Download Festival - A Test of Survival

I made it. I danced and almost froze my ass off. I even had to brave the families and high schoolers alone. Just me, myself, and I. It wasn't so bad. It was just a matter of survival really for most of the day. Who cares about socializing? It's about the music.

I saw Google with my own eyes. Not that impressive really. Just a bunch of buildings.

My favorites were TV on the Radio, Kinky, and Beck.

Rogue Wave were great. Too bad no one cared. I walk up trying to make it for the last of it. And people were just making lunch on the lawn and talking. Children, I tell you! So many families meant so much fucking chatter. What I heard of them was fantastic. I even bought a shirt.

Then, I headed over to check out The Like. Not so good. Just okay, nothing spellbounding.

I wandered back to the lawn for TVOTR. I claimed my spot in the center of the lawn. My binoculers at the ready. I want to marry that man (Tunde). They were magnificent. Just so talented and really in the moment. And when David sings, it's like the crowd knew what was up. There was nothing lacking really, except I wished they played longer.

If they had, I woulda missed Kinky! And boy would that have sucked, because they are some fine, fine boys from Mexico. They know how to get the dancefloor movin'. I knew they had a dj and all but I had no idea. They had so much energy. All of them were dancin, especially the bassist with the cowboy hat! He just kept jumping around the stage. Even babies were feelin' the groove. I have no idea who in their right mind would take a baby to a concert (as in still in diapers!), but dancing was more important to contemplate. I hadn't danced that much since Daft Punk at Coachella, I think. I wish I could see them on Saturday at the Wiltern. Buy their new album, Reina, people! It's worth every penny.

Next up, The Shins. They were....yawn... Very overrated. They played the Garden State song, "New Slang". Then, I was out. They were seriously putting me to sleep (and mind you, it was only 5pm). The youngsters in NorCal were way into them. Not my scene. They're music is good, but not so much for a big venue.

So I skedaddled to get a beer and watch Coheed and Cambria. They were decent, but I decided to watch from afar. I saw most of their set while standing in line for a free shirt. Thanx VW.

Next up on the main stage (no more second stage after 6, which was smart planning!), it was Muse at 7pm. They rocked out. I was arguing over my small piece of grass for most of it. Nevertheless, it was entertaining. They started off with "Knights of Cydonia". They apparently were not afraid to start off with the hits. They were all glam with silver guitars and lights! They'd make Queen proud. It was good and I would see them again. It definitely felt too short. They played a cover song of Placebo's "This Picture".

It was like a fucking eternity until the Yeah yeah yeahs. I thought I was gonna freeze to death. I hadn't eaten all day so I broke down and bought some nasty nachos (7-11 quality). I curled up with my bag and napped. They still weren't on! Finally, they started! Most of it was from Show your Bones. They closed the set with "Maps". "Y control" & "Gold Lion" were my personal highlights. A bunch of families left by this time (about 9pm) so I could dance and see much easier. Karen O had the energy I was lookin for. She looked like some punk rock baton thrower girl, all sequins and glitter.

And then, there was like this mass exodus! I woulda thought most were there for Beck. If you like the yyy's, you gotta like Beck right? Guess not.

They missed out! The puppets opened up the set with miming "Loser". Then, halfway into the second verse, the real Beck and co come out. It was pretty sweet except the music levels didn't blend the PA music of "Loser" with the live version too good. After it was fixed, it was so fun. Those puppets are quite realistic (like Being john Malkovich style). I mean, they still are foam type puppets, but they really matched whatever was goin on live with the real band.

There were people in bear costumes, a short film starring the puppets, & a "Snakes on a bus" hilarious segment! He played the jams throughout. I especially liked his rendition of "Devil's Haircut", "Where it's at" & "E-pro". He closed off with "E-pro". The puppets came to the front of the stage. Beck and the Beck puppet danced it to the end.

I'm glad I went. I'm ridiculously tired still.

*post from 10/4/06

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