There are significantly less people here today at the festival as many are going home because of work tomorrow. We saw a lot of people packing up their camping gear and heading out today. Plus, people are just in rough shape from the heat of the day, long days of shows and partying, then super cold of the nights.
I started off in kind of a “blah” mode as well not really seeing anything that interested me in The Young Evils, The Old 97’s, Black Mountain or Axis of Awesome. Luckily, Seattle band Head Like a Kite changed that for me. The band was dressed in Elvis costumes as pretty blonde singer Zera traded off singing with rapper Tilson who could spit and flow much faster than most of the crowd keep up with. It was quite the interesting mix of disco, techno and rap. Imagine Blondie linking up to Naughty By Nature with a standard techno beat. The crowd was kind of small for them, but the band coming down off of the stage a couple times certainly had the crowd into it.
Foster the People did a fantastic acoustic set with just the trio of bass, a single drum and Mark Foster holding his acoustic guitar, sitting down barefoot. Actually, the whole crowd sat down too, staying silent in respect of the music. First they played “Houdini” with Foster singing in notes way higher than Vampire Weekend could ever reach. However in the next song “Helena Beat” his vocals switch to deep baritone, a few degrees lighter than Johnny Cash. The lyrics seem of mild revolt and dealing with the battles of the mind. The lyrics can be kind of dark tales, yet truths at the same time.
Yeah, yeah, and it’s okay
I tie my hands up to a chair so I don’t fall that way
Yeah, yeah, and I’m alright
I took a sip of something poisoned but I’ll hold on tight
The girls began to yelp when the band broke into hit song “Pumped Up Kicks.” Foster the People is hard to nail down. They are serious, yet playful. And Foster himself kind of has that same look. Like a Val Kilmer or something. But with smiles from the band after each song, they are certainly appreciative of the crowd and are not too serious. Foster especially has some charm and the girls in the room were just melting for this kid.
Heading out to hopefully see Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Rodrigo y Garbriella and anything else that happens. White Denim sounded AWESOME as I wrote this bit up too!
(A little later)
So yeah, Sharon Jones was really great as usual. The people up on the hill were having a much harder time getting up and dancing tonight compared to earlier this weekend, or compared to the main floor folks who were getting down.
I walked over to see Foster the People’s big stage show and the folks at Sasquatch! made a big mistake and should have put that band on a bigger stage. We got there with about four songs left and we couldn’t get withing 100 yards of the stage, so it was really hard to judge their performance as it was actually kind of hard to hear them from way in the back. If you haven’t seen this band in a small venue, it might be too late.
Back at the main stage, the two best guitarists at this festival, Rodrigo y Gabriela were doing their thing. Sadly for those up in the grass field, they didn’t have the upper level speakers turned on and RyG are just two people on acoustic guitars, so it was somewhat difficult to hear them play. The wonderful camera work captured their speed strumming flamenco/spanish style jamming out. Like I said at Bumbershoot a few years ago, I have no clue how they can play so fast, and they’ve only gotten better.
We barely had a sprinkle of rain the whole weekend, but as Gabriela started a big solo, the skies opened up, rain dumped down and people took off running for shelter, myself included as all of my rain gear was back at the campsite. It only lasted a few minutes though and soon after, kids began wet-grass sliding down the top of the hillside. I then moved down to the main floor to get a better listen and a closer look. I was really hoping to hear an old school Metallica cover as they often do, but no such luck. The crowd really went bonkers for them and RyG were very classy after their set, spending about a minute walking back and forth across the stage waving goodbye to everyone.
Well I’m sitting here on the media couch for probably my last time this weekend and a gorgeous sunset is shining in through the window, a perfect ending to a truly astounding music festival. Going to head out to hear Wilco and a few more acts, then finally call it a four days.