Every festival that lays on the indie music this thick, that has the stages crawling with sought after DJ’s after 10 pm, that caters to the people who like to bop and jump around has to give us something so we can also bump and grind. Thank you, De Luna Fest, for bringing us Big Boi. It seems that on Saturday you were either most excited about seeing Jane’s Addiction or Big Boi, if I may be so bold as to split the world into two distinct camps. And he killed it.
His entire band was on point, from DJ to back up singer to drummer, “Wildman.” He was pulling stunts on the kit during “Bombs Over Baghdad” that I couldn’t air drum half as fast. And I tried really hard.
I expected big things from Big Boi, as he has a well-deserved reputation of awesomeness, and Southerners in the South tend to do well. I did not, however, expect him to be so terribly entertaining. I went in expecting great music, and I got a great show. He loves to move, and loves to make other people move which is a laudable pursuit in any musical venture. Get people moving.
The crowd hung on his every word, waving hands, shouting lyrics and attempting to get crunk as the occasion called for it. My only regret is I wasn’t one of the girls pulled on stage to shake my booty. My god, I would have delivered.
The New Pornographers have the delightfully striking balance of apple pie a la mode. There are warm things and cold things in my mouth at the same time what the hell! Oh, but it’s…lovely. A little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, like Donnie and Marie but not at all lame.
They have the advantage of being remarkably proficient at what they do as well. They’re just a tidy band of musical elves executing their musical stylings with precision and enthusiasm. That’s an impressive feat, to be as on top of it as they are, with smiles on their faces.
The New Pornographers will make you feel all warm and fuzzy, and remind you that they’re still on your iPod from college and you should still be listening to them.
You know those genre-defying bands that are so marvelous that it doesn’t matter what type of music they’re making as long as they keep making it forever and ever? Outkast is like that. So are Radiohead. And so is, I swear to Jesus, Manchester Orchestra. Their live performance is something from a totally different time, possibly the future. They are just insatiable, rabid, out of control musical beasts.
Their popularity surprised me, as they were one of the bands that crowds flocked to and waited for, filling up the ocean front main stage sand dunes with hungry fans. Their set began at the perfect time, the sun having just gone down, giving them a blank slate of dark sky to play their starkly emotional, feverishly hectic brand of rock.
Sweat sprayed, teeth were bared, Andy Hull roared with his bandmates growling in cultish support, and the entire thing just came off as quite primal. This viscerally engaging experience is a welcome break in the trend of the slick and polished popular rock that rapes our radio waves. It’s not hard core either, a style that tends to take itself to seriously, that relies far too heavily on the very style it’s cultivated. It’s just Manchester Orchestra, shaken and shot out of an aerosol spray can.
Sometimes I wonder if I think about music so much, write about it so often, and force myself to develop an appreciation of it that strips away the magic. Many enthusiasts suffer from this plague. Maybe we like music so much we’ve forgotten how to love it. Manchester Orchestra reminds me that I love music. A whole, big, god-awful lot.
Often hailed as the greatest thing to come out of Albuquerque, The Shins are an American indie rock staple. Their steady following grows every year as they have yet to put out a disappointing record, an almost unheard of feat not accomplished since, like, The Beach Boys. And they’re great live. So everybody wins.
They performed a tasteful selection from each record, from Chutes Too Narrow, to James Mercer’s collaboration with DJ Danger Mouse, Broken Bells. Their set also included a Pink Floyd cover, but did not include my favorite song. Why Weezer and The Shins decided to conspire against me like this, I don’t know but they’re breaking my me–as-a-15-year-old’s heart.
Mercer’s vocals are just as crisp and chilling live as you’d expect, with just as indiscernible lyrics. You’d have to have their albums in your headphones on repeat for years to be able to sing along. Fortunately, we have. And sing along we did.
Easily the hottest band alive today, The Sounds give a live show worth seeing. Suspending reality for a minute and pretending there’s anybody who doesn’t like their music, or that you’re deaf, they are still a prize to look at. Seriously, with a band that’s a promo shot for Ford Models, how good looking to you have to be to get backstage? They probably looked Beyonce up and down and were like, No your eyes are too close together, maybe next time. Tonight, we’ll just make out with each other.
Ok, I know I’m here for music reviews but Maja’s legs and the vast number of flawless bangs on stage are a big part of seeing The Sounds live. The other big part is how much fun they are! Felix’s power stance is unbeatable, and the way Maja struts around yelling pop punky things into the microphone riling up the crowd, has to be seen to be believed. If only to see how she does it in sky high stilettos.
I’m not sure if Sweden puts radioactive matter in their water or if these guys made a deal with the devil, but you shouldn’t be allowed to be this good looking, this cool, and this good at something all at the same time. But I’d pay to see it again.