There's nothing I like more than being told to drink alcohol at 12:23 PM on a Saturday by a hot woman in tights and bed hair. I mean, really, is there anything better?
It was alternative station Live 105's BFD festival fun time, and I was in for an epic twelve hour run at the Shoreline Amphitheatre on Saturday. Catching the dance party that is CSS was such an utterly perfect way to start the festival, as I can't think of where I'd rather have been other than convulsing to "Music Is My Hot Sex" in a parking lot while five attractive Brazilian girls and one dude were playing dance music for me.
But the day did get better; and it only further confirmed that Live 105 is doing something right in reaching out to their audience not only to bring them what they know and like, but also deliver potential new bands that have the capability to transcend both trendy and mainstream labels. Many outfits throughout the day repeatedly echoed this sentiment, and based on how many kids I saw launched up to crowd surf and get shirtless, I'd say that the theory is tried and true.
After my group of friends caught our breath from jumping up and down, we headed over to catch the tail end of Honeycut, after which I internally cursed myself for missing a free show earlier in the week. Tight pants, tight keyboards and a tight tie that their keyboardist was wearing - the lead singer and synth player were such a deadly combination to their closer cover of "Last Night A DJ Saved My Life" I was innately proud to call them local. I hope good things for them.
Soon after a beer run (the first of many), we decided to check out the Lovemakers crank out "Shake That Ass" and new single "Whine And Dine" before heading back to see what the local stage had to offer. One of my favorites, Minipop, were taking their places and I kicked off my shoes to bask in the lawn listening to acoustic guitar, thus reaffirming my love for sweet indie. The decision to leave Minipop in lieu of hearing that Shiny Toy Guns "Le Disko" song is one I still regret that I made; the whole time I was wishing I was still watching the former. STG ended up delivering a fairly solid performance, but that didn't stop me from trying to send brain waves to the band pleading to let the female vocalist do her thing more.
Beer run #2 occurred, producing some fun with temporary tattoos and a jaunt into the backstage area, where we picked a rousing game of basketball with my boss and I proceeded to make some of the best three-pointers in a dress and leggings I could have asked for slightly inebriated. We killed time running around and pumping ourselves up, while also taking full advantage of the bar and bathroom situations as well. The executive decision was then made to get photobooth pictures from Imeem, watch the Bravery while standing in line, and then plunge into the crowd for Silversun Pickups and the Faint back-to-back. How I had the energy to stand up and do any of this after seeing LCD Soundsystem the night before for the pre-party and getting four hours of sleep is beyond me. The Bravery's set was more tight than I remember, and new material seemed to be well received by the crowd. Silversun initially seemed slightly anxious about taking stage right after, but "Lazy Eye" was a perfect closer to the packed lot for the festival stage.
Up until this point, there had been a great system where two stages next to each other would switch off bands: when one ended, the next would be ready to go and vice versa. Unfortunately for us in the crowd who were packed in like sardines, the stage needed to be turned over for the Faint and we all became intimately acquainted with each other for the next half hour; my patience was starting to wane and I almost was about to make a run for another beer when I saw Todd Baeschle's head poke out after his band mates; he was wearing a hat that looked like a cross between a pirate hat and a gardening one, and something inside me said that this was a good indication. Like Honeycut's pairing, he and his synth players made mad cohesion, nailing vocals and sharp bass for "Drop Kick The Punks," "Agenda Suicide," their "Take Me To The Hospital" cover, and new song "War Hymn For Children," which if it's supposed to be any indication about what the new album is supposed to sound like, it's going to sound like awesome. The only thing I don't understand is why I always seem to get borderline beat up in Faint crowds - pushing is never the answer, loves!
After my shoes got annihilated and we took a breather, we scampered to the main stage were local darling Scissors For Lefty had already taken stage. Being another band I absolutely adore musically, I also always forget that I am always amused by their stage theatrics of six-foot tall cut-out frogs and giant red umbrellas and the fact their back-up dancers (yes) pull off their pants for the last song so you have a bunch of guys in their underwear dancing. "Mama Your Boys Will Find A Way Home" is one of my favorite songs this year, and to watch them on stage perform with the biggest smiles was a great treat.
Scissors' set did not prepare me at all for Kaiser Chiefs, with lead singer Ricky Wilson seemingly screaming (but in a friendly tone) all of his conversation with the audience. The boys from Leeds absolutely tore through "Every Day I Love You Less And Less," "Ruby," and "I Predict A Riot," Wilson stopping in between to talk about his mom and how we were clapping so well. There was so much energy on stage I ended up out of my seat for the most part dancing. "We'd love to take you home with us but the airfare is far too expensive," Wilson said as the Chiefs left stage. So would I!
I literally ran for my last beer of the evening so not as to miss Interpol; calculating that the last time I had seen them was two years ago, all of a sudden I became very anxious to soak in as much of their set as possible. We made it back to our seats in record time and the minute the four-piece (with an extra keyboardist) walked on stage, I could sense this was going to be an epic show. They opened with a new song, a ballsy move for a band who's only beginning to now tour again; something heavy about the music, something sentimental about the guitar, something about the overall hook got me, and I immediately sat up in my chair. To even begin to say how ridiculously impressed I was with their selection to play would be a severe understatement. Guitarist Daniel Kessler stole the show in my opinion, absolutely plucking the shit out of his axe for "Narc," "Slow Hands," "The New" and new material "Heinrich Maneuver" with the greatest of ease but causing my whole group to go "Wait...are you serious?" and have a gaping mouth. If the new stuff played live is any indication of what I'm supposed to expect for Our Love To Admire...I might need to take a week off work. And school.
Plans for the night to watch Social Distortion were ditched in favor of celebrity sighting and playing some more pickup basketball; sitting backstage watching Paul Banks leaving his dressing room and Kele and Matt from Bloc Party do an interview for the radio station proved to provide immense joy (it's definitely the little things). Alas, I didn't run into my indie rock boyfriend #11 (Russell from Bloc Party), so it was a little sad.
Unfortunately for us, Social D took more than a half hour out of Bloc Party's time by going over, and we were only awarded nine songs for our listening enjoyment. Our bereavement about the situation was slightly lifted when we were able to pseudo-bum rush the stage and jump to stage right, tenth row, thus enabling me to see my indie rock boyfriend up close. Despite the indication the boys knew they could only play for a short while, they still ripped through "Positive Tension," "Waiting For The 7.18," "Banquet," and "The Prayer," the last one being my absolute favorite and had me in dance mode for its entirety. "We have two more songs to play...blame it on Social Distortion," Kele told the crowd as many of us groaned in disappointment. I stood there amused. The London blokes played a stellar performance considering the time constrictions; despite feeling like it was too fast for comfort, I worked out my aggravation like Kele said to "Helicopter."
Ride situations didn't permit us to see the CSS second run for the afterparty, but one look at lead singer Lovefoxxx's one piece, and I knew I'd missed something tremendous. My only question about my whole half-day music orgasm is this: Does sunscreen ever wash off your skin? I've had the same smell for two days despite scrubbing vigorously.
By Jenn Hernandez