Right before it got dark yesterday I was thinking back on the bands I had seen and realized I couldn’t pinpoint any one that stood out. Aimlessly wandering all day long, seeing a ton of bands but not really seeing any of them. Nothing could hold my interest for very long. This is my own fault and I am blaming no one but myself. At any given moment I could have seen some hardcore, metal, hip-hop, comedy, indie rock and other weird stuff from Israel I can’t even explain. But somehow I feel like the day got away from me and I did not have my share of the 3 Funs. But then it did get dark and I went over to the Black Stage and ended the night off right with some good ol’ fashion punk rock!
Looking back on last year’s first day, a day filled with Face to Face, Fucked Up, Death, No Age, The Sword and Crystal Antlers, I will say I found yesterday lacking in comparison. The lines seem longer, the spaces between more crowded and the overall vibe wasn’t as good as last year. But then again, maybe it’s just my selective memory. All complaints aside, this is still the best festival out there!
Bad Religion were by far my highlight of the day. Celebrating their 3oth Anniversary as a band, they might look their age, but they don’t act it! They had the crowd kickin’ up dust with all their slam dancing, to which Greg Graffin asked everyone to square dance instead. Even after an extensive, exhausting sound-check, the sound wasn’t quite right up front, but it sounded great from a little further back. The band played some old, some new and some really old (80-85) songs. It had been 15 years since I’d seen Bad Religion and it was great to see them again!
GWAR. What can you say about GWAR? I also saw this band about 15 years ago, and I remember it being fun. I remember the costumes, I remember the impaling of political figures and I remember you didn’t want to get too close unless you wanted to get soaked in the shit they spew from the stage. What I didn’t remember is how bad their music sucks! This show was entertaining for awhile (like the Sarah Palin bit), but I lost interest quickly and so did Bad Religion‘s crew. ‘thank God those monsters are out of the way!’
Delorean played the small Blue stage, which is surprising. I would have thought they would be big enough to be on the Orange stage. I didn’t see their whole set, but I made a point to catch their last few songs. I’ve seen them live a few times already and they are always impressive. One of the best of yesterday.
The Vandals were never my favorite from the SoCal punk scene, but they were always fun and put on an energetic live show and yesterday was no exception.
Dwarves are another one of those punk bands that I never really got into. I have all their albums and their was a time I would listen to them regularly, yet they weren’t a band that really stuck with me. But yesterday they were the first band that got me going. It was just getting dark and they were the shot of adrenaline I needed! Blag Dahlia might look like his stage diving days are past him, but he proved that to be false as he launched himself into the crowd!
Cap’n Jazz were highly influential in the emo scene, or so I’m told. I really don’t know this band and I only went over to check out a few songs because I heard this would be their last performance (confirmed by the band onstage). They sounded alright, but I don’t know their music so I headed back over to the Black Stage.
The Gories‘ brand of down and dirty, gritty, Motor City garage punk was a highlight of the day. These guys are f’in amazing!
Dominique Young‘s first single was Show My Ass and she did just that on the Blue Stage yesterday. You could see right up that little black dress she was wearing and she didn’t seem to care less. She young, she’s cute and she’s got a nasty mouth! Giving her male counterparts a run for their money when it comes to rapping about sex. I did feel a little bad for her because the crowd had cleared out after Slick Rick, but it was nice to have room to move. I enjoyed her set for about 20 minutes but then that squeaky voice got to me a little. The funniest part was watching the Zakk Wylde-looking sound-guy finally give up and put in ear plugs. Dude looked miserable!
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti‘s set did nothing to make me a believer. I have been on the fence about this band and after seeing them live I’m actually just creeped out by the man himself. I still love their slower jams, but the freak out sessions and his stage presence just make me feel dirty. I don’t even know if that makes sense, but oh well.
Slick Rick was the biggest disappointment of the day. Seeing him perform The Great Adventures Of… was one of the reasons I made the trip down here. But you see that dazed and confused look on his face in the first picture? That’s how he was the whole time. He went through the motions without actually moving, he forgot the words and fumbled all over Teenage Love and he was just plain awful. I had held my spot at the Blue Stage for over an hour for this performance and I left about 20 minutes in. Too stoned, bored, old? I don’t know and I don’t care. It was pathetic.
Devin the Dude brought a whole entourage onstage with him for an 40 minute daytime set on the smallest stage of a festival. A little overkill if you ask me, but then again I think I was so high off second-hand smoke that I really didn’t care. Devin had the Blue Stage area packed and the crowd loved it! I wasn’t a huge fan of his smoke ’em and fuck ’em style, but I was entertained enough while holding my spot for Slick Rick.
The Antlers, again. I know I sound like a prick, but I’ve seen this band so many times now and I just want some new material!
The Appleseed Cast played the Orange Stage to a good size crowd.
Valient Thorr. Because what else would these guys be called?