Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Virgin Festival
Day 2 Mumblings

A little worse for wear, very stiff but determined to see The Raconteurs, I head back to the Islands solo today. Michael's coming down a little later
and we've been left with a spare ticket. I try to sell it to a couple scalpers for face value...they don't go for it. Spend 15 minutes trying to pass
it on for free to some kids. Approach a couple groups to see if they have a friend they can phone who'd like to use the ticket. They just looked at me
strange. Must be an age thing. Or a brains thing. At the very least you'd think they'd be astute enough to take the ticket and sell it to the scalpers
themselves. In the end I refused the $20 offer and pocketed the ticket as insurance against being caught taping in the light of day.

Got the first available ferry over and was sipping a Bacardi and cola in the early afternoon sun. No rush today as i'm not doing any capture until the
fourth band comes onstage. The first set just finished, I'm out on the picnic benches looking at the skyline, excpecting Jose Feliciano next. Er, wait,
that was Lupe Fiasco that was supposed to be in the second slot. Instead DJ Champion is onstage. This doesn't entice me to come in any closer and I'm
not overly concerned, thinking there was just some traffic difficulty getting on the Island. About 5 minutes before the next act is due the screen flashes
that it will be Thrice. That's not good news. Still no announcement about WHY the changing order of appearance. I call a couple people I know who were
planning on seeing Thrice (and Wolfmother to follow) so they could hurry it up. Then I put back my drink and take up a spot near the left stacks.

Thrice came across sounding like a less intense alexisonfire. Not by much, just by a little.

WISTA rating: No.

Wolfmother - if Jack White has stolen all that's good out of Led Zeppelin, then these guys are the evil twin. Lead singer has that Robert Plant voice
thing going and the band seems to enjoy an excessive solo or ten. Especially the guy on the keyboard. First off, the keyboard is not a real rock n roll
instrument unless you play it with your heels and elbows and your name is Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis. Tilting the board, so it's at risk of tipping,
and twirling the reverb dials as you straffe the keys, is not music. It's a balancing act. What you're balancing is my interest in seeing new bands
against my tolerance for self-indulgence.

WISTA rating: I wouldn't run fast to avoid the band (of course I probably couldn't run fast to avoid a fire) but they'd have to be on a bill with someone
else i was looking to hear and playing directly before them.

Over to the Future Shop stage for what turns out to be the low-light of the entire weekend. The bass player from DeathFromAbove 79 has traded in the
stage for the studio. In concert with a DJ friend he's now doing an act called MSTRKRFT. This is club music, for club lovers only. I had an inkling but
Buck 65 didn't have a band, he used canned music and effects, and he was good. Of course, he had WORDS. The set got off to a terrible technical start.
First, as with the main stage, the set times have been altered, for reasons unknown and still unannounced. This is working out to my advantage as this one
has been moved FORWARD twenty minutes, meaning I'll have a little extra time to get back and comfortable for the Raconteurs. So after 20 minutes of setting
up the stage the MSTRKRFT guy comes out to find he's missing not one, but two, turntables.
"What do you do?" "I'm a DJ, I play records." "On what?" "D!oh." By the time they were located and plugged in we were at about 6:30 pm. That's when it
went downhill fast. I lasted 40 minutes before I wandered off, the incessant drone fading in the distance. It wasn't anywhere near 4:20 but it was 420 time.
I'd suggest the fans of this music lay off the "E" and switch to the chronic as well. Having said all that, who was there dancing up a storm with at least
7 girls? Buck 65! Aparently girls like guys who can dance and that may be the underlying secret.

WISTA rating: Only at the point of a gun.

It's been a great day for a concert and these Islands are an excellent location. Lot's of shade cover and rain cover though we've only needed a bit of both.
One last walk past the many booths giving away samples and hawking their wares. One more stroll along the waterfront as the lights of the city start to
do their dance, then back to the madding crowd to find a spot for the Raconteurs. That didn't look too promising as the Strokes had packed the main stage
to capacity. Just as quickly though, people started leaving at the end of the set and ample room opened up so I could make my way to within 25' of the
stage, directly in front of the right speaker banks.

Raconteurs played what is threatening to become a pretty static set. This is the first show of their fall tour, a one-off really as they launch in the
Southern US this week. Perhaps they have something in store for that tour. Highlights were Bang Bang, always. Blue Veins, from the intro to the explosion.
The extended Bane Rendition/Store Bought Bones and a nice extra verse thrown into Brendan's Yellow Moon. Jack was face-melting good when on guitar and
playful when not. Patrick Keeler I could listen to even if the band wasn't there.

One thing Jack still has to work on is his stage patter. Back in Cleveland he and Brendan engaged in a little 'Southern California' stuff. Then Jack questioned whether CA or Florida was the Sunshine State. They picked the wrong one.
Tonight Jack was mumbling about some border difficulties, and I paraphrase here: "Canada is harder to get into than East Germany!" ummm, Jack, getting into East Germany has never been tested...most people had difficulty getting out. Alive anyway. Which I think was the purpose of your joke. But that's ok. Those little call-outs mean nothing. They are there for the candy-cane kids and the cheap cheer you get when people hear their hometown mentioned through the PA system.

WISTA rating: 4 more times this year!

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