It’s a good thing my office is practically dead today, because I’m utterly worthless at work after spending the last 48 hours V-Festing in Baltimore. True, it was no Lolla and didn’t have the amazing draw of Radiohead like APW did, but it did fine and I was able to go for free so I can’t really complain.
I spent most of the weekend with a pair of roller skates strapped to my feet, but it made the weekend that much more interesting. I only caught about 10 minutes of Cat Power, but Chan Marshall seemed to be actually performing well for the first set on Saturday. After that I only really managed to catch Lupe Fiasco and Bloc Party. Lupe was just sheer joy and fun. He bopped around the stage and was a great break in the day. He played a good mix of tracks off his albums just in general seemed to be having a good time.
Bloc Party killed it and no one seemed to notice. The section of the crowd I was in (the front, left side) was practically standing still. Then the moshing started and the crowd surfing. Hey, at least people were finally moving. We got all the hits – Banquet, Helicopter, Hunting for Witches, etc – in addition to the new single and better stuff like This Modern Love and like Eating Glass. yayz. Later Saturday night Kele DJ’d at Sonar and continued to be amazing. Showed up Vito from The Rapture easily. Also free Sparks and Will Eastman. Awesome.
I missed most of The Silver Beats, who are adorable and fun, but I did get to see Chuck Berry in all of his red-sequin glory. Weren’t The Beats supposed to back him up. Did I miss that? Did it only last like one song? I closed out Saturday with copious amounts of alcohol and Underworld. I was a bit disappointed. I’m not too familiar with their work outside of like Born Slippy.
Sunday was all-around a better music day, beginning with The Go! Team and Chromeo. Because of the stage set up, Go! was pushed to the back of the South Stage and was impossibly far from the crowd and no one was really into it. Sorry Ninja, but I had to go check out Chromeo in the Dance Tent. For 12:30 p.m. on a Sunday, the Dance Tent was rocking, energy was high and Chromeo was fantastic. Later in the day I managed to catch the entire She & Him set which was utterly charming and adorable and everything I hoped it would be. Zooey Deschanel was decked out in a beautiful blue dress and bopped around the stage with her tambourine. She sounded just a crisp as on record and I had a smile plastered across my face the entire set. To contrast, Lil Wayne was next, he was 40 minutes late and I moved on. Sadly, I missed Iggy Pop… I was busy getting a massage. Sorry, my priorities may be a bit skewed. I was actually torn between NIN and Kanye (or Kayne West, as the typo in the program read) for the closing of the festival. I didn’t know if I would rather re-live being 13 or stand and wait for a performer who was going to be late anyway and deal with stupid stuff like women trying to get through the crowd with a two-year-old in their arms (the infant had the absolute most frightened look on its face). Trent Reznor’s crew had about 3/4 or less of the crowd Kanye had but put on a show about 843957395 times more superior. I was slightly bored by Kanye and blown away by NIN. Which is odd, because I would consider myself much more of a Kanye fan than NIN fan. Lights, sound, everything was perfect for NIN. Seriously fantastic.