Hundreds of LED lit balloons marked the sky as we gazed over what had become our home over the past four days. It was the last show, the final push. We were running on fumes and anticipation after a weekend full of countless standout acts. This was the set we had been waiting for since we were fourteen, sneaking Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg CD’s into our sister’s Walkman to memorize every explicit detail of what would become so monumental so quickly. As we stood amongst the masses in complete disbelief, the entire weekend flashed before our eyes.
The Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival gives 40,000-60,000 ear-eager music fans a yearly opportunity to experience both music and art in one place. Atop the scattered stages you can find an abnormal yet effective line-up of musical artistry. Seeing a neighborhood cafe act lead into Erykah Badu was normal. The purgatory that lies between mega stardom and small-town-nobody is suddenly erased. Nor are any rules of artist seniority enforced. Divas mix amongst us normal folk, all egos aside, in the attempt to give awaiting fans what they're spending the weekend in San Francisco for: pure, raw musical talent. It didn't matter how many albums the artist sold --it only mattered if they were good. And to my surprise there weren't any "not so good acts" at this year's festival, which was held at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
Lollapalooza is a celebration of many genres and tastes in music and this year’s festival did not disappoint. Here were some of Joonbug’s favorites:
Ok Go put on an incredible show, full of smolder, swagger and plenty of good humor. The four band members dressed head to toe in either red, blue, green or yellow suits; played a song with sublime intensity on the hand bells, indulged the audience with old favorites and introduced new tunes. A favorite moment included lead singer Damian singing from the middle of the crowd a heart-string tugging acoustic gem. Tongue-in-cheek, honest and power-packed, Ok Go was the delight of the afternoon. Tinie Tempah graced the stage just before OK Go, delivering a set that bubbled with effervescent energy. The beats were crisp, fun and instantly catchy. He is one to watch.
Last weekend was a musical hurricane of electric rain, bass wind and drumquakes. L Magazine presented their third installment of the now-annual Northside Festival, in the neighboring neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The four jam-packed days of music, art, film and expression were met with gracious and rather excitable masses of hipsters, punkers, and everyone between, creating a chasm of sound and visual therapy that will be lived through until next years festival.
When I read the Northside Festival described as a "a celebration of dreamer-types," I have to be honest, I got a case of the New York willies. You remember the feeling: suitcase clad. tender-footed. an appetite for New York so voracious you wondered if you'd even have time to call home. It was electrifying. Feeling disarmingly out of scale in this monstrosity.. this war zone, this bubble, this vortex--to which the rest of the universe just simply belonged.