope set.  And if you have an opportunity to see Parker Millsap and his band, they are worth checking out too!

Primavera Sound Festival 2013: Day 2

Primavera Sound Festival, Day 2, May 24, 2013

Words by Jakob Ross, Pictures/Videos by Scott Ross

PRIMAVERA WHEEL

I woke up at noon. I ate breakfast. I showered. I brushed my teeth. I was dressed. My morning routine was not necessarily in that order, but who cares? You just want to hear about all the cool bands I saw on Day 2 of Spain’s preeminent music festival.

Bands I’d seen so far: 8

Hours of sleep since festival started: 6

Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get this show on the road.

Kurt Vile and the Violators

KURT VILE

At this point in his career, Kurt Vile is pretty much a festival staple. He’s been playing Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza, etc. for the past few years, so it’s natural that he’d play Primavera, especially since it’s been a month since the release of his critically adored new album “Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze.”

I first fell in love with the music of the long-haired singer/songwriter when he released “Smoke Ring For My Halo” in 2011, and although I didn’t LOVE love his brand new album, I knew that he’d play a relaxing, hazy set that was perfect for a sunny Friday afternoon.

Kurt Vile’s dreamy set would be the first one I catch at Primavera’s main stage, the Heineken Stage, and he opened up his show with the 9-minute psychedelic behemoth “Wakin’ on a Pretty Day.” He played some brand new songs like “KV Crimes,” “Was All Talk,” and “Shame Chamber.” He also played some tracks from the aforementioned “Smoke Ring For My Halo” like “Jesus Fever,” “Peeping Tomboy,” and “Ghost Town.” He ended the set with two deeper cuts “Hunchback” and “Freak Train.”

Kurt Vile’s care free attitude and singing style reminded me of a really really cool mix of Lou Reed, J Mascis, and Bob Dylan. In fact, if Kurt dyed his hair grey and put on some glasses he could easily pass for J Mascis. Although he wasn’t my favorite show and he’s not my favorite singer of all time, his set was fun to watch, and unexpectedly loud at times. I mean, when you rub violently on the strings with your own distortion pedal, the resulting sound is bound to be loud.

Daniel Johnston

If you’ve never listened to or heard of Daniel Johnston, then I highly recommend you watch the documentary “The Devil and Daniel Johnston” before forming your opinion. It really gives some insight into the mind of one of independent music’s most fascinating and skilled outsiders. But, for those who don’t care to watch, here’s the tl;dr version:

Daniel Johnston is a singer/songwriter from West Virginia. He suffers from bipolar disorder which has transformed into demonic self-obsession and perhaps even schizophrenia. Throughout the 80s he recorded lo-fi cassettes and passed them around, hoping to one day become as famous as The Beatles. His cassettes received very high praise from the few journalists who bothered to listen to them, and soon enough Daniel was building quite the following in the mid-to-late 80s, despite having not much actual skill when it comes to singing or playing the guitar. What attracted people to Dan was his childlike voice, honest and sometimes very dark lyrics, and life story. He spent the 90s in and out of mental hospitals, in between hanging out with Sonic Youth and Half Japanese, as well as being famously co-signed by Kurt Cobain. He still writes music and performs to this day, and he’s known for his odd demeanor and brilliant live shows.

Daniel would be performing at the one inside venue in the entire festival, which requires a ticket to get into (the tickets each cost 2 euro). And although the extremely long line would prevent me from catching the first half of his set, I did see what I wanted to see and hear what I wanted to hear of indie rock’s most polarizing singer.

I was able to hear some of Daniel Johnston’s most well known songs, which he performed with a backing band that seemed less than half his age. With his lyrics in front of him on a music stand and complete control over his band, Daniel performed songs like “Speeding Motorcycle,” “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” “Devil Town,” and the show closing fan favorite “True Love Will Find You In The End.” One of the coolest things about his show was not only the massive audience gathered to watch him, but also the complete silence of the audience while he was singing. If there’s one thing people at the festival liked to do, it was talk, especially when there’s a musician on stage. But for Daniel Johnston, all eyes and ears were on him. There wasn’t a peep until the explosive rounds of applause that followed each song. It’s easy to see why his live shows are so highly regarded; he performs with the same childlike innocence and emotion that he’s performed with for the past 30 years. Soon enough, his set was over and Daniel walked off the stage with his lyric notebook in hand. We were thanked and we left the crowded auditorium to make our way back to the ATP Stage.

Om

Al Cisneros has a long history in the genre of heavy metal, specifically the doom metal genre, specifically the stoner doom metal genre. In the 90s he was in a band called Sleep with guitar player Matt Pike and drummer Chris Hakius, and they helped to pioneer this specific subgenre of heavy metal with the release of “Sleep’s Holy Mountain” in 1992, and the hour long song “Dopesmoker” a few years later. Well Sleep broke up, as bands usually do. Al and Chris took the “stoner doom” out of stoner doom metal to play spiritually inspired slow songs that usually stretch past the 10-minute mark under the name Om, while Matt took the “metal” out of stoner doom metal to play loudly and quickly in the band High on Fire. Om has become a festival favorite in recent years, and just last year they turned from powerful duo (Al Cisneros on bass and vocals with current drummer Emil Amos) into a power trio, adding singer/guitarist/synthesizer player Robert Lowe to the mix. And Robert’s cathartic vocals fit perfectly with Om’s sound.

I didn’t get to see all of Om’s set, but I did get to witness Al’s powerful and repetitive bass playing that I bet was perfect for meditation. Om took their name from the Hindu concept that the sound “Ommmmmmm” represents the natural vibration of the universe, as well as the true name of God. It sounds weird and certainly is, but there’s no one out there like Om. They’re the slow-burning Tibetan monks of heavy metal music. The bass notes rise like smoke from an incense stick, and the drums groove on the ride cymbal like the rhythmic bare feet of monks on cut lotus flowers. I didn’t notice any particular universal vibration, and God didn’t come down from heaven to praise Al’s bass playing, but I imagine that seeing Om in a more intimate venue allows for the full experience. Especially when you see the entire show, which I didn’t.

Shellac

Yet another legend. For those of you who have no idea who Steve Albini is: first of all stop lying. He produced Nirvana’s best album. Second of all, go listen to Big Black. Let me remind you that this music was written and performed in the late 80s.

All good? Okay. Well, after the breakup of Big Black as well as the short-lived Rapeman, Steve Albini formed Shellac, a post-hardcore/math rock group that he performed with when he wasn’t busy producing some incredible albums by the likes of Pixies, The Jesus Lizard, Slint, The Breeders, Superchunk, Helmet, PJ Harvey, Don Caballero, Jawbreaker, Man or Astro-man?, Bush, Nirvana, Dirty Three, Neurosis, Flogging Molly, Owls, Mogwai, mclusky; the list goes on. Basically, Steve has had a huge impact on post-rock, heavy metal, punk, noise rock, post-hardcore, emo, math rock, alternative rock, grunge, you name it. But his longest running musical venture has been with his musical trio Shellac, which includes Steve on vocals and guitar, Bob Weston on bass, and Todd Trainer on drums. Together they play mean spirited and very cynical post-hardcore in unorthodox tunings and time signatures.

Although Shellac haven’t released an album in 6 years (they supposedly have one on the way), they’re a festival staple as well, and the fact that they’re playing the ATP Stage makes a ton of sense considering they’ve helped curate numerous All Tomorrow’s Parties lineups in the past.

Shellac sped through a fun and at times humorous set of complex riffs and the loud screams of Steve Albini. But one of the best things about any Shellac show is Steve’s banter and little bits of comedy. At one point he decided that the most offensive hand gesture is pulling your middle finger out of your mouth, producing a popping sound, and showing it off to whoever would look. He also complimented Spain on having the most attractive population of human beings. Shellac ended their show with their usual gag of taking apart Todd Trainer’s drum set piece by piece as he attempts to solo on whatever drums remain in front of him. Another bucket list act finally crossed off the list, and who knows, maybe Steve will reunite Big Black for a full on tour and then I can cross them off my list.

The Jesus and Mary Chain

If you happen to trace noise pop and shoegaze back to their roots, you’ll likely find them at Scottish band The Jesus and Mary Chain’s debut album “Psychocandy.” The Jesus and Mary Chain were one of the first bands to combine noisy feedback with pop songs, and they’d go on to inspire a legion of musicians to turn up the volume and use as many effects as possible.

Although they’d turn down the volume considerably with the release of their second album “Darklands,” J&MC would still always be the pop band with the really loud guitars. And although not all their albums featured this loud guitar, they certainly made sure it was heard on stage. The Scots hit the stage at around 10:45 with a giant illuminated cross on the stage, and launched right into “Snakedriver” from one of their lesser known 90s releases before playing “Head On,” off their 3rd LP “Automatic.” Pixies are also known for performing an incredible cover of this song.

The Jesus and Mary Chain played for a little over an hour (although it felt longer considering the fact that they played 17 songs), filling their setlist with mostly songs from their first four albums. But the most talked about moment of the night was when they invited Bilinda Butcher of My Bloody Valentine to sing the female part of “Just Like Honey.” They played for a little longer afterward, eventually ending their setlist with “Never Understand,” another song from their excellent debut album.

The Jesus and Mary Chain certainly are not my favorite band of the 80s, or of all time, but they put on a fairly fun show and I got to hear some of my favorite songs by them.

James Blake

JAMES BLAKE

British singer/songwriter/post-dubstep producing wunderkind is as talented as it gets. He’s got one of the best singing voices I’ve ever heard in my life, he’s very knowledgeable when it comes to electronic equipment, and he knows how to take his complicated songs and successfully turn them into live songs with a full band. Although his new album “Overgrown” hasn’t been reviewed as highly as his self titled debut was in 2011, I think that both albums are incredibly well written and well performed.

I made my way through the massive crowd (James said it was probably the biggest group of people he’d ever played for) just as he and his two bandmates started right into the track “Air & Lack Thereof.” I was unfamiliar with the song so I assumed it was on one of his earlier EPs. They then played “I Never Learnt to Share,” a track off his debut album that goes from multi-layered vocal loops and 5 part harmonies to what is as close to a bass drop as you’ll find in a James Blake song. Suddenly the entire crowd was a dance party. I did not at all expect James Blake’s show to be so full of dance worthy moments, but I couldn’t help myself. They then went into the sample-heavy track “CMYK,” and then a few songs from “Overgrown,” including “I Am Sold,” “Our Love Comes Back,” and the Brian Eno-produced “Digital Lion.” James then led his group into the confusingly off-beat “Unluck,” which went into his famous Feist cover “Limit To Your Love.”

James would later end his set with the triple threat of recent material that was “Overgrown,” “Voyeur,” and “Retrograde,” but by the time James was humming the opening to “Retrograde,” my dad had left to go catch Blur, and I’d left to go catch Swans. James Blake’s live show is one that should not be missed, whether you like Skrillex or Fiona Apple or anything in between.

Blur

I didn’t see Blur, but my dad did. He said they were alright. He didn’t stick around for the full show.

Swans

There are two types of people in this world: those who have seen Swans live, and those who haven’t. And after hearing their magnificent 2012 album “The Seer” and hearing all the amazing things people have to say about their live shows, I decided to join the minority.

Swans formed in the early 80s as a musical project that defied specific genre terms. They were part of the “No Wave” scene in New York, but they incorporated post-punk, industrial metal, and noise music into their sound, creating an ugly blend slow burning powerful anger that was only uglier and angrier when performed live. According to firsthand accounts, numerous early Swans shows resulted in bleeding ears, vomiting concertgoers, and police shutting down multiple concerts. Soon, bandleader Michael Gira added Louisiana artist Jarboe to the mix, which softened their sound significantly. Swans headed almost into alternative country and neo-folk territory, before amping up the creepiness for their mid-90s magnum opus “Soundtracks for the Blind.” They broke up after releasing that album, but reunited in 2010 (sans Jarboe) to release “My Father Will Guide Up A Rope To The Sky,” which generated widespread acclaim among critics, but it wasn’t until last year’s release of “The Seer” and reviews of Swans’ new live shows started pouring in that I truly fell in love with this band. And as soon as I saw them on this year’s Primavera lineup, I knew I’d have to see them live. I was only a little bit scared.

Although Swans were originally supposed to go on at around 8:00 PM, their set was moved to 1:30 AM. The goth looking crowd started to pile in at around that time, and the 6-piece band (including Michael Gira on vocals and guitar, a guitarist, a bassist, a drummer, a percussionist named Thor, and a lapsteel player) made their way on stage and let their instruments produce drone and feedback before heading into the loud, heavy territory of their catalogue.

For a band who’ve just come off the release of a new album less than a year ago, they did not play much material from that album. See, Swans have always been about the brand new. I imagine that most of the stuff that they’re playing on tour now is stuff that they’re thinking of putting on whatever album they put out next. They’re trying to craft long, ugly pieces of noisy slowcore and doing a very good job at it.

Out of the 7 songs they played, only two of them are actually on known albums by Swans. “Coward” is from one of their first albums “Holy Money,” and “The Seer” is the eponymous track from their most recent album. Otherwise, everything on the setlist was either a rarity or a work in progress.

Swans played loudly, let me get that out of the way. Very loudly. Like, if I saw them in an inside venue I’d want to wear earplugs. And Michael Gira only wanted it to get louder. As they slowly moved from song to song, Michael Gira directed pretty much everyone. He was the composer as well as the lyricist, lead singer, and guitar player. He even told camera men where to go. He would decide how long a note would go on for, how loud it would get, and when the next note would happen. It’s the best example of cult-like behavior that I’ve ever seen at a concert in my life. And I loved every second of it.

As the show got louder and more and more insane, I felt my jaw drop as my brain tried to comprehend everything. Explaining a Swans show is a difficult task, and there’s no way I could use words to explain what was so great about it, why I was so moved, or what exactly happened during it. I left right before they played the final song of the night “Toussant Louverture Song” so I could join my dad in the already sizable crowd that was gathered at the Primavera Stage to see The Knife.

The Knife

THE KNIFE

You might not like The Knife. Whatever, it’s cool. We’re all entitled to our own opinion. But seriously though, The Knife are incredible.

After pretty much dropping off the face of the earth for a few years (they briefly came back in 2010 for a collaborative album with some similar artists), they’ve resurfaced for their first album in seven years, “Shaking the Habitual.” And with this 96-minute monster of a record (which is also the best album of the year so far) comes The Knife’s second ever tour, and for this tour they promised to do a show unlike any other live event in the history of concerts, and I can safely say that what I saw The Knife do has not yet been attempted by any other act, and probably couldn’t be pulled off by any other act either. The Knife are currently touring with at least 8 people on stage, with a good portion of them stepping up to the mic to sing. So if you have no idea what the members of The Knife (Karin Dreijer Andersson and her brother Olof Dreijer) look like, then you’re probably out of luck here.

One main criticism of The Knife’s 2006 tour in support of the album “Silent Shout” is that they didn’t really actually play the music live. Well I feel like all those critics would lose their minds with anger if they found out what The Knife were doing for this tour. The show would consist of some very well done lip syncing by members of the group that were not the actual lead singer, as well as the use of fake instruments that look like they were designed by Dr. Seuss during an acid trip. So, no, The Knife didn’t ACTUALLY perform any of the music live. And that may have angered a few in the crowd, but the majority were impressed by the insane difficulty of some of these dance moves, and one can only imagine how tough it was to choreograph.

The Knife “played” mostly songs from their new album, but did do songs such as “One Hit” and “Silent Shout” from their 3rd album “Silent Shout.” The music was a ton of fun to dance to, and the dances that the members were doing on stage were disturbing at times, and The Knife were able to pull off one of the most ambitious live shows ever attempted, without ever actually playing a real instrument or singing into a microphone.

Despite the slight backlash from a few crowd members, the reaction was almost unanimously positive, and The Knife received a standing ovation that lasted at least 5 minutes. The man who I believe was Olof took the mic and thanked us. Smiles adorned all 8 faces on the stage, and we left, feeling very satisfied with the day. Again the subway didn’t open till 5 in the morning, so we had to wait a bit. But overall, Day 2 was a success and a ton of fun for everyone.

Japandroids Unveil Summer US Tour Dates Surrounding Festival Appearances

Jjapandroids

So by now, we shouldn’t have to explain to you how hard Japandroids rock. On the heels of last week’s blazing performance of “The Nights Of Wine And Roses” on Conan(Video of which you can check out here), the band has announce headlining dates in the US this Summer surrounding their various festival appearances. Supporting the band on tour will be Cloud Nothings in April and A Place To Bury Strangers for six dates in May and June. You can view the tour itinerary below, and see if you’re lucky enough to catch them.

 

Japandroids Spring/Summer US Tour Dates:

03/08 – New Orleans, LA // BUKU Music + Art Project
03/09 – Winter Park, CO // Snowball Festival
03/12-13 – Austin, TX // South by Southwest

04/12 – Indio, CA // Coachella Music Festival
04/15 – Santa Barbara, CA // Velvet Jones (w/ Cloud Nothings)
04/16 – Oakland, CA // New Parish (w/ Cloud Nothings)
04/17 – Oakland, CA // New Parish (w/ Cloud Nothings)
04/19 – Indio, CA // Coachella Music Festival
04/22 – Pomono, CA // Glasshouse (w/ Cloud Nothings)
05/24 – George, WA // Sasquatch! Music Festival
05/27 – Milwaukee, WI // Turner Ballroom (w/ A Place to Bury Strangers )
05/28 – Indianapolis, IN // The Vogue (w/ A Place to Bury Strangers )
05/29 – Lawrence, KS // Granada Theatre (w/ A Place to Bury Strangers )
05/31 – Austin, TX // Emo’s East (w/ A Place to Bury Strangers )
06/01 – Houston, TX // Free Press Summer Fest
06/03 – Baton Rouge, LA // Spanish Moon (w/ A Place to Bury Strangers )
06/05 – Carrboro, NC // Cat’s Cradle (w/ A Place to Bury Strangers )
06/08 – New York, NY // Governors Ball Music Festival
06/09 – Detroit, MI // Orion Music + More Festival
06/11 – Chicago, IL // Metro
06/13 – Manchester, TN // Bonnaroo Music  And Arts Festival
06/15 – Louisville, KY // Headliners Music Hall
06/16 – Pittsburgh, PA // Mr Smalls Theatre
06/21 – Baltimore, MD // Ottobar

06/22 – Dover, DE // Firefly Music Festival

Primus 3D Spring 2013 North American Tour Dates

Primus2012 10 28 (5) STL Peabody Opera House

After various appearances on recently announced festival cards, Primus will continue it’s tour in 3D this May. The trek begins the night after the band will play Bottle Rock Napa Valley and stays primarily on the west coast until June where stops in Minnesota, Toronto and Chicago will be made before things wrap up in Upstate New York. Check out all the dates below. Presale tickets for the 3D tour will be on sale Feb 26th. Head over to the bands official website, here, for more information.

 Primus 3D 2013 Tour Dates:

May 9 – Napa, CA // Napa Valley Exposition (Bottle Rock)
May 10 – Eureka, CA // Eureka Municipal Auditorium
May 12 – Garden City, ID// Revolution Concert House and Event Center
May 13 – Missoula, MT // Wilma Theatre
May 14 – Billings, MT // Shrine Auditorium
May 16 – Colorado Springs, CO.// Historic City Auditorium
May 17 – Santa Fe, NM// Santa Fe Community Convention Center
May 18 – Tucson, AZ // Rialto Theatre
May 19 – Pomona, CA // Fox Theater Pomona
May 21 – Ventura, CA // Majestic Ventura Theatre
May 22 – Bakersfield, CA // Majestic Fox Theater
May 24 – Portland, OR // Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
May 25 – Eugene, OR // Cuthbert Amphitheater
May 26 – Quincy, WA. // Gorge Amphitheatre (“Sasquatch! Music Festival”)
May 28 – Edmonton // Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
May 29 – Calgary // MacEwan Hall Ballroom
May 31 – Winnipeg // Burton Cummings Theatre
June 1 – Saint Paul, MN // Myth
June 2 – Chicago, Il.// Riviera Theatre
June 6 – Hunter, NY // Hunter Mountain (Mountain Jam Festival)
June 7 – Toronto // Danforth Music Hall
June 8 – Toronto // Danforth Music Hall
June 9 – No. Tonawanda, N.Y. // Niagara River Rocks

The Postal Service Annouce More Tour Dates This Summer

Postal Service

Earlier this month, The Postal Service announced six tour dates around their appearance at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA. Well today, they let us in on a little more than six when they added 21 shows to that over the course of this summer. Barclay’s Center gets a second night added and thing end at the Greek in July. For all the North American Tour Dates, see below:

The Postal Service Summer 2013 North American Tour Dates:

04/09 – Reno, NV // Grand Sierra Theatre
04/10 – Davis, CA // Mondavi Center
04/12 – San Luis Obispo CA // Madonna Expo Center
04/13 – Indio, CA // Coachella Music and Arts Festival
04/12 – San Luis Obispo, CA // Madonna Expo Center
04/18 – Phoenix, AZ // Comerica Theatre
04/19 – Las Vegas, NV // Chelsea Ballroom at the Cosmopolitan
04/20 – Indio, CA // Coachella Music and Arts Festival
05/27 – George, WA // Sasquatch! Music Festival
05/28 – Boise, ID // Knitting Factory
05/29 – Magna, UT // Saltair
05/30 – Morrison, CO // Red Rocks Ampitheater
06/03 – Grand Prairie, TX // Verizon Theater
06/05 – Orlando, FL // Hard Rock Live
06/06 – Atlanta, GA // Fox Theater
06/07 – Raleigh, NC // Red Hat Ampitheater
06/08 – Columbus, OH // LC Pavilion
06/10 – Detroit, MI // The Fillmore
06/11 – Toronto, ON // Air Canada Centre
06/12 – Boston, MA // Bank of America Pavilion
06/14 – Brooklyn, NY // Barclays Center
06/15 – Brooklyn, NY // Barclays Center
06/17 – Philadelphia, PA // Mann Center for the Perofmring Arts
06/18 – Columbia, MD // Merriweather Post Pavilion
07/16 – Vancouver, BC // Rogers Arena
07/17 – Portland, OR // Rose Garden Arena
07/26 – Berkeley, CA // Greek Theater

John C Reilly & Friends 01/11/13: Sanctuary – Santa Monica, CA.

How’s this for a confession? This reverend does not get the chance to make it out to shows very often since becoming a father. Yet when I got wind that John C Reilly & Friends were playing a church in my adopted home town of Santa Monica, I pulled off a miracle and got myself down to the ‘Sanctuary’ inside the Methodist Church on Hill Street for a night of folk music.

John C Reilly & Friends  01/11/13: Sanctuary - Santa Monica, CA
The night kicked off with songs from Simone White. Armed with only her guitar and vocals, White stunned the crowd with her well-crafted songs. Declaring early on that the over-capacity (thank God I was near a fire exit) was the best she had ever performed in front of, White’s vocals were as impressive as they were beautiful. With all but one songs focusing on love (the one exception was a song about an elderly friend) nervously executed everything wonderful about Joni Mitchell in a day and age of Nicki Minaj. Indeed a heavenly way to kick off a night in the house that God built.

With just about every inch of available floor now covered, the second band of the night was RT n’ the 44s. While I can respect and appreciate music like Simone White, RT n’ the 44s was much more up my alley. They at one point described their music as “depressing songs about outlaws” which sounded like the perfect Friday night soundtrack to me. The four-piece ripped through a set that included such songs as Black Rain, Captain Jack and Black Bart. Not even sound trouble could stop RT and his gang from making everyone in the crowd forget that they were sitting in the middle of a church.

Musically I would describe the Los Angeles locals as Gold Miner Punk as they could win over a crowd at both Warped Tour and Stagecoach. Saving the best for last, the band closed with a song declaring that corporations are indeed Satan. It was a fitting way to close a set where they refused to play their dirty songs while winning over every soul who made the $5-10 donation to enter through the door.

The night ended with a headline set from Academy Award nominated actor John C Reilly. With our Northwest chapter raving about his performance last year as the Sasquatch Music Festival my expectations were high. Thankfully, Reilly and his friends didn’t just meet them; they blew them out of the water (even if we don’t agree on video recording at concerts as you can see down below).

With the entire set consisting of songs originally written by other musicians, I will be the first to admit I didn’t recognize much of what was performed. Yet with anywhere from 1-4 musicians huddled around one microphone, you couldn’t help but be captivated by these classic American spirituals being performed in an old (by Southern California standards) church. From Dolly Parton to The Stanley’s, Reilly along with Becky Stark, Tom Brosseau and Willie Watson cranked out a heavy mix of Americana classics and gut busting comedy.

Going well past the 10pm sharp curfew, John C Reilly & Friends was a great way to kick off my 2013 concert calendar. Oh and I have to think that as an acting/singing double threat, God will forgive Reilly for dropping all of those curse words inside his house.

thenaturalstoner’s Top 10 Shows of 2012

thenaturalstoners Top 10 Shows of 2012

By thenaturalstoner

 

Hello again dear readers, how are ya?!?  2012 was a pretty interesting year for me… saw lots of great shows, my dogs turned 5 (fucking 5!!) years old, and my house flooded while I was in Canada, displacing me from my home for over a month.  All of these experiences are what life is all about though, and this list below details some of these adventures in my top 10 musical sets of the year.  Besides WSU Football, live music is the best entertainment in the world, and I saw some pretty epic shit this year:

 

10. Warren G – 8/31/2012 – John’s Alley, Moscow, Idaho.

He may be a little older than he was in the summer of 1994, but make no mistake, The G Child can still put on a solid show!  It’s not every day that we get hip hop icons to perform concerts up here in Idaho, but we were blessed this past August with one of the Kings.  ‘This DJ’ to start and end the show, all of his hits and a medley of rap classics from others had the dance floor bouncing all night long!

9. Alabama Shakes – 5/26/2012 – Sasquatch Festival, The Gorge.

On this Saturday, I had one of my only schedule conflicts of the entire Sasquatch Festival: Alabama Shakes vs The Civil Wars vs Portlandia in the afternoon.  Thank God I picked the Alabama Shakes set!  Brittany Howard is awesome and the Bigfoot Stage was packed full of fans that were loving the young bands soulful sounds.  This was one of the best sets I saw all weekend and I hope the Shakes blow up in 2013.

8. Starfucker – 10/22/2012 – The Belltower, Pullman, Washington.

Starfucker is my favorite electronic pop band, and this show was only a few blocks from my house!  My first Starfucker show was at this same venue, and The Belltower should be given credit as their audio improvements between the shows were drastic.  This show sounded great, had a great vibe, and I danced my ass off!

7. Silversun Pickups Acoustic Set – 5/28/2012 – Sasquatch Festival, The Gorge.

I somehow randomly ended up in a Kokanee contest area at this years Fest, drunk on rum we snuck in that morning, then spun some big spin wheel and ended up landing on the rare “Kokanee Acoustic Tent Tickets” piece!  There is this small (200 people or so fit in there) tent setup in an out of the way area and acoustic sets happen each day at Sasquatch.  I was lucky enough to get a pair on the last day of the Festival and see the Silversun Pickups up close.  Nikki Monninger was totally checking me out the whole set and the bands jams were awesome.  I very much enjoyed this over their plugged in electric set on the Main Stage later that night.

6. Gary Clark Jr. – 5/28/2012 – Sasquatch Festival, The Gorge.

Gary Clark Jr. is the MAN and he ripped The Gorge a new one this day.  My favorite set of the entire Sasquatch Festival and it was a thrill to see him play guitar in person.  I hope we can get a repeat appearance soon… like 2013 soon!

5. The Darkness/Foxy Shazam – 2/25/2012 – The Neptune, Seattle, Washington.

My introduction to The Church of Rock and Roll capped off an epic weekend in Seattle (see show #4 below).  Foxy came out and blasted us with a great set, and then the Darkness followed with over two hours of their own!  A nice long show with two great rock bands.

4. Sleigh Bells – 2/24/2012 – The Showbox (at the Market), Seattle, Washington.

Sleigh Bells nailed us with a LOUD, thrashing show on this Friday night in the big city.  We were able to get inside the venue and close enough (super close) to really enjoy this experience in a proper fashion.  After the show the band called it one of the three best shows they have ever played.  After missing most of their set a year prior at the 2011 Sasquatch Fest, it was great to finally see them do their own show.  I think my ears are still ringing.

Sleigh Bells Seattle

3. Snoop Dogg – 7/20/2012 – The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC, Canada

I feel like these top three shows of 2012 are on a separate level from the others…. these three were A+, some of the best shows in a long time, type of gigs.  Snoop Dogg in Vancouver, BC was just what I needed at this random point in my life.  I was up in Canada for the week at this half work/half vacation thing, when I got a call from my landlord that my house had flooded and everything was a disaster.  Of course, this made the Canada trip an immediate bummer, and I needed some sort of positivity boost for the rest of the time we were up there.

On our last night in Canada we were treated to an hour of the D O Double G that brought a great feeling of happiness and life back into my depressed body.  Playing a mix of hits new and old, this show was off the charts.  Probably my favorite hip hop concert I have seen.

The venue was easily the smokiest venue I have ever been in (and I have been to Ween, Phish, Grateful Dead members, etc.), which made the 2 hour wait for Snoop to come out fairly tolerable.   Loved his hour long set and him encoring with ‘Young and Wild and Free’ with tons of blunts being smoked on stage seemed like a fitting end to this interesting trip across the border.

2. Alice Cooper – 11/17/2012 – The Northern Quest Casino, Airway Heights (Spokane), Washington.

I don’t know if I can accurately describe in words how great this show was.  Alice Cooper has still got “it” and he dominated the stage for almost two hours on this Saturday in Spokane.

You know that feeling that happens, honestly only a handful of times in your life, where you go to a show and you really only want one song to be on the setlist.  Like, this song MATTERS, and you just want to see it played live once before it’s too late. But then you look up recent setlists and notice that the song has been shelved for quite some time.  Well, my Alice Cooper song is ‘Hello, Hooray’ and he hadn’t been playing it at all that I had seen.  It’s the only song I felt I HAD to see live and he isn’t playing it.  But, oh man, “WHAT IF”??? I probably said “What if” a hundred times leading up to this show.

Then the lights in the venue drop, the intro guitar jam happens and then the curtain falls exposing the band and gear.  POW! ‘HELLO, FUCKING HOORAY’ to open the damn show!  Are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!?  It’s these moments of pure joy that are the reason I go to concerts and have complete faith in music.  Besides winning the Apple Cup (zinger!) there are no greater sources of entertainment and elation than moments like this.

Oh yeah, and the rest of the show was great as well.  REALLY great. Soooo glad I got to see this show.  It is probably the best non Phish or Pearl Jam related show I have seen in several years, no joke.

1. Pearl Jam – 9/30/2012 – Adams Center, Missoula, Montana.

A show so great it launched an “Instant Classic” download franchise, Pearl Jam dominated their only full United States show (non-festival set) of 2012 in beautiful Missoula, Montana.  A benefit for recently re-elected Senator Jon Tester, this two and a half hour set was scorching from top to bottom… well, except for the mini acoustic set which was much more relaxed.

Due to the demand for tickets, most every fan in that building had traveled some distance and really WANTED to be there, which led to an amazing environment. “This is the coziest place we have played in quite awhile”, in reference to the small basketball gym the show was in, and “This is the best U.S. crowd we have had in a very long time” just really brought this show to another level.  And it was true, the atmosphere was thick in there.  Some people couldn’t quite handle themselves, getting too drunk and passing out in the hallway, or the guy about 6 people down from us who puked on the 4 people in front of him pre-show, this was a special night of mixed energy in Big Sky country.

A home state show for bassist, Jeff Ament, this show had everything.  Even if Eddie Vedder was a little under the weather he didn’t show it as he was all over the place.  Not as much as Mike McCready though, that man is a monster, bouncing all over the room while shredding guitar in his Team Gleason shirt.  Mudhoney opened the show and they came out for a sweet ‘Kick Out the Jams’ with PJ, but my personal highlight was the ‘Fortunate Son’ Creedence cover late in the set.  Ending the show with no ‘Yellow Ledbetter’ was a nice change, my first show out of six where I didn’t get that song in the setlist. A fantastic night all around.

Oh and to the annoying guy from Cleveland that I met at The Rhino bar, who did NOT appreciate my “LEBRON” t-shirt:  You are still from Cleveland and ‘The King got his Ring’.

 Pearl Jam Missoula

 

Just missed the cut: Beck Sasquatch, Fruition/Danny Barnes Moscow, ID, Jack White Sasquatch, Foxy Shazam Portland, OR, John C. Reilly Sasquatch, Starfucker Sasquatch.

 

Moment of my year: ‘Hello, Hooray” from Spokane.  I think you can get a feel for the joy I was feeling by hearing how pumped I get in the video clip:

RIP Das Racist: The Weirdos of Hip Hop

RIP Das Racist: The Weirdos of Hip Hop

A Tribute by Jakob Ross

In 2008, one of the most fascinating hip hop songs to ever go viral was released on YouTube. It was titled “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell,” and it was released by then-unknown Brooklyn trio Das Racist. This song got immediate attention from blogs and created buzz all around the internet. Who were these weird sounding dudes singing about a fast food restaurant? And why is it so interesting?

When Das Racist released their debut mixtape, “Shut Up, Dude”, in 2010, there were high expectations. They had to prove to the world that they were more than just a silly one-hit wonder, so to speak. And that they did. With incredible well-written and hilarious songs such as “Who’s That? Brooown!”, “You Oughta Know”, and “Fake Patois” (as well as the aforementioned “Pizza Hut and Taco Bell”), rappers Heems and Kool A.D. (with hype-man Dapwell) proved that they were a force to be reckoned with.

Later that year they released their second and equally impressive mixtape “Sit Down, Man,” which featured guest verses from Roc Marciano, El-P, and Despot, as well as samples of songs by The Doors, Kraftwerk, and The Very Best. This wasn’t your average hip hop album and this wasn’t your average hip hop band. They began touring quite often and playing lots of festivals, like Bumbershoot and Sasquatch, as hype built up for their 2011 full length album, titled “Relax,” whose title is almost a sarcastic joke in the wake of their very recent breakup.

“Relax” was above and beyond anything they’d released before. The members (especially Heems) embraced their heritage and relied on mostly Indian and Middle Eastern sounding beats and samples for their album. It was a bit more challenging than 2010’s mixtapes, but proved itself to be worth the hype, and it became one of the most highly reviewed hip hop albums of 2011, even landing itself on the year-end lists of Rolling Stone and Spin.

In the wake of all that success came the June/July news that Das Racist were working on a new album AND had signed to Sony/Megaforce. But, just last night in Munich, Heems announced onstage during a solo gig that Das Racist had broken up, with Kool A.D. leaving the group two months ago. Both Heems and Kool released two mixtapes this year, so perhaps this was predictable, but an up-and-coming and critically lauded group breaking up after a mere four years of existence brings to mind the breakup of Girls earlier this year (lead singer Christopher Owens releases his solo debut in January).

This leaves many questions (What about the new album? And what about the record deal?) as well as a gaping hole in the world of alternative hip-hop, that can only be filled by the likes of Death Grips and Danny Brown.

We at Concert Confessions wish Himanshu, Victor, and Ashok the best of luck, and really hope Coachella gets them back together in a few years after paying them more money than they’ve ever seen before.

Watch Jack White Rock A Gas Station in Denver

Watch Jack White Rock A Gas Station in Denver

The subject pretty much says it all on this one. A few hours before performing a sold out show at Red Rocks yesterday, Jack White and the boys played a surprise show at a Denver gas station. He even covered Dick Dale! Don’t believe us? Watch fan filmed footage of the gig down below.

Against Me! Announce September 2012 West Coast Tour Dates

Against Me! Announce September 2012 West Coast Tour Dates

We here at Concert Confessions have been long time supporters of Against Me! and we plan to continue to support the talented punk outfit from the state of Florida. With the group coming to Los Angeles for a lil FYF Fest action over Labor Day weekend why not make an extended trip and perform up and down the left coast. Dates for the brief trek are below and support will come from Andrew Jackson Jihad (which is the coolest band name since FartBarf) and Joyce Manor.

Against Me! September 2012 West Coast Tour Dates:

September 2, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA – FYF Fest @ LA State Historic Park

September 3, 2012 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades

September 5, 2012 – Portland, OR  -Hawthorne Theatre (Musicfest NW)

September 6, 2012 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon

September 8, 2012 – San Luis Obispo, CA – SLO Brewing Co.

September 9, 2012 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst

 

Childish Gambino @ Central Park Summerstage 06/25/12

Childish Gambino – 6/25/12

Central Park Summerstage – New York City

Words/Photos/Video By Jay Porks

Damn, I wish I could keep this streak going of hitting epic shows every freaking night. What goes on people , welcome yourselves to the 73rd episode of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series. After two days in Atlantic City at the Orion Music + More festival, it was time to get back in the New York groove as they say with a visit to Central Park, for Childish Gambino. Since this is Concert Confessions, I have a small confession to come clean with right now: I introduced ALL my peers at CC to this guy over a year ago! Then all of sudden Reverend Justito gets him at Coachella, then the entire NW chapter got him at Sasquatch in WA, even a confession from Mr Sparkly from a show in Moscow, ID on thenaturalstoner‘s birthday. Then Jakob got him at Bonarroo. I’ve read way too much about my new favorite rapper on this site not from me, it’s about damn time this Central Park show came around. Openers are Schoolboy Q and Danny Brown- “doors” at 6, show at 7 at the Summerstage, as a killer storm was just cleared up upon our arrival.

I don’t know if my head isn’t on straight or what, me and my buddy Chach got to the city at 6:30 and I took us all sorts of out of the way missing a bunch of trains. I’m the one who’s been to shows here after all. So we got in at like 7:30 and we heard Danny Brown on stage as we were entering. I thought it was going to be reversed and Schoolboy Q would be on first but it wasn’t the case. Danny Brown is a little too weird for my taste anyway. I can take him in small doses, and I’m sure he’ll be out here sometime later on tonight.

Schoolboy Q hit the stage at like 7:45 and was spitting lyrics to a hyped, packed out crowd who didn’t seem only into the headliner. During his set Danny Brown was walking around like the front of the stage by the crowd, taking pictures with people and stuff- like right when Schoolboy Q is up there trying to do his thing. I’d be pissed if someone was kinda stealing my thunder. His last song was “Hands on the Wheel”. He was off by 8:13PM

At about 8:32PM the stage was filled with smoke as Childish Gambino came out to a roaring ovation. Most of the crowd was chanting “Gam-Bino Gam-Bino”, just like they scream for Jay Z with the “HOVA” chants . Unreal. I never thought I’d see this many people as excited as me. Then like the 2nd song up was “Firefly”, which is a sick song. This guy is such a pro at what he’s doing. “Freaks and Geeks” hit us up next, the song containing such epic lines like “I’m in the back of the bush like Gaven Rossdale’s drummer”(get it? The female anatomy + 90’s Alternative rock band? Awesome). They’re was a video screen that I couldn’t see do to the fact I went far right to be as close to the stage as I could. He did a song or two off ‘Culdesac’, his first record (or mixtape). Besides a few people cutting in front of us and pissing me the hell off before they moved I was genuinely have such an awesome time. Even though I’m cramped in with a bunch of people being bumped from all sides-I feel like this is family.

Everywhere we looked there was weed being smoked..and not the typical “let me duck down and use this one hitter” type smoking. Everyone was smoking right in front of the event staff, they were watching and really could care less. There’s this couple in front of us (who earlier I was pissed at the dude for being in front of me, but he has since moved over) turns around and I see him talking to Chach and then he hands him half a joint, and it’s fat as hell. Chach goes “I don’t know, he said he was done smoking or something”. Sweet. Myself, not the type to shy away from the recreational use of the herbal, enhanced the night a little more by joining in with the rest of Central Park’s Marijuana Bonfire. People never share at shows, these are some good times right here.

The thing different about Childish Gambino, besides the way his punchlines emphasize the punch, is that he plays with a full band. These guys rock out. At one point during the set he says “Listen guys, this isn’t a Rap concert-This is a black rock concert!”. And tearing through “All The Shine” (tearing through it to epic proportions) and the “Rolling in the Deep” remix he does, with the two guitar players, two violinists, drummer and all of the above with one drum in front of them at all times creating all sorts of cool elements. Like, the guitar player bangs the drum for a little, hits the keyboard on another part of the song. All these guys are full with as much energy as Gambino. “L.E.S.”…….

“Heartbeat” and “Bonfire”(which was, like many tonight, full crowd sing-alongs as we all know the every single lyric) were all played before 9:27 when he said goodnight and headed off stage. I thought it was over before I looked at the time, because it felt like he played it all.

Comes back out like 3 minutes later, and says “I said it was a black rock concert, well now it’s time we turn this to a rap concert!”, then kicked a freestyle over the beat for a song called “Rack City” by Tyga.

Then he said “Ya wanna hear some new shit?” before jumping into songs recently released like “Eat Your Vegetables” and “Unnecessary Roughness” which Schoolboy Q was called out to perform his verse he has on the track.

One problem for Schoolboy Q, his mic seemed to be low or totally out. So Gambino, so aware of the situation, goes from just ad libbing the line to outright rapping Q’s entire verse for him. What a save. Now it’s Danny Brown time, I knew that weirdo would be out sooner or later. They drop a beat and Danny Brown ripped a freestyle, followed by Gambino ripping one of his own and then Schoolboy Q’s mic was fixed in time for him to rock one out too before the night was closed out with “Lights Turned On”. 9:55PM, right on time for the Summerstage curfew.

 

Wow. Seriously, wow. Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino comes home to destroy this place. Left it all on stage like he does in every town every time. I can’t wait til July 4th for the new mixtape to drop! This was some fun times tonight, so much fun had. If you’ve been keeping score at home, that’s two nights of Metallica followed by a barn burner by Childish Gambino. I’m wiped. Thanks for taking the time. Leave some comments! We have a new comment thing down there as of a few weeks ago. It’s cool tits.

 

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Must See Acts, Set Times for Orion Music + More Festival

Must See Acts, Set Times for Orion Music + More Festival 

Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ June 23rd & 24th

On Saturday June 23rd, Atlantic City’s own Bader Field will be taken over by the legion of Metal-Heads as Metallica’s  Orion Music + More Festival will kick off.  You may have heard over the weekend that Phish just did 3 nights at this same “field”.

When you hear someone say “Hey, I’m going to that Metallica festival” it’s immediately interrupted as something that would be titled “Death Metal Fest” or something like that(and in pour the comments about the differences between death metal and black metal). But au contraire friends, this isn’t the typical festival(line-up wise) at all you would expect for Metallica to be curating. The two day festival is bound to bring not only fans of the Metal or thrash genre, but the pseudo-intellectual hipsters will flock to this thing too, as some of their favorite Indie acts like The Gaslight Anthem and Best Coast  have been invited to this festival along with the other 30+ ,  eclectic to say the least,  acts set to appear. We’ll get to the full list of the acts at the bottom of this post when we map out which bands will be appearing at what times on which of the four stages this festival will have, but for now, let’s get into the  Jay Porks Top Five Must See Bands at this Orion Music + More extravaganza this weekend June 23rd and 24th.

#5 Metallica ( Headlining both nights ‘Orion’ Stage)

I know what you’re thinking: “How can Metallica NOT be number one here?!?” . Well, truth be told, I personally am not the biggest Metallica fan. Putting all the differences aside like when Lars and the boys got angry about fans downloading the bands music from Napster, all and all I’m lucky to see the band. And hey at least they’re playing the Black Album and Ride The Lightening in their entirety, because those are the only two albums that contain the Metallica songs I like.  I’m happy to be able to cross them off the bucket list of bands to see, and I appreciate them putting on a festival like this with such diversity. But there are 4 other acts I’d rather see perform at this thing.

#4 Ghost (Sunday, ‘Orion Stage’ 2PM-3PM)

Here’s all I know about Ghost: they scare the living fuck out of me. Seriously, have you seen their cover of “Here Comes The Sun”? The people (Fine authors like Reverend Justito and Jakob Ross  to name two)I know who seem to know music speak very highly of the Stockholm band, and with nothing conflicting (and hopefully carrying a change of underwear) I will be sure to check these dudes out on the Sunday at 2 in the afternoon.

#3 Roky Erickson (Saturday,”Frantic” Stage 2:45-3:30PM

Before I explain myself let me remind everyone that every act on the bill was invited by Metallica to perform. But holy shit, I get to see  Roky Erickson! I’m over joyed . Pioneer of  the psychedelic rock movement with the 13th Floor Elevators back in the day, Roky has be cited as the influence for a number of acts, from the Meat Puppets to obvious Metallica. If that’s not cool tits right there, I don’t know what is. Above is a video of Mr. Erickson jamming with the aforementioned Meat Puppets at SXSW last year.

#2 Arctic Monkeys (Saturday,8PM-9PM ‘Fuel Stage’)

I don’t remember when it was, but I know it was some random Pandora radio station I had created back in the day. I was trolling some bands message board arguing with people for reasons I forgot 5 minutes later, a song called ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ came on and I immediately stopped to find out who the hell these guys were.  Such an interesting sound, so unique in so many ways-these guys just opened up a Arena Tour for the Black Keys . That show (though pricey I was still going to attend) sold out on me faster than you can make a premature ejaculation joke. I’m so freaking ready to watch these guys rock out the ‘Fuel Stage’ before Metallica closes out Saturday with ‘Ride The Lightening’

#1 Modest Mouse (Saturday 7pm-8pm ‘Orion Stage’)

And leading that pack of  aforementioned pseudo-intellectual hipsters will be this guy right here, hopefully riding the rail for Modest Mouse’s set. Hell, I’ve even grab a few Tao Lin books and spend two days in a garage errrrrrr I mean an “art space” in Williamsburg watching Russ Meyer flicks to gear up for this one.  I freaking LOVE this band. The only thing I would question is why have Arctic Monkeys and these guys on the same night? One of them should be playing Sunday before Metallica. Anyway, I’ll hopefully be “Doin’ The Cockroach” with some festival groupie chicks to whom sober is 26 miles in their rear view mirror.

Honorable Mentions: Cage The Elephant are a really cool band, and had I wanted to do a Top six they were next-promise.  If all goes according to plan, Metallica fans storm the stage and trample Best Coast for being such wusses. That’s one band that’s gonna get killed at this gig, seriously. Back when Dinosaur Jr came to Terminal 5 and Rollins interviewed them on stage and that douche bag stole a snippet of my full 18 minute video, an opener that was sorta over looked in the aftermath was Fucked Up. So I’m interested to check out their festival set and see what they’re all about. And either Jim Florentine or Don Jamieson  I guess I’ll have to check out to. I wonder if “That Metal Show” will do an episode remote from the festival. Probably not, but here’s hoping.

Below, you can find humongous screen shots of the festival’s stage schedules and all the bands playing when and where. TheNaturalStoner hooked that up because I’m an idiot who was gonna type it out individually.


There are two slots in these photos labeled TBA. The Saturday 1PM at Orion Stage is Baroness, and the Sunday, 5PM on the Fuel Stage is Volbeat. They were the last two bands added to the line-up. You’d think the festival’s website would have an updated version of this. Oh well. Come find me at the Flagship Resort as that’s where I’ll be staying since Atlantic City has closed my favorite hotel/casino the Trump Marina (that had a sweet buffet and a Hooters). Seriously, come find me, I’m looking to freaking party. Besides the time at Bader Field, and the hour after that I’m writing the experience up-I will be wasted. The Jay Porks After Party. Don’t act like I WON’T do that.  See you all there, I’ll be the one in the shirt that says “Your Favorite Band Sucks”(or my Blood Half Moons tee shirt).

Jay Porks Orion Schedule:

Saturday

1PM Baroness-Orion Stage

2:45PM Roky Erickson-Frantic Stage

4PM Fucked Up -Fuel Stage

5:15PM Jim Florentine-Frantic Stage

6PM Cage The Elephant-Fuel Stage

7PM Modest Mouse-Orion Stage

8PM Arctic Monkeys-Fuel Stage

9PM Metallica (Ride The Lightening)-Orion Stage

Sunday

1PM A Place To Bury Strangers -Fuel Stage

2PM Ghost-Orion Stage

3PM Gary Clark Jr.-Fuel Stage

4Pm Best Coast – Orion Stage

5:15Pm The Black Dahlia Murder – Damage Inc. Stage

6PM Eric Church-Orion Stage

7PM Titus Andronicus- Frantic Stage

8PM Metallica (The Black Album)- Orion Stage

Bonnaroo Part III: Return of the Jedi

Bonnaroo Part III: Return of the Jedi

Chapter 1: Sunday Morning

On the morning of my final day at Bonnaroo, I was prepared for what would certainly be our most relaxing day. With only four acts to check out (and the first one not going on until 1:00), I was ready to chill and maybe have a beer with BeeZnutz.

 

It had rained the whole night and well into the morning, but by the time we left our tent at about 9 or so, the rain had died down to a light drizzle as the clouds above threatened similar weather in our near future. Which of course is a whole lot better than heat and sun. Reminds me of Washington. *sniff*

After a big breakfast that consisted of pop tarts, eggs, and bacon (seriously, THANK YOU Tony) we hung out a little more and talked about Phish with our neighbors, asking questions such as “If you see Phish two nights in a row at the same place, does that count as seeing them twice?” The answer, obviously, is yes.

Eventually, it was that time of morning where we would have to walk on the wet grass over to the What Stage to catch bluesy newcomer Gary Clark Jr.

 Chapter 2: The Savior of Blues

If you’ve paid attention to festival lineups lately, then you’ve probably noticed many common names. But one that you’re gonna want to remember is Gary Clark Jr. This 28-year old guitar virtuoso may come off as intimidating at first (I compare him to 1994 Samuel L. Jackson sans afro) he is actually an astoundingly skilled musician and seemingly vulnerable person. For example, when he breaks into falsetto for a song like Please Come Home, your heart immediately melts. Gary has what most guitar players lack (I also noticed this with Annie Clark): EMOTION. He actually feels the notes and chords of the guitar buzzing through his entire body, and lets his emotions affect how he plays and what he plays. It worked with Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King (who I’d compare Gary to without hesitation) and it will work for literally every guitar player with a heart.

Gary played an hour-long set full of songs both rockin’ and beautiful, sometimes both. He uses a fuzzy type of distortion that gives it an old school sound while also giving it a garage-revival sound. Something not exactly unique, but it is definitely put to good use.

And the dude, like I said, plays guitar extremely well. Whether it’s the crazy finger-picking riff on Don’t Owe You a Thang to, well pretty much any guitar solo he played. He played tastefully, not trying to draw the attention away from his fantastic band. That is another important part of being a blues musician. Your name may be the one on the CDs, posters, and t-shirts, but the band onstage is what’s making it happen. It’s easy to see now why they call Gary Clark Jr. the savior of blues.

Chapter 3: the Adult Swim Carnival

If you’re the kind of person that watches Adult Swim, then you’re also probably the kind of person who eats corn flakes at 2 in the morning and makes jokes about unicorns.

But seriously, Adult Swim is one of the strangest channels on television, and when they’re sponsoring a festival known specifically for its weirdness… well, you never know what could happen.

This year, they opened up an Adult Swim sponsored section of Bonnaroo right by the entrance that runs sort of like a carnival, but if the carnival was invented by Syd Barrett and Jim Morrison. There were classic carnival games like Balloonicorn, Smack Up My Uvula, and everyones favorite: Babies vs. Old People!

During Balloonicorn, you had to put on a comically oversized unicorn head with an extra-sharp horn tip and jump up repeatedly to try and pop the balloons that were above. Pop enough of them, you win a prize. Because of the long line and promise of a headache, I decided to skip that one.

During Smack Up My Uvula, you had to climb a horizontal ladder that is VERY unsteady and try to reach the uvula at the end. And then you smack it. And then you win a prize. I tried (and failed) but my dad won!

And during Babies vs. Old People (On Segwags) you stood on a mounted Segway with a sling shot between the two handles and fire small babies at the cardboard old people that are moving across. Again, I lost and so did my dad. Slingshots are hard.

After failed attempts to complete these games (thank goodness it was all free) we headed out towards the Which Stage to catch the second Ben Folds Five performance in over 10 years. Unfortunately to do this, we had to do the unthinkable: sit through Mac Miller.

Chapter 4: The Unthinkable and Ben Folds Five

While we waited in line to get into the pit for Ben Folds Five, we had nothing to do but listen to Mac Miller’s performance. And since I don’t have many kind words to say about Mac Miller, reviewing him wouldn’t exactly be fair. So I’ll just skip to the part where we were in the pit waiting for Ben Folds Five.

Ben Folds Five (who are actually a trio, HOW IRONIC!) parted ways in 2000, leaving Ben Folds with a successful solo career, but nothing that would ever match the greatness that is BF5. They were known for their pleasant nerdiness, jazz influences, and for being all-around happy people.

“This is our first concert as Ben Folds Five in over… seven days,” said lead singer/pianist Ben Folds, referring to the Mountain Jam Festival. “But before that it was over 10 years.” I guess he means as an actual working band, because they performed a one-off concert in 2008. But that doesn’t matter, it worked on a humor level.

The band kicked off the set with the first song off their debut album, Jackson Cannery. And afterwards they just let the hits flow through, not playing any of their new material (if there was any) but did invite us to check it out online. But hey that’s fine with me. Soundgarden did the same thing last year and I had a great time with them.

At one point Ben Folds stopped the show and said “Uh, this is a tradition at a Ben Folds Five show where I take a picture from atop my piano. So, if you could all very kindly flip me off…” and got on his piano. Everyone in the crowd very kindly put their middle fingers up to Ben Folds as he took a picture.

One of the coolest parts of the show was when they broke into Song for the Dumped, one of the most musically insane Ben Folds Five songs. It includes a solo where Ben Folds holds his mic up to the strings of the piano and just rubs on them, while bassist Robert Sledge holds his amp chord up to his hand producing rhythmic feedback with the buzz of the amp. It really is hard to explain, but it’s something to see.

Ben Folds Five are quite impressive to watch, even if you don’t know many of their songs. Their musicianship alone is enough to make you a lifetime fan. And Ben Folds’ smile is as contagious as wook flu at Bonnaroo.

Setlist: Jackson Cannery, Theme From Dr. Pyser, Fair, Selfless Cold and Compose, Uncle Walter, Where’s Summer B?, Battle of Who Could Care Less, Brick, Emaline, Philosophy, Army, Kate, Alice Childress, Song For the Dumped, Narcolepsy, Underground ENCORE: One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces

Chapter 5: The Civil Wars

Of the many power duos to come about in the last few years, the one that has captivated me more than I ever would have imagined is The Civil Wars. With just two voices and a guitar, The Civil Wars churn out very interesting folk songs with haunting melodies.

At 6:25 PM in an over-capacity The Other Tent, singers John Paul White and (a very pregnant) Joy Williams appeared with smiles pervading their faces. Everything about the Civil Wars is just happy! Even the sad songs. And these two very talented vocalists almost make country music interesting, it seems.

I only got to catch the first half of their set due to a scheduling conflict with Phish, but was still mesmerized, and found it difficult to look away. John and Joy have sort of a lovers’ chemistry going through the performance, but they are both married to different people. It could be just what sells their songs. For some reason I think of the scene from Step Brothers where Will Ferrell is singing to his therapist in the woods whenever I see John and Joy interact on stage.

And when they cover songs (I only got to see one) it is a sight to see. Because they don’t cover easy guitar/vocals songs. Before I left I got to see them cover Sour by Portishead, but according to www.setlist.fm, they also threw in covers of I Want You Back by Jackson 5, Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, and Dance Me To The End of Love by Leonard Cohen.

The Civil Wars are a great band to see live. They’re so fun to watch that you almost forget that you’re standing there doing nothing for 90 minutes (or sitting there, depending on the venue.)

But at 7:00, we left and headed to catch the band that I really wanted to see. More than any other band at Bonnaroo. I was ready for one of the greatest live experiences in the history of ever.

Setlist: Tip of My Tongue, Forget Me Not, From This Valley, 20 Years, I’ve Got This Friend, Sour (Portishead cover), Barton Hollow, Falling, Birds of a Feather, I Want You Back (Jackson 5 cover), Oh Henry, My Father’s Father, Poison and Wine ENCORE: Kingdom Come, To Whom It May Concern, Billie Jean (Michael Jackson cover), Dance Me To the End of Love (Leonard Cohen cover)

Chapter 6: A Tasty Phish Philet

One thing Bonnaroo was known for pre-2006 was its impressive lineup of jam bands. They’ve hosted Umphrey’s McGee 7 times, as well as bands like Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, The String Cheese Incident, and members of the Grateful Dead. But no jam band (that currently tours) is as highly regarded as the legendary and almighty Phish!

If you’ve visited this website at all, then you probably know that the majority of its contributors are huge Phish fans. I mean, just look at how big the word “Phish” is on the tag cloud at the right of this post!

Anyway, I was anxious to finally see Phish. To finally see what Reverend Justito and thenaturalstoner have been talking about all these years. To see what guest they bring out and what covers they do and just… everything! I was prepared. Come at me, Phish!

At around 8:05 or so the lights went down and out from Stage Right appear the mighty phoursome: Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Page McConnell, and Jon Fishman. As Mike started to hit his bass (which was set to phaser) I thought it would be too good to be true: They would kick things off with Down With Disease? Nah! Can’t be! And then Mike slaps the bass riff and I knew from that moment that this would be the greatest thing I see at Bonnaroo. And I was not disappointed.

After Down With Disease they played Funky Bitch, a Son Seals cover, during which Mike Gordon took over singing duties. Afterwards they went right on into The Moma Dance during which Jon handled most of the singing. After a very funky performance of Moma I heard the chord progression to Sample In a Jar and once again had that feeling of “Nah! It can’t be!” But lo and behold, another shining moment from the Hoist album played within the first half of Set 1. And at this moment the rain that was looming over us started pouring a little bit harder and the glowsticks started going up and down at a faster rate. Seriously, I saw more glowsticks being thrown around during Phish than I did during Skrillex.

It really did seem like Phish brought their A-Game, and with two of my favorite songs already making an appearance, what could happen next I could not even begin to imagine. They followed Sample with Axilla I which I don’t think is on any of their studio albums. I know Axilla Part 2 is on Hoist, but I know nothing of a part 1.

Anyway, after Axilla, Trey invited up the special guest that everyone was so anxious to see. “It seems like every time we come here we get to play with people who we really admire, and, um, and we’re going to bring up someone we’re absolutely thrilled to play with right now. Please give a warm welcome to Kenny Rogers.” This was totally unexpected in my opinion. Kenny, who played a set earlier that day, seemed happy to play to a crowd bigger than his usual turnout of 300, while Trey could barely contain his excitement to be performing with the country-music legend. And with that, they broke into The Gambler, the one Kenny Rogers song that I didn’t even know I knew.

As much as I would love to go into each individual song and tell you how much I loved it, I just don’t want to write a review THAT long. But I will leave you with a setlist, and on a note that explains how much fun I had.

Bonnaroo was just nonstop fun. Sure, I only got like 3 hours of sleep each night. Sure I felt disgusting most of the time. And sure it was crowded and hot and expensive and there were long lines for things. Either way, I can’t for the life of me think of a time where I had so much fun at a place ever. If you get the chance, hit your local festival. Coachella, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Fire Fly, Wakarusa, Dave Matthews Band Caravan; whatever it is, it’ll be worth going to. Trust me.

Setlist: SET 1 Down with Disease, Funky Bitch (Son Seals c0ver), The Moma Dance, Sample In A Jar, Axilla I, The Gambler (with Kenny Rogers), Possum>Wilson>Tweezer, Free, Backwards Down the Number Line, Cavern SET 2 Golden Age (TV On the Radio cover), 2001 (Richard Strauss cover), Chalkdust Torture, Carini>Shafty>Rock and Roll (Velvet Underground cover), Alaska, Harry Hood>Light, Character Zero, Rocky Top (Lynn Anderson cover) ENCORE Show of Life>Julius>Tweezer Reprise

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGWwqfeYErA&feature=player_embedded

Epilogue

Of all the shows I caught, I’d say the best was Phish. Without a doubt. Childish Gambino and Radiohead get 2nd and 3rd. After that, it’s pretty much up for grabs. I wasn’t disappointed at all by anyone I saw. Bad Brains were a little sloppy and Red Hot Chili Peppers had issues connecting with the audience, but overall everything I saw was nigh perfect. And with that, in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.

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