Monday, September 27, 2010

Virgin Free Fest 9/25/10

It's Virgin Free Fest time and what a festival! Overall great price (free) for the amount of talent there at Merriweather. It was a stellar day with good, if not hot, weather. I was happy to have made it when we did as three bands I really wanted to see all played at or near the 3 o' clock time frame. I heard Yeasayer while in traffic and I liked what I heard so they'll be a separate show for the future. We checked in and to our immediate left sat the dance tent (actually more of a forest) and Neon Indian was playing. They seemed to have an electronic sound on disc but I was surprised to see a guitarist and a drummer. The sound quality was amazing and they played all the songs I knew and even my sister got into it. Very beat driven danceable songs. I would love to see them by themselves, preferably a club setting. Next we walked out and about and saw Joan Jett start and we kept a going. She's kind of outdated with her pop punk and all, just saying. On the way to the outside stage we saw Thievery Corporation begin their set. They had DJs, sitars, and tribal funk that was infectious. I can't dance that hippy jive but I would have liked to! After a few songs we went back to see Matt & Kim on the main stage. One guy singing and playing the keyboard and one super smiley chick banging in the drums. They didn't really make me a believer and their best songs were impromptu jams of old school rap songs you knew the words to faster than their own songs. We caught about five songs from Chromeo next. Very great live band. I would love to hear them play their 80s electro soul vibe anywhere but outside amongst the trees was pretty cool. My sister then insisted we see Ludacris next. He said it was ten years ago he put out his first platinum hits. I saw him then too. Ludacris has a ton of recognizable hits from songs he did solo to that awful new Taio Cruz song. But he performed without all those jokers and kicked ass. I cannot believe they let M.I.A. play after him to close the 2nd stage but I'll get on to that soon. We left Luda early to hear this summers most hyped band Sleigh Bells. Honestly they sound like heavy metal for the cheerleader set, or maybe cheerleader music for heavy metal types. Either way I was ready to be impressed. They had the largest crowd for the dance area and yet they probably played the shortest set. The songs sounded awfully loud as if they would break the speakers yet I only saw one guy playing the guitar sparingly. The lady singing was hot from the distance I was at but she did a lot of "ah ah ah ahhing". It was actually a weak set. More blown speaker sounding guitar mess and the jumpy singing. Not a fan nor did I see what the fuss was about. Maybe I'm getting old cause M.I.A. didn't kill it for me either! She was about ten or so minutes late, big difference since everyone else was on time. Then the DJ played a drone ten minute mess that was followed by M.I.A. staring out at the crowd yelling "DC" and some other unintelligible stuff. She had so many distractions on stage and sang/rapped so sparingly that she lost me after two actual songs. The worst part that after I left I was so tired and dirty that I stayed through only three great LCD Soundsystem songs. I'm probably going to see them again but overall great day of seeing a tons of great bands. And it was free! Next show Black Diamond Skye!

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