Pitchfork Music Festival, Day One
This was wild.
I got to the festival about an hour after gates opened (maybe 1.00).
The first band to play was Hot Machines ... definitely a good opening act. Their red-haired singer was wailing away, the other guitarist (Alex?) was axing away, and the drummer was sweating up a storm in the back. Not bad for the opener.
Chin Up Chin Up came out looking slightly dazed and confused (staring into space, waiting for Hot Machines to wrap it up), but were truly on the ball. All except the singer who may have been struggling to fight off the heat (it peaked out around 95 degrees!) ...
But really, the group played their hook-filled, addictive brand of pop-rock, and even gave us a few songs that are going to be on their next album, due out in October.
After them was a band I've been wanting to see for ages ... Man Man! Wow was this band impressive. Honus Honus and crew all wore white and tribal facepaint. Chang Wang (or is the drummer named Pow Pow?) was a driven man behind those drums. Granted, he looked like he'd been pulled out of a Flintstones cartoon, but he was on top of that set. The group as a whole did a remarkable job or replicating their studio sound (Sergei Sogay and Alejandro Bjorg can do a fantastic impression of a children's choir, harmonies and all) ... they even threw a bag of forks around and started banging on pots and pans (and anything else they could get their hands on). Awesome stage presence ... awesome show, that one.
Neither the Mountain Goats nor Destroyer are exactly my thing, but they really did a great job yesterday as well. John Darnielle (the man behind the Mountain Goats) was much more charismatic than I thought he'd be, speaking in between almost every song, giving background info on most of them, and just making the crowd feel like they were in a more intimate setting than a festival grounds tends to be.
Destroyer had some minor technical difficulties I think, but when they were off they never looked back. No wrong or out-of-place notes, no technique issues -- this group is a very strong and talented band.
The last group that I saw for the day was ... Art Brut, and man were they worth every bit of the sweltering hot weather! Eddie Argos, the singer, was lots of fun, interjecting jokes and anecdotes between every one of their songs. He even jumped rope with his mic and walked out into the crowd once! Jasper Future, one of the two guitars, was running all over the place, and truly enjoying to watch. Mikey B, the drummer, didn't stand out too much until the end when he engaged the audience in some call-and-response drum play. A great way to end their set (which included three "new" songs, one of which was "half complete," and Art Brut's "first" cover ... wanna know what they covered? Kim Wilde's "Kids In America").
Fantastic festival. Wish I'd had the Futureheads left in me ... wish I'd had another day left in me ...
Chin Up Chin Up - We Should Have Never Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers
Chin Up Chin Up - Virginia, Don't Drown
Man Man - Van Helsing Boombox